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Blog - Ditch the generational stereotypes and get to know the individual

Ditch the generational stereotypes and get to know the individual

Posted by Stella Chandler 20/12/16

FP Website Image 3The article on age and generational differences in December People Management was a breath of fresh air. Surely stereotyping vast swathes of the population according to age is at best unhelpful and at worst excluding.



Organisations should be supporting their managers to get to know their people as individuals, not basing decisions on which generational group they happen to fall into.

3 ways to get to know your people as individuals:

  1. Hold regular one to ones – use this dedicated time to create open, two way discussions, so you start to build up a picture of what is important to an individual.
  2. Make discussions ongoing and review them regularly. People’s goals, expectations, needs and priorities change over time and with external circumstances. Don’t assume anything. Check in with them and ask.
  3. Use a self awareness tool to help you and each team member understand the value they and others bring - Belbin Team Roles for example is a great one to show the different contributions people make to a team. Myers Briggs will help understand the way someone views and approaches decision making, communication and relationships.  

Understanding what is important to someone will allow you to flex both your management style and communication with them and the support they may benefit from. This is far more likely to lead to a happy, motivated team member, rather than applying a blanket policy or benefit which doesn’t support them and their individual circumstances, no matter how well meaning.

For more information on the assessment tools we can provide to help you understand individuals more, see our solutions page or see the 4 key steps we use to help you build an inclusive workplace.

Stella Chandler
Stella Chandler

I thrive on seeing people do things they didn’t think they could do! I draw on my management and leadership experience from working in senior positions in the Metropolitan Police Service, running Focal Point since 2002 and working across all three sectors in the widest variety of environments. Because we rarely learn things first time, we believe it is vital to provide support before, during and after the events we run, in order to get the best from them. Time and time again people have told us how the chance to review their learning and to have their actions reinforced has really helped cement new ways of doing things. This is what has then made the difference that they and we are looking for. I am a fellow of the CIPD and when I am not working with clients I can be seen on the golf courses of Hampshire.

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