A Guest Post By: Angelita William
As a young business-minded person, you might have been at the top of your class when you were getting your MBA but education alone won’t gain you the respect of those who you manage, many of whom may be much older and much more experienced than you and not keen on being managed by a young go-getter. Regardless of how your employees feel about you, they’re the people you’re supposed to lead and inspire– something that can be tough when you don’t feel you’re getting the respect you deserve. Of course, like anything worth having in life, this kind of respect has to be earned, not demanded, from older employees. Consider these tips to help ease the process.
Check your expectations. Many head into management positions without a real understanding of what managing people will really be like. Often, the focus can be on being in charge and making business decisions rather than on things like helping people and dealing with challenges around the office– issues that are often at the heart of what it means to be a good manager.
Focus on people. You might have wanted to move into management to showcase your financial strategies or marketing abilities but don’t forget about what it really takes to make a workplace thrive: the people. Your first priority should always be helping your workers perform at their best.
Stop trying to prove yourself. It is not possible to do everything yourself or to be perfect and superhuman. Do your job well and over time your employees will respect you. It’s just that simple.
Be assertive. It’s inevitable that one of your employees will challenge you, try to bypass you, or generally treat you like you don’t know what you’re doing. Respond with confidence and assertiveness. This can mean learning to say no, not apologizing when you ask more and speaking up when you have something to say. It does not mean being aggressive or not listening to others.
Learn when to criticize and when to compliment. Most workers are seeking praise for a job well done, whether they’re old or young. Learn when to dole out
this kind of praise and when to offer criticisms. Striking a balance is essential to gaining respect and being an effective manager.
Give respect. You can’t expect to get respect if you don’t give it. Ask employees for their opinions and don’t always assume that you know best, especially if your employees are quite experienced. Use this age and experience of your employees to your advantage and you will see smoother sailing and perhaps even greater returns.
It’s never easy to step into a management position as a new and often younger boss, especially with a rapidly aging and often much more experienced work force to direct. Yet with patience, a calm demeanor and the right attitude towards your employees you can become someone they respect and even look to for guidance.
This guest post is contributed by Angelita Williams, who writes on the topics of online college courses. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: angelita.williams7 @gmail.com.