Diversity Woman Magazine

FALL 2016

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

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Upfront > 10 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N Fa l l 2 0 1 6 d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m THINKSTOCKPHOTOS Dear DW, Do you have any tips for working with a younger boss? Signed, Confused Baby Boomer The Younger Boss Conquering Your Goals Dear Confused Baby Boomer, at's a question lots of people are asking! It's not just baby boom- ers working for Millennials—the older you get, the more likely it is that you'll be asked to report to someone younger. When it happens for the first time, you may find yourself feel- ing defensive, anxious, jealous, or some combination. But, says career coach Phyllis Mufson, who's based in Sarasota, Florida, "It's up to you to get your head on straight." at means figuring out why you're uncomfortable and what you can do about it. If you think you should be the supervisor instead, maybe the new situa- tion is a wake-up call to get some training so you can move forward, says Mufson. If you're worried your younger boss doesn't have the experience to manage you effectively, you may need to spend extra effort communicating what you need from him or her. One key to working well despite any awkwardness is mutual respect. "Part of your job is to sup- port your boss," Mufson says. It's also a good idea to try to find points of connection. "It's natural that if somebody is a whole generation younger than you, your social reference points are going to be different," Mufson says. In casual conversations, look for things to talk about that aren't specific to your generation. Making these mental shifts may take some time. For some help along the way, find a trusted colleague you can talk with as you forge the new relationship. D o you have goals you've thought about for years but don't seem to be getting any closer to? These tips, based on research by psychology professor Gail Matthews of Dominican University of California, may help. 1 Write your goals down. Getting the goals out of your head and onto a piece of paper (or a computer screen) is often the first step toward making them more real. 2 Tell someone your goals. Making a pub- lic commitment to your intentions—even if it's just telling one person—strengthens your resolve and ability to reach your objectives. 3 Break goals into achievable actions. If your aim is to buy a house, for instance, start by breaking it down into steps like "decide what I can afford," "get prequalified for a loan," and "research three neighborhoods." As you cross off each step, you'll feel more confident, and that builds momentum. 4 Report your progress. Find an account- ability partner, perhaps one of the people you've told about your goals. The role of this person (sometimes called an accountability buddy) is to receive regular updates from you about what you've done to move toward your goals. The Office Shortcuts

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