The world is filled with advice and tips and secret recipes on “how to manage millennials” or other cohorts representing the younger generations.
Given my work with leader development, I often get asked the same question by leaders who are often told that they need to find a way to “manage the younger generation”.
And then I find tomes written about how they need feedback, they need challenges, they need clarity about their careers, they need purpose and a whole host of other things. Really? I needed all of that too. In fact, most of us could do with some of that.
I really find the very framing of this so call “subject” flawed. In fact I find it some what judgmental and even unempathetic.
In all these years, I have never ever encountered anyone ask me, “how do I manage myself better so that I stand a better chance of relating with eh younger generation?” I wish more and more ask that question. Because, that is the right question.
That is indeed the real problem. The reality is that everyone from every generation holds a set of personal truths that give them an anchor and way of approaching life. Those from one generation may not subscribe to the personal truths of the other generation. That does not mean they need managing.
In fact, the same leaders who struggle with “managing the younger generation” at work, have difficulties in preserving and nourishing their relationship with their children at home – managing them so to speak.
Our positions and roles do not give us the right to manage. It places us in a position of responsibility to manage ourselves better so that we are able to understand and empathize with people from different generations and through that be able to have good conversations and build and nurture better relationships.
We can manage ourselves so that relationships flourish.