Just because your younger employee doesn't like showing up to work until 10 a.m. doesn't mean they don't care or can't do a good job. Just because they spend less time working and more time playing doesn't mean things aren't getting done. Just because a younger adult child of your client doesn't respond immediately to your request, or do things exactly as you or their parents want them to, doesn't mean they are shut off from learning how to do the task. Step away from your judgements and look for ways to help complement their weaknesses, rather than just complaining about them.
Define a Goal
If you're working with younger family members as clients, be sure to define the future from their perspective.
Ask questions like: What vision do you have for your own future? What are you concerns? What about your family values and expectations? What current form of communication would you like to see addressed? What would you like to know, but feel uncomfortable to ask?
Whatever it is, sit down and talk. With the younger generation, collaboration is everything. Even when they're not the ones with the final say, they like to be in the loop. Keep them present, and make decisions together about the future.
By sharing your understanding of these generational differences in approach to business, family and money, you will provide an invaluable service to your clients. Consider offering to facilitate a family meeting to help your clients plan and map out a future with their children. The inclusion of their children in these critical conversations will go a long way towards forging a positive, trusting relationship between family members. No doubt, your role in guiding this process can help you maintain the edge on retaining the younger generation as clients.
Dr. Denise Federer is a clinical psychologist, executive coach and founder of Federer Performance Management Group. She has been a consultant to the financial industry for 25 years.