Extraordinary Team Blog

Why Boomers and Millennials Are More Similar Than You Think

Posted by Kristin Arnold on November 24, 2015

I am so over hearing Boomers moan and whine about Millennials in the workplace and how different and difficult they are to manage.  There are actually many more similarities than differences:

Sure, they are digital natives and know more about technology than I do.  But that’s actually a good thing, especially when I can’t figure it out.  Just ask, and they will be delighted to help you.

Yes, they are more connected through social media.  They also value face-to-face time – just like I do – but they are more particular about whom they choose to spend their time with.  I could take a lesson from that playbook and be more discerning about who I hang out with.

Boomers say Millennials are “needy”.  No, they just ask for what they want: More frequent and specific feedback, coaching, and professional development opportunities.  Gee, that sounds good to me too.  Serve me up a dollop of being managed effectively!

And while you’re at it, you might as well show a little appreciation as well.  Say “Thank You” once in a while.  Smile.  Be nice.  So what’s wrong with a little appreciation in the workplace?  I think the Millennials are onto something.  Why work in a toxic environment?

Millennials want what I want – they are just more vocal and insistent than us Boomers.  The way they want these outcomes may be a bit different, but that’s diversity in action.  They bring fresh ideas and insights to the table.

So let’s stop focusing on what’s different. Let’s take appreciate and take advantage of the similarities of our team members.  Walk around the office.  Be friendly and open to new ideas.

Kristin Arnold is a professional meeting facilitator and international speaker who is passionate about helping leaders and their teams think things through, make better decisions and achieve sustainable results. The Extraordinary Team’s approach to building high performance teams combines consulting, coaching, training and process facilitation within the context of working real issues.

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