As a millennial, whether you hope to be promoted to be management or already have the job, a new business card and title are reasons to celebrate.

Surely you want to get off to a good start and keep up the productive momentum.

But it can be tough to manage baby boomers. Not because they’re difficult workers.

Your learning has just begun. Remember a lot of baby boomers know they have more experience than you; perhaps even in management. Maybe even in your job.

Managing employees much older than you requires earning respect, and getting strong results and performances.

This necessitates learning and using the best management techniques. That includes using EI – emotional intelligence.

EI is important for communication and leadership. A person who has EI is able to evaluate, understand, and control emotions.

You must use six tactics:

1. Listen with empathy

For a seasoned worker, there’s nothing more annoying than to work for a know-it-all millennial manager. Show respect.

Know how and when to listen and understand how to communicate with people twice your age. That doesn’t mean being a milquetoast or being cowardly. It means being assertive, not aggressive.

For example, don’t be surprised if an older worker interrupts you and says: “That’s not how we’ve always done it.” True, that’s an irritating statement.

However, being assertive means you respond – not react. Respond with something like, “I understand how you feel.”

Listen, acknowledge the person’s feelings, but respectfully state what you want done without micromanaging.

On the other hand, by not reacting in a knee-jerk fashion to a problem, you’ve bought some time you might need. Think about what you’re about to say or do.

It’s entirely possible the person has already dealt successfully with the problem. Consider the possibility that the person has valuable know-how and experience before you respond.

Finally, solicit ideas and feedback. You’ll be perceived as intelligent and open-minded.

2. Evaluate and fine-tune your approach

You’re different. As a product of the digital revolution, you’re accustomed to instant communication with fast answers.

Compared to older workers, you want to be totally involved. They are accustomed to being told their tasks and they go about their work. They also know the value of slower motion.

Savvy baby boomers don’t use slang or what they consider crude speaking. They don’t appreciate immature speaking habits. Before you speak, know what you need to say respectfully in clear, complete sentences.

Baby boomers want staff meetings that address principles and concepts – not minutiae or drowning or being smothered by weeds. Keep your meetings short and to-the-point, and allow time for concerns or questions.

Remember whatever you know, you have a limited experience in communication.

3. Don’t take anything for granted

Your skill sets as a young employee needed to be upgraded if you’re to be a successful manager.

Firstly, consider your experience when you were managed by previous bosses. Some were good. Some were bad. Emulate the styles of your good bosses.

Secondly, read good management books. If your company underwrites management training programs, capitalize on them.

In other words, do your homework. Don’t assume you’ve arrived. Keep learning.

Managing employees much older than you requires earning respect, and getting strong results and performances.

4. Solicit a mentor

Look for an inspiring person who has achieved what you want – management success.

There are two sources of mentors:

— It’s best to choose someone outside your organization who is knowledgeable and whom you can trust to keep your conversations confidential. Ask around, read the news, join associations, check your college alumni association and do volunteer work.

As the Buddhist Proverb goes, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

— On the other hand, seek the guidance of someone in your company until you find the person with the broadest experience on the outside.

Be prepared to reciprocate. Sometimes a mentor will need help perhaps in social media or technology. But be delicate in your offer to help. A mentor often doesn’t expect anything in return.

5. Build a team

Walk the floor twice a day. Approach each employee. Ask questions about their hobbies or weekends.

Solicit information that will help the organization. Listen to what matters to them whether its professional or personal.

Spend time with your employees outside work, such as encourage the starting of a softball game or league, schedule picnics and lunches. Your options are many – whatever works for enhancing your team’s culture.

For camaraderie, treat each employee as a person – not a number.

6. Don’t forget your boss

For maximum trust, regularly communicate with your boss.  If you’re like many young professionals, the concept of managing the boss might seem strange.

It’s really about maximum communication and earning a deserved reputation of being a strong performer.

Actually, successful management of the boss is beneficial in multiple ways. In a direct sense, you’ll get in a position to perform better.

Indirectly, it will foster better teamwork and it will become more plausible for the company to maximize its performance.

To enhance your career development, you need to learn how to manage your boss.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related management tips:

Human Resources: 4 Reasons Why New Managers Fail — Best practices guarantee success for new managers. Not to over-simplify, but there are often four reasons why new managers are unsuccessful – ineffective communication, failure to develop trusting relationships, weak results, and a failure to delegate. As a new manager or small business owner you’ll quickly learn that labor costs will amount to 50 percent or more of your expenses.

Management: How Office Sports Pools Risk Legal Snake Pits — Office sports pools can be fun and bring smiles to your company’s team members. However, such pools don’t always boost office morale. There are five ways they can also lead you into legal snake pits.

Management — 4 Mindsets for Leadership in Performance Reviews — Are you nervous at the thought of giving employee-performance reviews? You’re not alone. Your employees aren’t exactly thrilled, either. Typically, employees aren’t convinced they can get valid feedback. If they’ve experienced poor managers, they likely dread the performance-review process or are skeptical of the outcome.

HR Management – 8 Best Practices in Employee Delegation — Avoid frustration in delegation. Save yourself time and develop your staff for the welfare of your organization. Delegation is a fundamental driver of organizational growth. Managers who are effective in delegation show leadership. They know they’ll be more effective in management and that they’ll develop their employees.

13 Management Tips to Solve Employee Absenteeism — Absenteeism causes migraines for a lot of bosses. Obviously, your company will make healthier profits, if you don’t have an absenteeism problem.

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

-Theodore Roosevelt


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.