John discusses how to support your older report in focusing on the future, and on updating their skill sets. While acknowledging the value of their experience and of the challenges they may have overcome in the past, encourage them to avoid “dining out” on past accomplishments, and to put their wisdom to use in the present.
- Okay, I confess.…As an older person, sometimes I'm convinced…that I've got it all figured out.…One of the biggest challenges you may find…in managing someone older…is how attached we can be to our past experiences.…We may think that because we've been working…for such a long time and we've got a track record…and we know everything we need to know…that there's nothing that you or anyone else can teach us.…Wrong.…What's likely going on underneath this attitude…is a fear that our experience doesn't matter…and that we've become irrelevant.…
Affirming our prior experience…is our way of maintaining that sense of relevance and value.…We actually do want to put our best foot forward,…but we need a little direction.…Understanding this dynamic will help you…to be more empathetic in working with your older report…and coming up with a strategy…to get them on the right track.…Actually, they may just want to feel…like they've been heard and considered.…They may simply need to share their past experience…or proposed solutions or course of action.…
- Define “ageism.”
- Identify the emotion to avoid when working with older direct reports who may be feeling left out, unheard, or irrelevant.
- Explain how to help your multigenerational team members close the gap on the way they communicate with one another.
- Recognize the most common support strategy managers use for an older employee.
- List the steps to take when integrating an older worker into a multigenerational team.