Developing the full potential of younger members of your workforce requires a careful balance of influence skills. Even where huge pools of personal talent exist it takes careful management to fully realise this.
The gap in age and experience can make it more difficult to fully understand the other person. It's easy to make assumptions about motivations based on our own experiences and it's easy to forget what truly mattered to us, and what we were scared of, at that stage in our lives.
Age and experience can also impact on communication as expectations of deference and authority may act as barriers to effective communication. A natural tendency when trying to influence those younger than us can be to use authority as a blunt instrument to influence the younger person.
This misses out on so many better ways of influencing these key people in our organisations. Showing them examples of where other people have realised their talent and helping them realise how scarce their talent is, and therefore how lucky they are to have it. This can be a much more potent method of developing that talent and helping it mature.
Most organisations seem to have mixed results in doing this but there is much that can be learnt from sport where influencing younger talent in the right direction is a basic requirement.
So it's good to see teams like Wasps achieve this while keeping a culture that allows individuals to remain individual.
Congratulations to Thomas Young today on his call up to the Welsh squad for their summer tour.
Thomas Young is the most modest, unassuming man you could meet, and looked almost embarrassed about the plaudits coming his way. “I haven’t scored for a while,” he started, then “maybe I last scored a hat-trick as an under eight.” After a typically all-action effort, featuring plenty of hard graft as well as carries and support play in a loose game ideally suited to his roaming style, Young junior was at least sure of one thing...when Wales’ summer squad is announced.