Working for a younger manager

A few years ago I was called in by a Gen X manager to help reprimand her Baby Boomer employee. She was frustrated that this veteran of 33 years with stellar performance ratings was slow and “too customer focused.”  She sort of missed the fact that the employee was the senior customer service representative for the organization.  So here are some ideas that will work for both the younger manager and the seasoned worker:

Check Your Stereotypes at the Door: Focus on your commonalities not your differences. Don’t assume older workers have technology gaps just because of age or that younger managers don’t understand people.  Avoid broad generalizations about any age cohort.

Breathe and Reflect: Take stock of the root cause of your concerns. Is your issue really age related?

Collaborate and Partner:  Figure out how to join forces and let your skills, talents, and experience complement one another instead of taking adversarial positions.  Be humble, show respect, open lines of communication, and find the strengths in both parties.