If there's one thing all the generations can agree on, it's that none of them likes to be stereotyped.
An internal company memo surfaced on line recently from a large corporation that attempted to instruct managers on how to "deal" with different generations in the workplace. The memo essentially tried to break down the generations into neat and tidy stereotypes that pretty much offended everyone.
It is a real issue, however. Multiple generations working together in the same office mean multiple perspectives and attitudes about everything from work ethic to how to dress. Dr. Tim Elmore of Growing Leaders says the key to successfully blending the generations in the workplace starts with mutual Respect.
Generations do manage differently. The Silent Generation was all about the Authoritarian figure. Boomers preferred the top-down CEO model. Gen- Xers favored a Coach/Teamwork approach. And Dr. Elmore says Gen Y embraces what he calls the Poet/Gardner paradigm:
Listen and observe (poet)
Nurture and grow employees on the job (gardner)
His advice? Try to relate to each other, avoid assumptions and stereotypes, and be savvy and accepting about rapid changes in the workplace. You'll be surprised what you can learn from each other.
Listen to my conversation with Dr. Elmore: