If you are in the position of managing a Gen X-er, you will likely be dealing with someone who is extremely independent and likes structure. Gen X-ers are inherently skeptical and self-reliant, so they really need a manager who can be sensitive to that fact, but also provide enough input to get the job done. Here’s what you need to keep in mind when you’re managing a Gen X-er.
Provide Detailed Feedback
Gen X-ers are extremely detail-oriented because they only focus on one task at once. If you want to effectively leverage your relationship with a Gen X-er for the good of your company, you will need to provide detailed feedback whenever possible. This will help the Gen X-er realize what he or she did wrong/right so it can be applied to the next task-at-hand. However, it’s important that the feedback is given after the task or project’s completion so that they don’t feel as if they’re being micro-managed.
Gen X-ers hate being micro-managed. If there is a task that you need to have completed, give the Gen X-er a broad overview of what you need to be done, and when. Don’t ask milestones of them, and don’t check in with them. They will get the task done by the time you need it done, but any other form of communication could annoy them and actually deter them from doing their best work.
Gen X-ers prefer to find their own solutions to problems. Give them the autonomy to work by themselves or from home if that’s what they prefer. Gen X-ers don’t love working in group environments, because they find it an unnecessary distraction from getting the current task-at-hand completed. It’s also appreciated if you can let them come to solutions in whatever means they find necessary, even if it’s one that you wouldn’t have ever originally thought to implement.
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