Do you find it challenging to correct or disagree with a colleague who is older or more experienced than you? In this video, learn to interact with older colleagues, ways to build your credibility, generational buzzwords to avoid, and ways to demonstrate respect for experienced coworkers.
- During your late 20's or early 30's and have been with a company for about a year. Your task today, explain a technical process to the nearly 50 year old with over 20 years of company experience. This can be challenging. Especially if you work in a respect your elders culture. Carefully and watch Amanda as she makes a few mistakes. - On some client feedback, I saw someone wrote, "Demonstrate with more video examples." We're doing that right? - Actually I'm not.
I just have the clients pull up the live system and then I walk through the steps. - Okay. - Well, it's more personal and I can never figure out how to embed the video into the slide deck anyway. - It's not that hard, I'll show you. - Amanda, what I'm saying is that we're getting better results by not appearing to be overly programmed. - Well, the clients asked for it. So I don't really know what to tell you. It won't take me that long to talk you through this. - Alright. - Ouch! That was painful to watch. Amanda has alienated a wise and experienced colleague.
Let's explore steps she could've taken. First, accept that you're young. When you join an organization, you will be the newbie. You'll prove yourself over time by being a reliable expert. For now, stick to your areas of expertise. It's unlikely that a more seasoned colleague will want your advice or trust your judgment on broad business issues. Next, find ways to connect with your older colleagues.
Maybe you root for the same team, love the same restaurant, or grew up in neighboring towns. Notice if you tend to be conversational and friendly with the younger crowd, and then turn quiet when an older colleague arrives. Three, build your credibility. Show your colleagues that you understand their needs and their perspective. Amanda didn't seem to fully understand Jake's resistance to using video.
Tactful ways to drop your success stories into conversations. Avoid generational buzzwords and fillers such as like or hmm that can make you seem even younger than you are. Also consider how you dress and groom from the perspective of your older colleagues. Finally, demonstrate your respect for this person. When Amanda said that embedding a video into a slide deck isn't that hard, her intention was to put Jake at ease.
But the impact, I can imagine Jake hearing these words as it's so easy, why can't you do it? When a problem comes up, ask your experienced coworkers for their opinions. If the solution works, great. If you don't think the suggestion will work, try this tactful response from Larry and Megan Johnson about managing up the generational ladder. I'm the one with the least experience so I may be wrong here, but I have an idea.
What do you think about this? This qualifier is a gentle way to disagree and redirect. Let's take a look at Amanda and Jake, if Amanda had used these tips. - On some client feedback, I saw someone wrote, "Demonstrate with more video examples." We're doing that, right? - Actually, I'm not. What I do is I have the client pull up the live system and then I walk through the steps. - Hmm, I have seen you do that in meetings. How do you feel it compares to using video? - I think it's more personal, and I can never figure out how to embed the video into the slide decks anyway.
- That can be a pain. I finally figured it out and I wrote out all the steps so I wouldn't keep forgetting. I can drop by later and show you if that would be useful. - You know, I'd like to figure it that out. But not working with clients. I wanna appear more structured when I'm working with someone. - That makes sense. I have an idea on how to use video and stay flexible. But I'm not the one on those calls, you are. How do you feel about trying this? - Let's do it. - Amanda and Jake are getting along much better with these tweaks to Amanda's communication.
Use these tips to find the right balance of credibility and humility when communicating with those more senior than you.
- Recall the four pillars of a business scenario.
- Explore the term 'people' in the context of a communication scenario.
- Recall how the Think, Feel, Do model applies to a communication scenario.
- Identify the parts of the message in a communication scenario.
- Recognize the 'channel' in a communication scenario.
- Apply the importance of context in a communication event.
- Review the most important components of listening.