Leadership Training: Tips for Leading Gen Y

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The Gen Y has made their mark! This new type of employee has been the cause of many management and leadership training challenges and few have truly understood what this generation needs and the thinking that goes behind what is seemingly is an unreasonable and unmanageable mindset.

From a leadership training perspective is imperative that leaders of different generations take the time to get inside the heads of their Gen Y employees and to get an understanding of what makes them tick.

Baby Boomers and Gen X leaders are cut from a different cloth. They are accustomed to principles such as proving yourself, climbing the corporate ladder, loyalty to their organisation, appreciation of opportunity and doing what it takes to get further in their own career paths.

These leaders believe they have earned the right to be at their current level of leadership and have a low sense of entitlement. They have got to their positions through sheer hard work, commitment and perseverance.

Now enter a generation who believe quite the opposite. A true test for leadership training professionals.

These leaders are being called to look beyond their own belief system into the realm of new and different ways of thinking.

Gen Y’s however are not trying to be difficult. They have been brought up in a world that is fast moving. They have their finger on the pulse of changing technology and the internet gives them the information they require in a split second. They can access people around the world and send and receive vast amounts of data in any area of their choice.

This pace defines their lives. Anything slow is boring and anything uninspiring is not worth spending time on. Diversity is king and challenge is a “must have”. If it takes too long, dump it!

Can a leadership training process make any meaningful difference to engage employees that think and behave in this way?

The answer is most certainly ‘Yes’, however without the following key actions it may prove ineffective.

Here are 7 Leadership training suggestions that have proved to be successful:

1. Ensure that your Gen Y employees are involved in decision making.

 As the leadership training guru Ken Blanchard claims, “People support and defend what they help create and decide.”

2. Know their needs and expectations of:
– you as their leader
– their team
– their role
– their career aspirations.

3. Give them ownership and autonomy

Gen Y employees want to feel a true sense of accomplishment. For this reason they do not feel a sense of loyalty to the organisation but rather to their jobs. Give them the opportunity to flourish in the path they would prefer to adopt.

4. Praise and acknowledge

They thrive on recognition and reward for a job well done. Many need this to feel alive and worthwhile.

5. Set up “buddy systems” and small teams

Gen Y’s love to work collaboratively. Get them working together, talking and sharing.

6. Encourage creativity and innovation

Set up brainstorming groups for problem solving and invite suggestions and ideas for new and different approaches. Allow them freedom of expression.

7. Never be prescriptive

Gen Y detests being told what to do and how to do it. Rather be suggestive and avoid using any power style of management or leadership.

The case for leadership training is strong. There certainly is no one right approach and with time we will get to further understand and appreciate this wonderful and challenging generation.

Article Author:  Meiron Lees

Meiron Lees is the director of InnerCents, the company is a leading corporate coaching and training company specializing in
executive coaching, leadership training, leadership management training and sales negotiation training.
URL: http://www.innercents.com.au

Article Source: http://www.articlealley.com/article_497643_15.html

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Effective Communication Between Generations

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Even though people in the various generations often don’t agree, there is one thing they all agree on: Respect for each other in the workplace simply doesn’t exist. Those in the older generations (the Silent Generation and the Baby Boomers) think the younger workers of today are lazy and disrespectful. On the other hand, the younger generations (Generation X and the Millennials) think the older workers are stuck in their ways and too closed-minded.

Despite these differences, people from the varying generations must work together productively for the company to succeed. If they let their generational outlooks get in the way, conflict will result.

Use the following suggestions to overcome generational differences so everyone can get along:

Know each other’s preferences

In a nutshell, the Silent Generation and the Baby Boomers prefer face-to-face communication. They like consensus, and they expect everyone to respect authority. They don’t like conflict and will avoid it at all costs.  Generation X and the Millennials love online meetings. They twitter each other and use e-mail the majority of the time. They’re not afraid to confront others; they want their voices heard. They dislike being on teams and prefer to work alone.

While we can’t automatically assume every single person in a particular generation behaves and thinks a certain way, knowing the generalities is a great first step. Therefore, take the initiative to learn about the other generations you work with. The more you understand their point of view and what events shaped their lives, the more you’ll be able to work with them without conflict.

Spend time with each other

Simply knowing each other’s preferences is one thing; it’s another to actually spend time learning from the person. Remember that learning and mentoring is a two-way street. Just as younger people can learn things from older people, the older generation can definitely learn from the “kids.”

As you do this, realize that you’ll likely have to make compromises. For example, a younger person can teach an older person about some new computer communication tool. The younger person will need to employ patience during the training, and the older person will need to keep an open mind to the new technology. You’ll also have to confront your own personal biases and work through them. Only then can you truly benefit from the interaction.

Be open to talking things out

The older people don’t understand what all the pierced noses and tattoos are about, while the younger people can’t comprehend how someone can be so loyal to a company. Instead of just wondering in silence, it’s time to talk it out – with the very people you don’t understand. As long as the conversation stays respectful and does not turn into an accusatory yelling match, it will be a healthy way to gain broader understanding of each other. The sooner you start the conversation, the quicker you’ll resolve differences.

Bridge the Gap

Remember to do the following to effectively communicate between generations:
• Know each other’s preferences
• Spend time with each other
• Be open to talking things out

Generational differences can be tough. However, when you are open and honest and take the time to really listen to each other, you can overcome any perceived differences – real or otherwise.  A little generational understanding can go a long way to boosting the company’s bottom line.

Joyce Weiss, M.A., CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) is a conflict resolution consultant and accountability coach who provides bold solutions to boost the bottom line® for individuals and teams.  Contact Joyce at 800.713.1926.  Resolve conflict and interpersonal issues by looking at video blogs and podcasts at http://JoyceWeiss.com.  Joyce invites you to visit http://www.Joyceweiss.com/newsletter-i-33.html to receive the Bold Solutions Ezine to improve your working condition.

Article Author: Joyce Weiss

Article Source: http://www.articlealley.com/article_2042134_15.html

About the Author: Joyce Weiss, M.A., CSP is a conflict resolution consultant and accountability coach who provides bold solutions to boost the bottom line® for individuals and teams.  She is the author of Take The Ride of Your Life and Full Speed Ahead.  Contact Joyce at 800.713.1926 or Joyce@JoyceWeiss.com.  Resolve conflict and interpersonal issues by  looking at video blogs and podcasts at http://JoyceWeiss.com.  Joyce invites you to visit Joyce’s Bold Solutions Newsletter
to receive the Bold Solutions Ezine to improve your working condition

http://www.JoyceWeiss.com

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Linking Generational Strengths in the Workplace with DISC Behavioural Styles

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Using the basis of the DISC behavioural styles, it can be a very interesting process to examine how DISC plays out in the realm of a multi-generational team. Let’s have a look at each of the generations from this perspective:

  • Builders are similar to “S” and “C” styles, typically more introvert by nature. They tend to focus on laying one brick at a time and lay each brick perfectly well (all in good time) before moving on to the next brick. Their DISC strengths can be summarized as: cooperative, respectful, orderly, generous, loyal, team player and sincere.
  • Boomers tend to often be a combination of the “D” and “C” styles, with a high focus around hard work and sticking to the rules. Their DISC strengths can be summarized as: Results-driven, assertive, disciplined, task driven, persistent, logical, accountable, analytical and factual.
  • Gen X’s generally lean towards the “C” style as they strive towards working efficiently and smarter. Their DISC strengths can be summarized as: Cooperative, logical, objective, analytical and diplomatic.
  • Gen Y’s frequently come across as “I” style with some “D” where are aspire to be enterprising while having fun along the way. Their DISC strengths can be summarized as: Optimistic, fun, sociable, popular, innovative, goal focused and energetic.

The interesting part comes when we start to look at the dynamic between the generational styles.

Let’s examine the scenario whereby there is a boomer managing a Gen Y. A typical conflict that sometimes arises here is when the boomer manager is expecting a very hard work ethic and the Gen Y is constantly looking for ways to make their job interesting and fun.  The boomer can get frustrated as they expect hard work and results with certain disciplinary behaviour which tends to be rule-bound. Whilst in one respect this seems perfectly justified from the boomer, the Gen Y feels constrained and this is when things can start to get out of hand.

One approach that considers both perspectives could be: “How can we achieve the results in a fun way?” Ultimately, the boomer manager is looking for results, so they may be best to support the Gen Y worker by linking their natural talents and strengths to an improved business outcome.

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