Nowadays, it is common to see many workplaces with a large number of younger workers. Senior workers like myself are now dwindling in number and this rate drops every day. As a result, it is prompting companies to consider putting their younger employees into these positions.
There are some positivity in having younger leaders into the positions left by these senior workers. Oftentimes, these positions are key leadership positions.
Younger leaders may breathe crisp fresh perspective into looking at operation flow and can implement new processes to make things more productive or to increase profits. They will not be burdened by traditional methods and will take bolder risks in making decisions.
If you are a young leader, you probably will faced certain obstacles like acceptance among your older coworkers, trust that you are capable in your role and respect that you are able to lead.
If you want to prove to your co-workers and your company that you can handle the responsibility, here are some tips to help you gain respect:
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up
When you get promoted, do not rejoice just yet. Don’t immediately think that you can now press your ideas to your co-workers even if you have ideas that work best but don’t be afraid to speak about your ideas and thoughts about your projects if you see that it needs improvement.
This will help others see that you are ready to listen to everyone’s opinion and even make a difference on how the team works.
Whether you work under a group of shareholders or upper management, you need to be able to express your thoughts articulately and bringing forth your points clearly.
2. Prove Your Worth
When young leaders are placed into senior roles, many colleagues may be in doubt if they are capable of handling the job. Many would say that these leaders do not have the experience necessary for it.
In this case, make a goal for yourself and share it with everyone. This will help break the ice between the team and help one another reach these goals.
Besides having a common goal, you need to practice what you preach. Don’t go around marking your staff for being late to work when you strut in after 9am.
3. Show that You Care
If you want to earn someone’s respect, you have to show that you trust them and you care for their well-being.
Show that you care about them getting a promotion or succeeding in their tasks with flying colours. Let them know that your door is open in case they need help, or just be there when they do need someone to speak to.
And when they do come to you, don’t brush them off or be patronising just because you are rushing a deadline or have more important things to occupy yourself with.
Your team members are the most important to you because without them, there will be no leader aka YOU.
4. Don’t Do Everything
When there is a project presented to your team, do not jump to say yes. While saying yes would give you and your team some needed attention, it can also disable you from finishing your other duties.
Take one thing at a time and research if your team can handle the task. If the project can help your team learn new things, take it. If your team doesn’t have the time to do the project, be graceful and decline. The best way to go about this is to discuss in-depth with your team members before accepting any major projects.
Your team will thank you for it, especially if they have a lot of things in their plate.
5. Speak to your employees
Take some time to get to know the people working for you. This will help your employees know that you are ready to listen to them and that you care for their well-being.
It will also let them know that you are open for feedback and discussion in case they have ideas. You can also use your meetings with your team as a way to determine which employee is not working well.
6. Ask Advice
Sometimes, you cannot answer all the questions that come your way. If you do not know something or find something confusing, ask your company’s senior staff to help you out.
You can also reach out to your network of business colleagues and former bosses for advice. Asking them for advice can go a long way in building your style as an effective leader.
Sometimes, your team members can provide valuable insights as well. Especially if they are working on the ground level or frontline, they are your eyes and ears – a gateway to customers’ feedback.
7. Be Humble
Stay humble and put everyone’s goals forward ahead of your development. A true leader will always put others in front of them, never hog the spotlight, generously share knowledge, guide others with sincerity and inspire others everyday.
Trust works both ways.
If you never delegate tasks out and hog on the tasks to yourself, nobody in your team will learn new things and gain new knowledge. More importantly, if you are still micromanaging your team, you will never see the bigger picture and help your team to grow.
As a young leader, you will be faced with a lot of challenges. Some of these challenges may come from the people who work for you. If you want to get them to cooperate with you, always look into helping your employees succeed. Reach out to them and show that you are the right person for the job with your actions. Eventually, they will stop their complaining and support you.
Remember: Respect and trust are to be earned and not given on a silver platter just because of your promotion as a leader.
Best things in life are meant to be shared, start spreading MiddleMe around, after all, sharing is caring.