Tag Archives: Team Building

Six Ways To Lead On A Multi-Generational Team

There is rarely a time that generational challenges don’t emerge in my leadership workshops or coaching sessions. The comments and concerns range from:

“Why can’t they have the same work ethic as we do?”

“Why are they so fixated on their phones and technology?”

“Why can’t they be more open to new ideas and different strategies?”

“Why can’t they see the value in a flexible workplace?”

“Why is work/life balance so scary to them?”

I am sure you have heard these same perspectives in your organization and may be wondering why we all can’t come together. Some even believe that if we just focus on the individuals that the generational differences will dissolve.

Which is it? Do we really have generational divides or are we just making too much of this issue? My answer to that is: A little of both.

Six ways to lead on a multi-generational team:

 1. EMBRACE DIFFERENT GENERATIONAL PERSPECTIVES

While it is never a good idea to create or perpetuate stereotyping, it is helpful to consider the different generational work ethics and behaviors. Whether we want to accept it or not, technology has changed the way we go about working and that has allowed more flexibility in our organizations. Whether we used technology later in our careers or it has been part of our entire life, it has impacted the speed of work and how we go about tackling our projects. Yet technology cannot provide institutional wisdom and knowledge that can propel younger generations forward with clients and office politics.

2. CREATE A VISION TOGETHER

It’s all about the partnership and dreaming together in formation- knowing exactly where you are going. When working on a multi-generational team, make sure there is a clear vision and it is shared system wide.

  • Include all generations in building that vision
  • Ask for input
  • Listen for possibilities never considered
  • Write it out clearly and put it front and center

3. USE VALUES TO GUIDE DECISION-MAKING

Just as a vision steers the way, values help us make clearer and consistent decisions. Core values help the different generations come together for a common language and spirit. One way to make better decisions in times of ambiguity is to look at your values and test out each decision or action against them.

4. GROW EACH OTHER’S GIFTS

Each generation may have varying strengths and talents but in order for a team to be high performing, it is critical to leverage those gifts. Studies show that developing an individual’s strengths is way more impactful than spending too much time on their weaknesses. Once we recognize one another’s expertise, then learn from each other. Reverse mentoring is an extraordinary way to grow our leadership.

5. TRY OUT NEW PATTERNS FROM ALL GENERATIONS

As with any new skill or knowledge obtained, practice using it.

  • Set up mentoring relationships that go across generations where each is a mentor and each is a mentee
  • When you see a new behavior being used in the workplace give that person a “way to go”
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Be afraid not to try
  • Ask for honest and respectful feedback

6. SEE INDIVIDUAL WORTH

Generations are made up of individual people who are all unique and special. Never pigeon hole anyone but instead delve deeper to see their value and help them cultivate stronger leadership strategies.

How do you lead on a multi-generational team?

(Credit image: FlickrCC-Richard Foster)

Five Game Plans To Crush A Leadership Crisis

You probably recognize this workplace scenario. The team you’re on is moving along at a clip, accomplishing great outcomes and meeting challenging deadlines. Each team member seems to be working hard and knows what is expected of them. Then one day you notice that projects, files, phone calls or emails are piling up. Co-workers are less inclined to help each other out and start to vent about their workload. Gossip about how certain individuals on the team are not pulling their fair share begins to circulate. The once smoothly run team is derailing with no one in charge to realign it. What’s happening to your previously high performing team?

A leadership crisis is setting in

What Happens If A Leader’s EQ Is Low?

Being a strong leader involves being an effective relationship builder. To develop meaningful connections with others we need to have the ability to read our own emotions accurately as well as recognize the emotions in our team members, colleagues and networks. In fact, some of us are so unaware of how we may be feeling in a particular situation that it is very difficult to respond appropriately to actions or behaviors we see. And then what happens? We do something or say something that we wish we hadn’t done or said.

Has this ever happened to you? So many of the leaders I partner with face this challenge daily either because they or the… Continue reading | 4 Comments

Five Heart Based Leadership Tactics

Partnering with many highly technical leaders throughout the years, I have come to understand the direct communication style. They get to the point quickly, using as few words as possible, with a purposeful tone. They exude an air of authority. This past week was no different. I presented a leadership program to a group of senior leaders who were experts in their technical abilities and very firm in the way they shared their insights. They commanded a stage-type presence with a “been there, done that” attitude. So walking into a room filled with these confident seasoned leaders seemed a bit daunting. Well sort of.

As I opened my presentation with my leadership story, their… Continue reading | 8 Comments

Five Critical Leadership Relationships

When things go wrong in our professional lives it usually ends up revolving around a missed target, confusing message or personality clash. All of these unmet expectations point in the exact same direction- a collision with a workplace or customer relationship. The truth is that we all miss deadlines, make mistakes, hear a communication incorrectly and have conflict with others. That’s just human nature and the reality of working. The thing is if we have strong relationships with people in the workplace we can face our challenges constructively and rebound with greater precision and more successful outcomes. But the key is to build deep connections so when we do fall on our faces, we