GENERATIONS working together

GENERATIONS working together

The 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, was assassinated in November of 1963, The Beatles appeared live on stage (in front of 250 screaming teenagers) on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 and the USA Olympic Hockey Team won a Gold Medal at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics. When I ask my colleagues if they remember or saw any videos related to any of these significant events, they quickly respond back to me by saying, “I was minus 25, minus 22 or minus 6 when that happened.” I can’t help but chuckle to myself and immediately think about the many cultural differences and diversities between Baby Boomers (me) and the Generation Xers & Millennial (pretty much the rest of the office personnel).So, in an effort to encourage the different generational classes to be able to work together in a harmonious manner, I researched some Generational Gap DO’s & DON’Ts to share with you. With permission from the “Walk the Talk Company,” I was granted approval to duplicate and distribute the below resource information for your review and for hopeful discussion material: The DOs and DON’Ts for Working Effectively with Every Generation: • DO recognize and accept that generational differences naturally influence our ideas, expectations, values, perceptions and behaviors. • DO accept that you can learn from others’ different life experiences, perspectives and approaches – just as others can learn from you. • Be willing to flex your natural style and preferences in order to work more effectively with all of your colleagues. Continually remind yourself that increased cooperation and collaboration result in greater success for EVERYONE. • DO remember that each individual brings something special to the table. Each person represents a piece that must be present in order for your organizational puzzle to be complete. • DO focus on what REALLY matters: PRODUCTIVITY; TEAMWORK; CUSTOMER SERVICE AND MUTUAL SUCCESS!!! • DON’T “Profile” or Stereotype! Avoid judging your colleagues’ capabilities by what they wear, how they approach tasks, or what hours they seem to work. • DON’T ridicule others. Avoid derogatory statements like “dinosaur”, “punk kid”, “bureaucrat,” etc., as these labels are disrespectful, degrading and counterproductive to group cohesion. • DON’T assume that all members of any given generation think and behave exactly the same. While trends and similarities will exist within age groups, members of those groups still are INDIVIDUALS and should be treated as such. • DON’T entertain the arrogant belief that your way is the BEST way and ONLY way. If you catch yourself falling into that trap, then take a moment to reflect on the successes your TEAM has experienced from diverse people and approaches. • DON’T presume that your time, your ideas, your feelings or your individual goals are more important than those of your colleagues. Effective interaction between all generations in the workplace is paramount to a Firm’s success. The assembly and coming together of Baby Boomers, Generation Xers & Yers, will only and truly be effective if there is open communication … with a sincere focus on the common good of the company. Submitted by Gary K. Pino, FMP

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