Generational Learning

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Generational Learning

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Working across the generational continuum has its fair share of challenges. Sometimes it feels like more people are just seeking a reason to avoid workplace synergy rather than create it, to find drama instead of eliminating it, and to focus on what doesn’t work instead of what does.

At meeting

When it feels like we just can’t get along and people become weary of interacting with or managing the backlash created by reaching across the generations it might be time to consider how each person you are working with (or against) adds value. When we focus on the value of people instead of concerns, commonalities instead of differences, and see opportunities instead of barriers, we’ll likely position ourselves for greater success, both individually and organizationally.

Many traditionals, baby boomers, and even Gen X employees often believe the most value comes from life experiences while many millennials and Gen 9/11 (Gen Z, iGen) believe the most value comes from knowledge. The longer term employees see weakness in a lack of experience and the more recently educated see weakness in a lack of knowledge or technology skills.

What would you rather do?

Spend a few hours a week learning a few tried and true methods,

spend a few hours a week learning how technology can improve workflow,

or spend a few hours a week discussing what your cross-generational team members don’t understand about the workplace and life?

While this isn’t a love story, it does remind me of a great Meatloaf song [circa 1977], Two out of three ain’t bad.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker, and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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