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Presented by: James L. This, Ph.D. The Paragon Consulting Group, LLC Communicating Across the Generations.

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Presentation on theme: "Presented by: James L. This, Ph.D. The Paragon Consulting Group, LLC Communicating Across the Generations."— Presentation transcript:

1 Presented by: James L. This, Ph.D. The Paragon Consulting Group, LLC Communicating Across the Generations

2 2 Objectives Learn more about yourself Learn more about others Be able to adapt for greater appreciation, communication and understanding

3 3 Appreciating Diversity of Contributions

4 4 Deck of Cards Metaphor Think of all the ways we can sort a deck of cards Understanding people better is like that

5 5 Frequently Asked Questions Is this stereotyping? Not the intent Helps to give some better insights A starting place Still need to view people as individuals

6 6 Frequently Asked Questions Aren’t there a lot of people who don’t fit the profile? Of course Middle of the bell curve

7 7 Frequently Asked Questions Do generations overlap? Yes– by as much as 5 – 7 years Many people identify with two generations People born in the late 50’s and early 60’s may relate better to Gen Xers

8 8 Frequently Asked Questions Don’t the generations have a lot in common? Yes, but subtle differences often lead to conflict at work

9 9 Definition of a Generation A group of people who: Share a common range of birthdates Normally about 18 years Share a common set of experiences

10 10 Identifying the Generations GenerationBirth YearsOther Names Builders Veterans Silent Generation Baby Boomers1946 – 1963 Generation X Baby Busters Millenials Generation Y Nexters Echo Boom Baby Boomlet

11 11 Births in the USA Builders Boomers Gen Xers Millenials In Millions

12 12 Value Development Morris Massey, The People Puzzle Imprint and Observation or Patterning Modeling by Heroes or Identification Socialization by Peers and Significant Others Significant Emotional Event(s)

13 13 Determining Influences What games did you play when you were ? Who was a hero/heroine of yours? What is your most vivid memory of a national or international event? What did your folks tell you about dating? What sort of equipment was standard when you got your first job?

14 14 Determining Influences AreaBuildersBoomersGen XersNexers GamesActive, outdoorBoard gamesRubik’s cubePlaystation Heroes and Heroines Roosevelt Churchill KennedyFamilySuper heroes National Event Depression WWII Kennedy assassination Challenger Death of Diana September 11 DatingWait for sexBoys call girlsGo in groupsBe safe OfficeTypewritersElectric typewriters PC’sWireless

15 15 The Builders Timeframe 1926 – 1945 Historical Events Depression World War II “The difficult we do at once…the impossible takes a bit longer.” Seabees

16 16 The Builders Male Names: James Robert John Female Names: Mary Barbara Patricia Popular Movies Singin' in the Rain From Here to Eternity Rebel Without a Cause Shane

17 17 The Builders Major Influences Shortages and rationing Economic hard times Global conflict and sacrifice High expectations for children

18 18 The Builders Core Values Dedication and sacrifice Hard work Conformity Law and order Respect for authority Patience Delayed reward Duty before pleasure Adherence to rules Honor

19 19 Baby Boomers Timeframe Historical Events Cold War Kennedy assassination Vietnam “I don’t want to speak disparagingly of my generation. Actually I do; we had a chance to change the world and opted for the Home Shopping Network instead.” Stephen King

20 20 Baby Boomers Male Names: John David Michael Female Names: Linda Mary Susan Popular Movies Psycho The Sound of Music The Graduate Doctor Zhivago One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Rocky

21 21 Baby Boomers Major Influences Television Free ….. Affluence Civil rights movement Vietnam

22 22 Baby Boomers Core Values Optimism Team orientation Personal gratification Health and wellness Personal growth Youth Work Involvement

23 23 Generation X Timeframe Historical Events Challenger “It’s no wonder the Xers are angst ridden and rudderless. They feel America’s greatness has passed. They got to the cocktail party 20 minutes too late and all that’s left are those little wieners and a half-empty bottle of Zima.” Dennis Miller

24 24 Generation X Male Names: David Michael Jason Female Names: Mary Jennifer Lisa Popular Movies ET Raiders of the Lost Ark The Silence of the Lambs Close Encounters of the Third Kind

25 25 Generation X Major Influences Both parents working away from the home Divorce A lot of television Computers Gender neutral Negativism

26 26 Generation X Core Values Diversity Thinking globally Balance Techno literacy Fun Informality Self-reliance Pragmatism

27 27 Millenials Timeframe Historical Events Death of Princess Diana “What you see is what you get. This is me. Hey you, if you want me, don't forget--you should take me as I am. Cause I can promise you, Baby, what you see is what you get” Britney Spears

28 28 Millenials Male Names: Michael Jason Christopher Female Names: Jennifer Jessica Ashley Popular Movies Braveheart Titanic Shrek

29 29 Millenials Major Influences Re-focus on family and children Scheduled lives Multiculturalism Terrorism Patriotism Globalism

30 30 Millenials Core Values Optimism Civic duty Confidence Achievement Sociability Morality Street smarts Diversity

31 31 Key to Working Together Work on Dialogue Silence Violence Withdrawing Hiding Politicking AttackingLabeling Monologuing Dialogue  Mutual Respect Mutual Purpose Mutual Meaning

32 32 Enter Dialogue Through Mutual Purpose Commit to seek Mutual Purpose Foundation of trust I care about what you care about—and vice versa

33 33 Enter Dialogue Through Mutual Purpose Separate strategies from purpose Purpose is the criteria for a common decision

34 34 Enter Dialogue Through Mutual Purpose Brainstorm alternative strategies Share suggested solutions Strategies must address the mutual purpose

35 35 Build Mutual Respect Respect begins with Inquiry The skill of respectfully asking for information in ways that make it safe to share.

36 36 Build Mutual Respect Advocacy The skill of respectfully sharing our honest feelings and information without causing others to become defensive or to be annoyed.

37 37 Build Mutual Respect Responding to others First words out of your mouth Non-verbals Negative positives

38 38 Focus Area One Reduce the attribution error Telling a story that makes the other person bad or wrong. Solution: Attribute a good motive, then check it out.

39 39 Exercise in Attribution What Other Generations Say About Each Other BuildersBoomersGen XersMillenials Need discipline Everything’s electronic Dictatorial Set in their ways Self-righteous Self-absorbed Whiners Don’t work hard

40 40 Focus Area Two Dealing with the balance of work life and home life

41 41 Situation 2.1 Traditionalist Mortgage Bank Manager Generation X Loan Officers Coldwell Banker is having an open house from Noon – 4:00 PM on Sunday at the new development. “I would like Bob and Sue to go out there and staff an information table for us.” Bob and Sue response: “Can’t do it. I’m not going to give up my weekend.”

42 42 Career Goals When Generations Collide, Lynne Lancaster and David Stillman BuildersBoomersGen XersMillenials Career Goals Build a legacy Build a stellar career Build a portable career Build parallel careers

43 43 Values Generalizations AreaBuildersBoomersGen XersMillenials Top priority in job Loyalty to company Loyalty to my own needs Loyalty to my family’s needs and my personal beliefs Loyalty to my need to do something I enjoy Boomers, Xers and Other Strangers Dr. Rick and Kathy Hicks

44 44 Focus Area Three Sharing information

45 45 Situation 3.1 Builder Manager Baby Boomer Supervisor Supervisor—”I would like to take a look at the calendar of projects for the next 12 months” Manager—”Why would you want to see that?” Supervisor-”I just want to get a better picture of what’s coming up and how I might fit in.” Manager—”You don’t understand—those plans are confidential. I’ll let you know when a project is coming up that affects you.”

46 46 Situation 3.2 Generation X Supervisor Millennial Staff Supervisor ed instructions to the staff and asked them to check-in with her at the end of each week on their progress. Staff starts bombarding her with suggestions on how the job could be improved.

47 47 Focus Area Four Approaches to Time

48 48 Situation 4.1 Gen X Staffer--Alex Traditionalist Supervisor--Fran Alex has been working very long weeks. He decides he needs a day off. Goes to the Supervisor and says, “Hey Fran, I won’t be here on Friday—I need a mental health day.” Fran’s response—”Will that be a sick day or vacation?”

49 49 Focus Area Five Dealing with Deference or Entitlement

50 50 Situation 5.1 Traditionalist Bank Customer Millennial Teller Teller—”I need to see some ID before I can cash this check.” Customer—”I’ve been a customer here for thirty years. I have never been asked for ID.” Teller—”Our policy says that if I don’t personally know the customer I have to get ID. It’s really for your own good, you don’t want me to give the money to a thief do you?”

51 51 Situation 5.1 Gen X Supervisor--Ashley Baby Boomer Employee--Sally Often when the Supervisor, Ashley, institutes new procedures they are resisted by Sally who reminds her that they have always done it the traditional way. Sally also often remarks that Ashley is young enough to be her daughter.

52 52 Focus Area Six Dealing with Differences in What is Rewarding

53 53 Situation 6.1 Boomer CEO--Barbara Gen X professional--Susan Susan has been doing a great job. Barbara decides to reward her. Barbara says, “Susan I want you to go with me on Thursday and Friday to Los Angeles for meetings with our counterparts in California.” Susan says, “If I’m not absolutely needed I would rather stay home.”

54 54 Situation 6.2 Boomer CEO—John Staff with 50% Gen X and Millenials Company starts “Casual Fridays.” On the first Friday some of the younger staff women wear hip hugger pants and short shirts, showing their stomachs. John is aghast. John institutes “Corporate Casual Friday.” The company buys polo shirts for everyone that they will wear with Dockers-like pants. The younger staff members bristle at this uniformity. John says fine—either wear the polo shirts or show up in normal business attire.

55 55 Rewards When Generations Collide, Lynne Lancaster and David Stillman BuildersBoomersGen XMillenials Rewards Satisfaction of a job well done Money, title, recognition Freedom is the ultimate reward Work that has meaning for me

56 56 Values Generalizations AreaBuildersBoomersGen XersMillenials In addition to making a living, factors you find motivating in work Financial gain and security Self-fulfillment and meaning Balancing work and personal time Having fun while doing meaningful work Boomers, Xers and Other Strangers Dr. Rick and Kathy Hicks

57 57 Generations in the Workplace Messages That Motivate BuildersBoomersGen XersMillenials Your experience is respected It’s valuable to us to hear what you have to say Your hard work will be remembered and rewarded You’re important to our success You are valued here Your contribution is unique and important We need you I approve of you Do it your way We’ve got the newest hardware and software There aren’t a lot of rules here We’re not very corporate You’ll be working with other bright, creative people Your boss is in her sixties You and your co- workers can help turn this company around You can be a hero here

58 58 Focus Area Seven Balancing Direction and Creativity

59 59 Situation 7.1 Millennial Intern--Jason Boomer Supervisor—Sarah Sarah—”Jason this is all wrong. I told you to total up the columns and type them on a separate sheet so I could insert them into my budget.” Jason—”All you told me was to add the columns up. So I put hem into a spreadsheet so you could sort them all sorts of ways. You have to agree it’s better than the way you’ve been doing it.”

60 60 Generations in the Workplace Work Environment Preferences BuildersBoomersGen XersMillenials More structured Work before pleasure Distinct line between management and staff More formal work spaces and clothing Tendency to command and control Work teams Consensus Quality circles Participative management Work well for managers who know them personally Delegation of authority Like change Challenge the why’s of actions Information equals power Management and success are not synonymous Dislike political side of organizations Leaders who are role models Challenge me Let me work with friends Have fun at the workplace Respect me Be flexible

61 61 Focus Area Eight Finding a Mutual Purpose for “Why?”

62 62 Situation 8.1 Boomer Supervisor—Marie Gen X Professional—Justin Marie—”Danny, I want you to stop what you’re working on and go help Alice put together the mailing for the Open House.” Justin—”Why?!” Marie—”Because I’m your boss and I said so!”

63 63 Values Generalizations AreaBuildersBoomersGen XersMillenials Rules and regulations Sound and should be followed Challenge— disregard irrelevant ones Tell me the rationale and I will determine if they are valid I choose the rules that make sense to me and you choose yours Boomers, Xers and Other Strangers Dr. Rick and Kathy Hicks

64 64 Focus Area Nine Finding Mutual Purpose in Work

65 65 Situation 9.1 Builder Supervisor—George Millennial Employee—Gloria Gloria calls in on Monday morning—”Hello, George, I’m not feeling very good today.” George—”Again?! Is this some rare form of disease that only strikes on Mondays? I want to see a doctor’s note when you come in again.”

66 66 Values Generalizations AreaBuildersBoomersGen XersMillenials Preferred work environment Teamwork and self-sacrifice Do it my way— individualism Fulfill the basic requirements of the job Networking— working in cooperation with others Boomers, Xers and Other Strangers Dr. Rick and Kathy Hicks

67 67 Focus Area Ten Adapting to Communication Styles

68 68 A Quote I Like “A 60-something graduate recently reflected: ‘We wanted what they want. We just felt we couldn’t ask.’ Herein lies the truth: what young workers want isn’t so different from what everyone else wants. However, young workers are asking for it.” Karen Cates and Kimia Rahimi “Mastering People Management,” Financial Times, November 19, 2001

69 69 Generations in the Workplace Communication Preferences BuildersBoomersGen XersMillenials Use more formal language Often prefer face- to-face or written communication Are reluctant to share inner most thoughts Prefer an open, direct style Tend to use more body language Answer questions thoroughly—often ask for details Prefer face-to- face and electronic communications Prefer information in shorter, sound bytes Don’t like to be sold or manipulated Want information shared immediately and often Use a more informal communication style Like visual imagery and graphics Don’t talk down to them Use voice mail and Use humor

70 70 Generations in the Workplace Training Preferences BuildersBoomersGen XersMillenials More structured Traditional classroom Reading assignments Interaction with others Study groups Role playing Movies and videos More interactive with computer Low tolerance for traditional classroom Entertainment and excitement Experiential activities Interactive technology Do well in solo situations Entertainment and excitement Experiential activities Internet research

71 71 Generations in the Workplace Sales Preferences BuildersBoomersGen XersMillenials The customer is always right Dignified and formal Sales and advertising Special—value added—service Special offers and pricing Friendly and collegial No hype—straight talk Internet based Personal No hype—straight talk Automatic free refills Internet based

72 72 Communication Tips Builders Build trust through inclusive language (we, us) A leader's word is his/her bond, so focus more on words, not body language Face-to-face or written communication is received best Use more formal language Don't waste their time; they have a job to do Don't expect them to share their innermost thoughts immediately Psychologist Dr. Paula Butterfield

73 73 Communication Tips Baby Boomers Boomers are the "show me" generation, so use body language to communicate Speak in an open, direct style Answer questions thoroughly, and expect to be pressed for details Avoid controlling, manipulative language Present options to show flexibility in your thinking Use face to face or electronic communication to reach out to them Psychologist Dr. Paula Butterfield

74 74 Communication Tips Generation X Learn their language and speak it Use as your primary communication tool Talk in short sound bytes to keep their attention Present the facts, use straight talk Ask them for their feedback Share information with them immediately and often Use an informal communication style Listen! You just might learn something Psychologist Dr. Paula Butterfield

75 75 Managing Generation Y Employees Carolyn Martin, Rainmaker Thinking Inc. “The key is for managers to come to employees with a very clear idea of what they need done and ready to negotiate in an imaginative way to provide the right incentive.”

76 76 Workplace Environment That Works Managing Generation Y, Carolyn Martin and Bruce Tulgan 1. Challenging work that really matters 2. Balance between clear expectations and freedom for how it gets done 3. Ongoing training and learning opportunities 4. Low stress environment 5. Flexibility in scheduling 6. Balance work and fun 7. Treat people as colleagues, not kids

77 77 Seven Traits of Bad Management of Millenials 1. Close mindedness 2. Ineffective delegation 3. Lack of knowledge and organizational skills 4. Inability to train 5. Disrespect to young people 6. Intimidating attitude 7. Overemphasis on outward appearance Managing Generation Y Carolyn Martin & Bruce Tulgan


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