While working with people in a professional setting can always have its challenges, many of these challenges may stem from the fact that you’re trying to work with people who are from a different generation from you. Because of this, you might struggle to connect or understand each other on both a personal and professional level. But despite this, you can find a way to work together and even become a leader.
To help you see how this can be done, here are three tips for working with people from different generations.
Know How To Give Them Respect
In your personal life, you likely know at least one person who’s in the same generation as the person or people you’re working with. Whether it’s your grandparents who are currently in an assisted living facility or your niece or nephew that you see on the holidays, you can draw from this knowledge to help you know how to treat your coworkers. Knowing this, you may want to consider what you’ve learned from your relationship with that person regarding how to best show respect to someone of that generation.
According to MindTools.com, establishing respect will vary based on both the person and their connection to their generations traits. But because respect is so important for having happy and healthy professional relationships, you should make it a goal to learn how to best show respect to the people you’re working with.
Look At People As Individuals
While it can be helpful to think about what people of different generations might respond to based on certain stereotypes, you’re likely going to have a lot more success if you’re able to learn about your coworkers individually.
To help you with this, Jessica Kriegel, a contributor to Monster.com, recommends that you spend time talking and getting to know your coworkers. Once you know what makes your coworkers their own people, it will be easier for you to see them as an individual as opposed to just someone who’s part of a particular generation.
Try Not To Take Offense So Easily
One of the hardest parts of working with people from different generations is communication. In some cases, it’s easy to either take offense or say something insensitive that is offensive to someone else.
To avoid this, Sharen Ross, a contributor to LifeHack.org recommends that you try not to take offense so easily by giving people of different generations the benefit of the doubt when saying something that could be insensitive. When your emotions aren’t raw, you may then want to talk about how each side could work on giving the other more grace in your working relationship.
If you’ve had a hard time working with people from different generations, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you with this.