The 50-something Project Manager

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Categories: Generational PM

Nowadays, many of the seasoned project management professionals across the world are part of the baby boomer generation, a term often used for those born between mid-1940s and the mid-1960s. I'd like to talk about their contribution to the project management profession.

As a member of this generation, I can attest that baby boomers are competitive by nature. We are confident, independent and self-reliant. Although respectful of authority and hierarchy, baby boomers think that rules can be changed. Thus, don't be surprised if during a project meeting baby boomers argue about the project issues.

While leading a multigenerational team, baby boomer project managers will face conflicts due to the diversity of generational values. Addressing conflict in a multigenerational team will require for the project manager to master a multigenerational mindset.

That means you must:

•    Understand that beliefs and values are not easy to change. Learn about why other generations behave as they do.

•    Put yourself in someone else's shoes to get a better perspective on what motivates the multigenerational team.

•    Work with the generational differences rather against them. Establish an on-going and candid communication environment that fosters dialog among the team members.

Regardless of your generation, your purpose as a project manager is to lead and inspire your project team while leveraging the divergent point of views of your team members.
As a baby boomer project manager, how do you deal with generational differences in your project team? Are you doing something to master your multigenerational mindset?

See more posts about multigenerational teams.

Posted by Conrado Morlan on: September 22, 2011 11:41 AM | Permalink

Comments (1)

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Companies must be welcoming to an aging workforce:

Just as Boomers need to make changes in order to fit into organizations that may very well be led by, and staffed with, workers younger than themselves, company leaders need to set a tone that is welcoming and tolerant of an aging workforce.

Age bias can be subtle or overt, but either way, it violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which protects individuals age 40 or above, with very few exceptions.

This means workers, regardless of their age, must be offered opportunities to advance, to access training, to transfer to desired positions, to be rewarded for their performances, and to receive feedback and coaching.

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