Intergenerational BS – People are people

I’m calling B.S!

Yes, you heard it. I’m typically all about Greatness, but I am just infuriated with something that we keep talking about… intergenerational differences.

What is it that we are doing in our workplaces that are fueling this B.S. of intergenerational differences?

  1. Blaming one generation over another

Are we placing blame in the wrong place? Instead of blaming one group that doesn’t work hard, and on the other hand, one works too hard, let’s address the root causes. Perhaps, there is no work life balance or clear job roles and responsibilities. If we get those things right, then it doesn’t matter what generation we’re from.

  1. Ignoring the similarities

When we come together to get work done on a day-to-day basis; new projects and innovations, we’re not pulling people together based on their strengths. We’re pulling people together based on this strange scheme of generations.

  1. Excuses

We’re making excuses for legitimate issues. If people feel we shouldn’t be spending 60 hours a week working, then maybe we shouldn’t be. Maybe we should look for permanent solutions to make everybody’s job more satisfactory, balanced, and reduce duplication in order to improve the workplace. I’m not saying that there aren’t differences. What I’m trying to say is, it excuses legitimate issues that we could deal with and put a fix into long-term, if we were trying to address what the real cause is.

Instead, we should be making it about seeing the greatness in everyone. As you know, F.R.O.G. stands for Forever Recognize Others Greatness™. And I don’t have in brackets, “Except if they’re of a different generation, make fun of them.” There’s no caveat here. Everybody has greatness, so when we look for it, see it, and acknowledge it (as opposed to looking for differences) we’re better able to contribute value and know that we are valued.

Focus on what’s working, as opposed to where there are gaps and miscommunications. There are so many times throughout the day when we rock it, and yet we don’t focus on those things. Instead, we tend to focus on the few times it’s not working well.

I hear so often that Millennials don’t work hard, and that they are all about themselves. Well, I know lots of Millennials who are uber committed. So instead, let’s focus on greatness for all. Let’s focus on where we’re similar and performing well.

Focus on what’s working, as opposed to what’s not. Look at the exceptions to those generalities. Anything that people say and they label, i.e. Millennials, Veterans, it doesn’t matter what group. Look for the exceptions to the rule to demonstrate that, in fact, not everybody is that easily categorized.

And remember, it starts with the first step. If we are typically used to dividing the generations, what’s our first step towards bridging the gap if our work environment has a very strong intergenerational divide?

Consider this… we wouldn’t put up with it if it were about race, gender, religion, or any other way in which we have, in the past, categorized people as good or bad. So why on Earth would we tolerate it with our different generations?

“There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”

– Mother Teresa

Deb Rakonjac

Organizational Development, Purolator Inc.

"Sarah nailed it!  She worked with the planning group to learn about the organization, the audience, the desired key messages and integrated it seamlessly into her keynote. Her energy was contagious! We received rave reviews of this portion of our event and Sarah was able to speak to all members of our organization in a way that motivated them to recognize others everyday. Our executives were extraordinarily pleased and integrated FROGging into their recent board meeting. Purolator is grateful to Sarah for dropping the pebble and we continue to see the ripples from this session across the organization. Working with Tami was phenomenal and the supports were easy to integrate to ensure the session went well. Thanks to you both!!"
Douglas D Swift

President & CEO, Swiftco Inc.

"I have had the Sarah experience in numerous settings: As a keynote, around a table with several other business owners, one on one over coffee, chatting with others at a conference reception, dining with a small group of colleagues. No matter the setting you always get the same Sarah: engaging, attentive, interested, inspiring, motivational, genuine. And always with an infectious smile. Do yourself, your company, your association a favour. Get the Greatness Magnified (Sarah) experience. The payback is priceless."
Judy Kucharuk

Director, Marketing and Special Events, Encana Events Centre

"Funny, full of energy and incredibly motivating – all words to use when describing Sarah and her passionate stage presence. We were fortunate to have Sarah join us as a speaker for Spark Women’s Leadership Conferences and her presentations about leveraging greatness hit the core of our objective at SPARK: “A rising tide lifts all boats”. I would not hesitate to recommend Sarah to other organizations that are searching for a well-prepared, well-organized, thoughtful and passionate storyteller."
Shelley VanVeen

Learning & Development Manager, Libro Credit Union

"Sarah brought so much energy and enthusiasm to our International Women’s Day event at Libro! Her message was uplifting, thought-provoking and truly appreciated by our team. Dealing with Sarah was wonderful – she was open, professional and willing to work with us to customize her message to incorporate our culture and connect to our topic and participants. During the session, she was a pro with a powerful message and a fantastic delivery. We had wonderful feedback from all that attended and can’t wait to have Sarah back for another session in the future!"
Sylvia D’Intino

Executive Director, Community Living Hamilton

"THANK YOU so very much for leading the engagement activities today! You’re a constant professional, with an amazing attitude and always seeing the great in everyone. I am grateful for how you have helped us this year to transform our in-person staff recognition events into virtual and on-location events. Our staff feel more inspired, appreciated and motivated after they hear you speak, and I know our amazing in-house team here looks forward to designing engaging appreciation events with your support."
Melissa Chaulk

Manager of Professional Development

Canadian Dental Hygienists Association

"We work hard at CDHA to give our members a wonderful conference experience, so we were thrilled to have received resoundingly positive feedback on Sarah's opening plenary keynote. It was the highest attended of the entire conference for both dates!"
Jamie Campbell

Director, The Center for People in Organizational Development, Sheridan College

"Smart, challenging, innovative, committed, dependable, and reliable, I highly recommend her for all your recognition needs. I have brought Sarah into my last two organizations to help build a culture of recognition and celebration. The focus on appreciation is more important now than ever."

Some of the Great Organizations We Serve