We began this short series with basic intergenerational tips, followed by insights and suggestions for working with Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y. Following are some potentially “not-so-easy” suggestions that, when practiced, will help close the generational gap and make for a more cooperative and pleasant working environment:
- When you get frustrated, remember: “It is not that people are right or wrong, but that their opinions and ways of doing things are just “different.” It is so much easier to work together more effectively when we remember that.
- No matter our age, we have common, day-to-day experiences where everyone has valuable information to share. Listen and learn whatever you can on technology, processes others have found successful, or how to take legitimate shortcuts that bring the same results as an older method does.
- Have an open mind about mentoring others and being mentored. This may require dealing with some pride issues first as we often don’t like someone else telling us something new, particularly if they are younger.
- Work it out: have group get-togethers where issues are listed on a white board or flip chart. Brainstorm ways to help address these issues and get commitments from the group to work through them cooperatively.
- Most importantly, observe others with an open mind. See them as human beings rather than human “doings.” Communicate with the attitude that you really do “want” to work together with mutual respect and cooperation. Like I said, this may take work on the pride and fear that can creep in.
- Make a commitment to START or STOP one thing that will improve your relationship with individuals from other generations. An example is having a more “service” mentality with your staff in communicating, guiding and encouraging them. Let your motivating, positive manner become contagious. See it spread throughout your organization!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rita Rocker is a national inspirational and educational speaker, communications and image specialist, and a career and virtual presentations coach with Transformation Academy, LLC. She is the author of “A Guide to Marketing Yourself for Success”, and a contributing author to “The Unstoppable Woman’s Guide to Emotional Well Being -The Total Woman in Leadership and Success Guide for the Unstoppable Entrepreneur.” She has appeared on national television and radio talk shows on self-esteem and communication. A former Mrs. Nebraska and active in numerous professional organizations, Rita is on the Board of the Small Business Association of the Midlands and co-director of greater Omaha’s Affiliated Women International. Rita provides life and career-transforming programs to mature teens and adults. Contact Rita at firstname.lastname@example.org.