Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 10

effective leadership

Addressing

Multiple Generations
in the Workplace
James Carchidi, CEO - JFC Staffing Companies

P

icture the scene; you have a recent
graduate working alongside her
seasoned 58-year-old colleague on a
critical project. Both are working toward
the same goal, yet each comes with a different set of expectations and
views of the task at hand. Stacy's new ideas are clashing with what
Bill's many years of experience tell him and tensions start building.
What happens next?
It's safe to say that workforce trends have shifted over the past
decade. For the first time in history we have five generations working
side by side; Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, and
Millennials. Instead of embracing the many perspectives, we muse
on how perceived differences of others hold us back from achieving
"workplace Nirvana." You've heard the stereotypes: Baby Boomers are
stodgy workaholics, Gen X is callously indifferent, and Millennials
are lazy with a false sense of entitlement. It's safe to say that each
generation brings its own priorities, interests and communication style.
Clearly, people of various ages view their workplace differently.
However, this is not the likely culprit for generational conflict.
The conflict has less to do with age differences than it does with
miscommunication. Whether this multi-generational workforce is
viewed as happy and productive or challenging and stressful is, in
large part, up to one thing - conversations.

a company, a relationship, or a life, any single conversation can. Speak
and listen as if this is the most important conversation you will ever
have with this person. It could be. Participate as if it matters. It does."
Whether you are a Traditionalist, a Millennial, or anything in
between, conversations are what bind people together in work and
in life. How we approach our communication with others will be
a decisive factor in our success. It is as simple and complex as that.
Too often people hastily enter conversations through a lens
of "judgment" where we are bent on winning the dialogue. This
is when we interrupt by talking over the person speaking, jump in
with a declaration before the issue has been clarified, and/or respond
quickly with little or no thought. The end result with this approach
is never optimum.
What we should do is silence our inner biases so to enter conversations from a place of wonder and curiosity. This is when we
resist our primal hardwiring of fight or flight and remain present
in the conversation. We seek to understand the other person's point
of view. Rather than cast judgement, we work to identify why each
side might see things differently. This is made possible when we ask
questions to frame the issue(s) at hand.
Herein lies the key to addressing multiple generations in the
workforce; train your entire organization how to approach conversations with more questions than declarations.

Think about it. No matter your age or your profession, the one
thing you will have almost every day is a conversation with another In teamwork and in management, questions transcend
human being. No matter the generation differences we all want to all generations.
have a voice and be heard. Therefore, communication is increasingly
Questions redefine relationships between people - when I am
important in present times. Yes, it is such a clich├ęd term. Yet when
"advising"
or "managing," I am the expert. But when I'm "asking"
you really think about it, each conversation has the power to either
you
for
your
ideas, I'm a peer. Questions honor you as a person
advance or derail teamwork and progress towards goals.
and communicate your value as an equal. Ask open-ended probing
Thus, when it comes to addressing five generations in the workplace, questions like, "Will you help me understand things from your
focus on the common daily activity each will have: conversations. point of view?" or "Might there be other ways of looking at this?"
Take for instance what Susan Scott of Fierce Conversations says,
And because this asking approach changes the relationship, it
"Our work, our relationships, and our lives succeed or fail one conver- also changes you. Think of an instance when you left a conversation
sation at a time. While no single conversation is guaranteed to transform
10 COMMERCE QUARTERLY SPRING 2017



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017

Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 1
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 2
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 3
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 4
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 5
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 6
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 7
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 8
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 9
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 10
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 11
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 12
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 13
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 14
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 15
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 16
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 17
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 18
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 19
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 20
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 21
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 22
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 23
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 24
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 25
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 26
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 27
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 28
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 29
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 30
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 31
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 32
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 33
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 34
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 35
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 36
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 37
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 38
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 39
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 40
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 41
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 42
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 43
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 44
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 45
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 46
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 47
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 48
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2017
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com