April 2017

Dear Bettie:

I could be a Millennial, a Gen Xer or a Boomer. What I’m experiencing day in and day out is a challenge among all generations. Each believes its way of doing things is the only way.

Millennials expect fast, easy-to-access technology, open communication, supervisor feedback, inclusion and a flexible work environment.

Gen Xers expect on-the-job mentoring and job development, rapid career advancement and recognition.

Boomers expect initiative, face-to-face communication and paying dues before career acceleration.

When expectations are not met, conflict ensues. Why does my coworkers think I should show up according their mindset? It seems to me that a more productive, inclusive work culture would center on the recognition that each worker has his or her own way of processing and expressing information.

Looking for Acceptance

Dear Looking for Acceptance:

No doubt you bring up good points. I’d suggest that you create your own inclusive work culture by tackling the “expectation elephant” through assertive communication.

Many times we forget that communication is a contact sport.  Effective communication to is a two-way street and requires active participation.  Said another way, communication is something you do with people not to people.

Here are a few tips for clear, peer-to-peer communication.

  • Play an active role in communicating with others
  • Ask questions
  • Listen for understanding and take action
  • Be respectful in your communication with others
  • Participate effectively in work conversations
  • Avoid information overload by sharing communication with too broad an audience
  • Use communications to improve results

When others’ expectations cross your boundaries or push your willingness to comply with expectations, calmly and clearly have a conversation. Give people a chance to know, like and trust who you are. Authenticity transforms “shoulds” into mutually agreeable outcomes.

All the best,
Bettie Boomer