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How To Successfully Manage Someone Older Than You

Source | | Ashley Stahl

I held my first high-power position at the age of 23, so questions from colleagues about my age undoubtedly came up. As a millennial managing a team much older than me at the Pentagon, I may have stood out a bit, but I never doubted my worth, and the experience I gained was invaluable. One key lesson I took away that I now share with my career coaching clients is this: Never allow others’ perceptions of age dilute the value of the life-long hours you have devoted to your gift, your skill, and your leadership. You got to where you are for a reason. You are ready.

Getting managed by someone younger can be a touchy subject for some. So how do you successfully manage someone older than you? It comes down to a few critical behaviors.

Set aside your ego. You’re not there for people to like you or be your bff. In fact, it may take some time for your team to warm up to you at all. (Well not necessarily you, but the idea of reporting into someone younger.) One way to grow the relationship is by setting aside your ego and brushing up on your listening skills.

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