All of us work with people from different generations at one point or another. People come in all different shapes, sizes, ages, religious dominations, cultures, and values… You name it. We are all different in one way or another. It is important to learn how to work well with others, no matter what the people you’re working with are like. I’ve come up with a few of the most important aspects when it comes to creating a peaceful work environment for people from any generation.
This is number one on my list. Why? It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, how inexperienced or professional you are. If you don’t know how to respect those around you, you will never be truly successful. Not in life or at work. Teach your employees to respect each other. Teach them to not only be co-workers, but to work as a team. If any part of a company is failing, the rest of the company suffers.
Teach your employees to not only respect one another, but to also show respect to your customers. Have you ever called a customer service center and been treated like dirt? It’s awful, and completely unprofessional. Treat your customers as a valuable part of your company. Let’s be honest, without customers you wouldn’t have a company, would you?
Here is a great article on life governing principles.
All input is valuable.
Some people assume that their opinion is the only opinion that matters. Doesn’t that drive you nuts? Everyone has different ideas and different opinions. Valuing those differences increases your ability to sell. Some companies have only one target market and age. If your company isn’t one of them, your market can be expansive in ideology, interests, and preferences. That’s why the ideas from both the young and old hold value. If you’re having a hard time with a prospect in a different generation from your own, a member of that generation on your team could help you understand why. Take the time to learn about those people on your team who think differently.
Here’s another great article on transforming relationships through coaching.
Create opportunities for teamwork.
Remember those group projects in college that we all hated? You quickly learned who the go-getters were and who the slackers were. For successful group projects in a professional setting everyone had to come together. This isn’t just about go-getters vs. slackers either. Every perspective brings value to the project. When you consider everything in open dialogue you’re more likely to arrive at the best methods for the situation. It’s important to learn how to work cohesively, to put in your opinion and to take time to understand the other opinions at the table (bending when other ideas improve upon your own). If you don’t like to work with people, be prepared to be un-employed. Working well with others is a skill and attribute that will become invaluable in every aspect of your life, both personal and professional. The earlier you learn how to work with a team, the better off you’ll be.
To understand the culture of a direct sales company, here’s a wonderful article.
When it comes to training, you’ll quickly realize that no two people are the same. That means we all learn differently and react differently to different situations. Some people like that pushy sales guy, others like a more gentle approach. When training your employees, you need to realize that each person and age group has been taught to do things differently. As you learn more about teaching different types of learners, your leadership abilities will grow.
Some people are more focused on creating an emotional connection with their peers and clients, while others are more focused on getting as much done as quickly as possible without the frills and gimmicks. Instead of focusing on methods, instill goals in your team. There are many valuable techniques that can be used to achieve the same goal.
Above all, keep in mind that no two generations are the same and that each generation brings valuable information, skills, and knowledge to the table. Appreciate, respect, and develop an understanding of these differences and teach those around you to do the same.