Working With The Generations
For the first time in history there are four generations
in the workforce. Although this is an exciting time, it is not
without challenges. Working with the generations requires patience
and understanding. Each generation brings a new perspective,
but we need to learn to value the new ideas and embrace the
change that each new generation brings.
Ten years ago, when I started teaching classes
at the local university, I was typically ten years younger than
the majority of the students. Now I am at least ten years older
than most students. And many of my students are in their early
to mid twenties. This diversity in the generations is not without
challenge. I can't expect to teach all of the students in the
same way. I have to be flexible and open to new ways of getting
my message across. The same is true anywhere you have a blend
of the generations. All bring a unique perspective and different
ways of relating to their environment.
All of my students at the university have to present
a report on the challenges and benefits of working with the
generations. Most of the students believe that their generation
is the best. It is human nature to believe that the generation
we are part of is the best. The truth is they all add value.
The trick is to be open to the new ideas and changes that each
The four generations; The Matures, born prior
to 1946, the Baby Boomers, born between 1946 through 1964, Generation
X, born between 1965 through 1980 and the Millennials, born
1981 through 1994, all bring different perspectives on life
and work with them. The Matures are dedicated to a job once
they take it, the boomers live to work, Generation X work to
live, and the Millennials live in the moment. All have great
ideas to bring to the workforce and all can benefit the organization;
but we have to learn to value the differences and not get caught
up in thinking our generation's way is the best way.
I believe the biggest problem with working with
the generations is understanding them. It is easy to stereotype
a generation if you haven't taken the time to learn about them.
The more you know about a generation, the more you can appreciate
them and value their contribution. Reading about the various
generations is a great start. The best research of all, though,
is to talk to people of various generations, ask questions,
Coach Rachelle Disbennett-Lee, PhD provides daily motivation,
information and inspiration to thousands of busy self development
enthusiast who want to stay focused and on track to their goals
through her award winning e-zine 365 Days of Coaching. For a
free report, "The Power of Daily Action - How to create
more Wealth, Health and Happiness by Tapping Into the Power
of Daily Action" go to http://www.365daysofcoaching.com/daily_action.htm.
2004 True Direction, Inc.