Getting promoted in your job and becoming a boss is never easy, but it becomes even more challenging if you’re a young boss and your subordinates are significantly older than you. It often takes a lot of effort for young bosses to truly become leaders and gain authority among the older generation of employees. However, it’s not impossible – here are a few tips you can use to improve your leadership skills.
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Build personal relationships
Getting to know your employees on a personal level is an excellent strategy for establishing your leadership and a quality of a good leader. When you become closer to your subordinates, you can not only gain new friendships or built a new, healthy and warm atmosphere within your department, but also become a valuable part of their lives. You can get as close to them as you want: no one says you have to take them out to dinner or visit them at home, but if you eventually gain that level of trust, it’s going to be great for your position at the company.
Don’t be too demanding
Your subordinates may already have the negative experience of having a boss who was too demanding and authoritative, which is why they may take even more time to warm up to you. That is why it’s not recommended to start giving out commands already on your first day in the new position. Remember that respect and trust take time to be earned, and demanding behaviour won’t speed up this process. It doesn’t mean that you need to be too mild and not demand and productivity and finesse from your employees at all, but everything is better in moderation.
Welcome their feedback
It’s impossible to become a good boss without knowing what you’re doing right and what can be improved, and there is no way to learn this without the feedback from your subordinates. Encourage your team to give you their opinion and suggestions – they can give it to you privately or during a team meeting. Ask for their opinion on everything, from the way you manage the work to other work issues, since you don’t want to come across as a person who thinks he knows it all.
Give them a transition period
One of the biggest mistakes a newly appointed young boss can make is changing every aspect of work immediately. People have been doing the job in the same way for years, which is why abrupt changes can become a shock to them and can negatively influence your authority as a leader. Instead you should introduce one change at a time, giving your older colleagues a chance to accept and come to terms with the changes, so that even if they don’t think the changes are for the best, they will still give them and you a chance.