Generational Diversity

Today we welcomed Amy Lister and Linda Lathrop to discuss Workplace Fairness and generational diversity. It was really nice to meet some new participants, including a healthy representation from the younger generation.

As we neared the end of the discussion, I had a revelation. I, in my late forties, can see in two directions: to my father who in his early 70s is returning to work as a consultant at his former employer, and to my daughter embarking on her first summer away from home working full time. Oddly too, my father is on the west coast, my daughter is on the east coast, and I am in the middle perhaps, in the prairie. Generational diversity binds us.

I asked Linda and Amy about the stories (complaints, perhaps?) we hear often of young workers “multi-tasking” with the music in one ear, the texting and the simultaneous work. I certainly see this in my own household, and I hear about it in the workplace. Our luncheon facilitators cautioned us about stereotypes and reminded us of the gifts. Linda and Amy, themselves representing generational diversity, are enthusiastic champions of the value of interactions and working with differing generations.

We can use our mediator skills: be open, be curious, and listen for understanding. Hold people capable, and the rewards are multiple. You will gain a fresh perspective and perhaps as Amy and Linda did, a friend for life.

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