I Can Hear What You’re Seeing – Almost
Recently, I spoke at a convention in Orlando on communication problems in the multi-generational. As a multi-generational workforce keynote speaker, my passion is helping the generations connect. After my multi-generational workforce keynote speech, a member of the Gen-X “contingent” walked over to me, shook my hand, and jokingly said “I Can Hear What You’re Seeing – Almost.” It was a funny line, but also telling.
Whether your organization is located in New York City or Los Angeles, if yours is “typical,” there may be up to four generations trying to co-exist in the same work-space (indeed, I have worked with five generation companies from time-to-time).
No matter where you fall on the “Boomer to Zoomer” continuum, communication, life experience, technical proficiency, people skills, work habits and lifestyles widely differ.
Given the range of work problems in any company, it is a wonder that anyone can decipher a common language. The good news is that they cannot only effectively work, but work well. The first thing to admit (and I know this as a multi-generational workforce keynote speaker) is that different isn’t wrong. It is OK to speak different languages. More so, the dynamic is such that the mentor and mentee relationship can equally profit both parties providing there is mutual respect and understanding.
In the workplace
A typical, real-life problem are “Zoomer” and “Boomer” communication difficulties. This is especially apparent in computer knowledge and interpersonal relationships. The newest members in the workforce have not only grown up with computers (even more than Millennials) but they understand how computer software thinks about a problem. Boomers, obviously, were late adopters of the technology.
On the other hand, Boomers came of age in a workforce that relied on interpersonal and often face-to-face contact. During and after the pandemic, this put many Boomers at a disadvantage as the world not only went virtual but had no choice but to accelerate software platforms, artificial intelligence (AI) and the manipulation of data.
Despite the finger pointing and often, hurtful “joking,” both sides had much to learn from one another as there was little choice but to work together. Across the organizational and generational lines, as a multi-generational workforce keynote speaker, I know that those organizations encouraging a cyclical sharing rather than boss and intern type dynamics were boosted and became great places to work.
Clearly, when hundreds of employees walked off their jobs in 2021, it was partially due to a “knottiness” on the part of “bosses” to allow themselves to learn and understand a new dynamic. They needed to mindfully lead and understand. On the other hand, Zoomers and
Millennials also have much to understand about the complexities of interpersonal relationships.
As a keynote speaker, I would offer that if, upon reading the above paragraph you found “your hackles” rising (no matter your generation), perhaps a little reflection and meditation might be in order. For, in discussing multi-generational workforces, if no other lessons are learned, acceptance, authenticity and compassion may well be the most important approaches to every situation.
To contact Mike Hourigan, Mike Hourigan, Multi-Generational Workforce Keynote Speaker please call Mike today at (704) 875-3030 or fill out the form below.