How do you order around a subordinate who is older than you?

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If you are the boss, everything you say is followed by your subordinates. You could order them around if needed. You could tell them to do this and that. However, what if you have a subordinate who is much older than you? How do you order him or her around? Do you order him in the form of a command or a request?
 

selfmade

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I have been in this position before and I didn't treat older or younger people any different. Management's goal should be to make the workplace run smoothly by delegating the work wisely. That means figuring out who is good at a task and then letting them run with it. No one likes to be lorded over. A good manager treats their employees as valued members of the team. Think back to the best managers you ever had. I bet they were friendly but firm and decisive with all the workers so that no favoritism could be seen in their delegation. At least, those were the attributes of my favorite managers. I tried to emulate them when I supervised people.
 

arupmi

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I guess we need to be clear - the general style of leadership conveyed by the phrase "ordering around" isn't something any employee looks forward to. For example, even if your subordinate is younger, you should still be professional in your manner of providing instructions to him or her. If you start being too pushy and ordering them around, you will gradually lose their respect. This applies no matter what their age.

As long as you are polite in placing your requests, any professional employee will accept you in your proper role. I've been in this situation myself. I've had at least two project managers who were junior in age to me. I never had any trouble reporting to them. I never felt threatened or inferior. Needless to say, they were very nice people to work with. So I guess the golden rule is to treat everyone with respect, and all such issues will be prevented.
 

Seville009

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You don't order them around. When I was in a management position before, I had the most successful team in the company. The reason is because I didn't treat them like children. Everyone knew what their job was from the start of their employment. They also knew that if they weren't doing their job then they forfeited it to a new hire. I didn't have to give orders, I let them decide whether or not they wanted to work. Now as far as specific instructions goes, I would just tell them what needed to be done and they themselves would step up to tackle the task. I should mention also that those who did an awesome job got regular rewards for their hard work. A raise was not a rare thing at the place I managed unless things had gotten stagnant and I didn't need a new hire for a long time.
 

Abby

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Immediately i sighted the words "order around" in that question, i knew where the problem is. From those words, the challenge really is not with the age of the subordinate, but with the attitude of the boss. I think the first and most important thing to do is to change your way of thinking. Stop thinking like a boss, instead think more like a leader who's responsibility is to guide. When you give instructions, see it more like you are directing, motivating, leading, as the functions of a manager, helping your team, both young and old, to move towards the achievement of a common goal. Just give instructions on what should be done in a simple, clear language, and in a warm manner, and that settles it.
 

pokladnicka

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Hi,

I would say this: «Justice is blind». Therefore, no matter gender, condition or age. Justice is the same for everyone, so authority is the same for everyone when legitimated by whoever needs to legitimate it.

The same way you treat the young, the same way you treat the older. Although paying attention to their personal characteristics and circumstances.

Best regards,
 

convert411

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If you are the boss, everything you say is followed by your subordinates. You could order them around if needed. You could tell them to do this and that. However, what if you have a subordinate who is much older than you? How do you order him or her around? Do you order him in the form of a command or a request?
I think all the posts have done a good job covering the part of ordering them around but I think there is also a whole other aspect of "value." As the manager, your job is to make everyone better at their jobs. If you look at it as more of a mentor where you give them more value than you take from them, that is the true sign of a great manager. So if everyday you ask yourself, how can I help them become better at their job and to help them advance in their career you will be amazed at the unexpected benefits that will come to you.
 

Olga Kostrova

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My question is "why would you need to order someone around"? Age doesn't matter, really... professional requirements are ones and for all.
But I invite to consider true leadership instead of "ordering around" - engagement in the culture and company mission and goals. People will follow a leader that empowers them, they will go a long way, and don't need to be ordered around... the latest leads to loss of initiative and high turnaround...