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Leadership Tips: Bust Generation Stereotypes


The media is buzzing every day with news of the latest epidemic of generational conflict. Millennials are flipping things completely upside down while the boomers stand sternly, clenching status quo.

Well, how much is this really happening?

I've traveled to several conferences and corporate events, and during that time, I had several conversations about generations in the workforce. Most people say the generational gap is a real one but admitted to knowing people who don't fall into their generations' stereotypes.

So I ask you: When have you defied your generation's stereotypes? When have others around you? 

I am an “older” millennial, yet I hold some very “boomer” values and tendencies. In our Fierce Generations workshop, we do a values exercise in which participants choose values most important to them. The beauty is that most people walk away from the training acknowledging that they have values from all the different generations. There are more similarities than differences.

This week's tip is to get curious and not make assumptions about different generations around you. Don’t assume the millennial would want to use technology over a face-to-face interaction. Don’t assume the boomer would want the face-to-face. Just ask.

Stay curious. We have so many things to accomplish together – we need all the perspectives we can get.


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