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

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