There is always a changing of the guard in the workplace. Older workers leave. The younger ones take over.
When the older ones leave they take knowledge with them. The younger ones don’t care because they think the older ones had been doing it all wrong. This is not unique to any one generation. As a during every changing of the guard.
However, there is a generational transition occurring that cannot be ignored. Older workers are staying on longer, often in roles where they are no longer leading reporting to those younger than them.
The messages passed on that they have nothing to offer the person who’s leading. Nothing could be further from the truth however they were never taught how to pass on those experiences in ways that could be heard.
Every generation believes that circumstances are unique. Few are, at least in the workplace.
We all know that stories are ways of passing on information effectively and interviews. Situation or task, action, result is a common framework for sharing information with an interviewer. Another one is situation, objective, action, result.
If older workers are sincere about wanting to pass on the information and not just complain and grumble, you need to communicate in ways where you will be heard but have no expectation that your ideas will be followed. After all, few of you listen to those who proceeded you see you know the hazard of expectations.
Maybe it’s time for you to share some stories from your past. Don’t tell them in ways where you expect people to listen to you “basking in your magnificence,” or listen for long periods. They won’t anymore than you would have listened during an interview that you are conducting.
When asked, share and shut up. Wait for follow-up questions and, if there are none, you are done talking.
You may be the teacher but the student isn’t ready. When they are, they will return. In the meantime, be great and wait.
Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2020
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1900 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.
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