Understanding Generations is not always an easy task!
I was honored to be a keynote speaker for the facility management fusion conference in Chicago. While I was attending the conference, I was fortunate enough to see another speaker. Her name is Alexis Thompson and you can find her on her Facebook page titled ‘Trybal Performance’. She speaks about leadership and she said something that struck a chord with me. She said that to be a good leader we often have to let go of control. To allow others to grow around us.
How does letting go of control to let the others grow around us? How does that tie in with the generations?
Working with Generations in the Workplace
I thought that it really does apply. We often have to let go of the way we’ve done things in the past to allow the multiple generations around us to flourish.
Every generation is marked by what I call ‘points of no turning back’. The way we do business. How we communicate. The way we facilitate our day-to-day lives. Sometimes it changes so drastically that the way we were operating previously becomes almost obsolete.
There was a time when we thought a typewriter was high-tech. I mean if we have tools like these we could get our jobs done in no time whatsoever. Things changed and our expectations of how to do our jobs have changed.
Hence the importance of understanding generations. We had to let go of control of the old ways of doing things to embrace the new.
I was at a shopping mall directory that shows you an outline of the mall. A list of all the stores. Typically, there’s a red star that says ‘You Are Here’.
There was a three-year-old little boy.
He was standing in front of the directory. Took her little fingers and placed it on the side of the digital directory. He was moving her little finger across the side, tried to manipulate and change the images. When the sign didn’t move, he looked at his mother and said ’It’s broke and it bores me!’
Our expectations have changed because technology has changed. That little boy’s expectations have changed too. He has a different expectation of what customer service should be like. What the marketers should do to connect and communicate with him.
For all those vendors, customers service personnel and marketers – for them to be successful with him, they’re going to have to let go of control of doing things the old way and to embrace the new.
Understanding Generations does apply at our workplaces, as well as in our day to day lives.
Leading Generations at Work
That little boy, just like the multiple generations you encounter on a daily basis, has a different expectation. An expectation of what you’re going to do to connect and communicate successfully with him.
I encourage you to think about ways to let go of control of the old ways of doing things to let the new generations flourish around you.
I look forward to seeing you next week when we further discuss what we can do to communicate effectively across generational lines.