The strongest and most successful Chama of this age are the ones that promote diversity. People from diverse age groups who work together will help to build a stronger Chama that has more innovative and creative ideas and results.
However, diversity often can come with costs and challenges. One of the most common challenges to groups these days is ‘Age Diversity’.
It is highly essential for the team to find effective ways to meet the challenges of Age Diversity because both the ‘Senior Stars’ and the ‘Young Gems’ can make tremendous contributions to the Chama , in their own unique way.
If managed smartly, Age Diversity can lift Chama’s’ to new levels, achieve more goals and be more successful.
Here are simple ways to help manage Age Diversity in a Chama.
The most amazing thing that any group can possibly do is to help facilitate stronger networks of communication.
Often, what becomes painful and frustrating for members is the difficulty faced in communicating their message to their colleagues. Different generations can have different communication styles and norms.
This can easily result in grudges and resentment which can translate into bitter conversational tones and filthy group-politics.
Although standardization and formalization are important constituents for groups – too much of these can bring negative consequences. Therefore, members must be allowed to easily communicate.
The Chama which adopts ways to create opportunities for their members to bond and socialize reduce the problem of Age Diversity to a great extent.
By planning and implementing fun hangouts, leisure activities, official dine-outs, lunches and so on, can construct a friendly and enjoyable group cohesion environment.
This also provides members with an excellent chance to get to know each other and potentially clear-up a lot of small misunderstandings. And who knows, they may end up discovering amazing things about each other and becoming best buddies despite the age difference.
Traditional Chain of Command is often viewed negatively by members, especially by members that are lower on the hierarchy. So, the best way to deal with the ‘Being-Ruled-By’ or ‘Placing-Orders-Like-We-Are-Servants’ feelings is to run the Chama like a team of employees from diverse age groups and make their performances dependent on one-another.
Expectations should be clearly communicated so that the team understands what the goal of working together is and that they are expected to provide output through mutual efforts. Allow opportunities for teams to try new things. Praise efforts and team results but also allow for mistakes to happen. Lessons learned from mistakes are valuable learning tools.
Despite a leader’s best effort to create a collaborative group environment, conflicts can and often do arise. Leaders need to be able to address them quickly and effectively so that they do not spin out of control.
Leaders who can get to the heart of an issue and work with their group members to teach them how resolve conflict themselves help to create healthy group environments. Appreciating differences and working towards a common goal helps to focus on solutions.
Celebrate small and large achievements in the team.
This helps members to feel appreciated and valued. It does not have to cost anything for a group to recognize the contributions that their members make. A simple ‘Thank-You’, email or announcement can go a long way to help boost the morale across all generations.
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