3 Smart Tips: How to Successfully Work with a Young Boss

young boss

There are so many upsides of working with a young boss – they are technically savvy, excellent multi-taskers and are willing to share knowledge. However, as we all know, these same attributes can also be a challenge.

Communication can easily break down with the fast-paced work load and misunderstandings happen resulting in miscommunications and snafu’s in the workplace. As we progress in our careers, working in a cross generational workforce is inevitable. To leverage these situations and set yourself up for career success in your Prime, follow these three smart tips:

1. Listen without Judgement

In most instances, the young boss is undergoing a significant learning curve. This, combined with the responsibility of supervising a diverse staff with different experience levels is challenging. Listening without judgement helps create a supportive work environment. It can be a challenge to only offer suggestions when asked, but the positive side is learning new tactics to achieve business objectives.

Knowing when to chime in and when to observe is critical to any professional, but as we mature and think we have “seen it all,” keeping quiet can be hard! It takes true maturity and confidence to observe and learn from a younger professional. In the Prime Women article “Returning to the Workforce after 50” we share the importance in being confident and knowing that observing and listening are true signs of security.

2. Body Language Self-Awareness

young bossOk, so you just heard your young boss propose something you have seen fail 100 times…while it is tempting to disagree, even in a nonverbal manner, keep it positive! Negative body language such as eye rolling, crossed arms or frowning are examples of displaying disagreement in a conversation.

These passive-aggressive tendencies break down the open communication needed for productivity. Stay aware of how thoughts are communicated non-verbally. All the wisdom in the world can’t be sold if you are perceived negatively.

3. Build Trust with a Young Boss to Build Partnerships

Trust is an essential part of having your younger supervisor open to your ideas and expertise, ultimately leading to career success.

Building trust starts with positive and open communication. David Perdew, President/Founder of MyNAMS, a company that inspires online social entrepreneurship, states “Integrity is a key ingredient to building relationships. Openness builds trust.” Therefore, we suggest strategically seeking opportunities that demonstrate you have the best interest of the company in mind and don’t feel intimidated by allowing others to shine.

Ultimately, we encourage you to be yourself! Work to understand your manager’s problems and pitch solutions as appropriate; provide your boss with historical and relational information about the organization and industry; and remain confident and positive! After all, having someone in their Prime is a benefit to any smart boss!

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” –John Quincy Adams


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