Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Proud Baby Boomer, Baby!

At work today, I attended an in-service about communication across generations.  There are 4 generations in the workplace and we don't always share a common set of values and beliefs!  It's not that one generation is more right or wrong - but it's important to be aware of differences. 

As a leader, you can't necessarily cut a deal with some (e.g., tie or no tie?  what's a tie?) while ignoring others.  Whenever there is conflict, there's a choice to fight or adapt.  As a leader, you are called to use the strengths that each generation brings to the workplace so you can get to that happy place called success, or at least calm.  Leading, rather than ignoring or fixing, is the key to a happy workplace.  Of course it really comes down to that common goal of good communication, because through that, we have a fighting chance to increase our understanding of others and, with some luck, create an atmosphere that fosters a culture supportive of individuals and their strengths.

Traditionalists (b. 1901-1943):  WORK COMES FIRST.  Want to do their duty, work hard to meet their obligations.

Boomers (b. 1944-1964):  LIVE TO WORK.  Are adventurist, seek fulfillment through work, idealistic and optimistic.

Gen X (b. 1965-1981):  WORK TO LIVE.  Look for a challenge and an ability to achieve, no-nonsense.

Gen Y/Millenials (b. 1982-2000):  LIVE, THEN WORK.  Seek a means to an end, they want to work with other bright people on things that are personally meaningful.

Gen Z (b. 2001-present):  Thrive on acceleration, independent, their life is an open book.

This video is entertaining:

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