Battling the generational gap blues: Can't we all just get along? Part 1 (Proceedings)


Is your practice a mix of baby boomers, generation x and y with some millennials tossed in too?

Is your practice a mix of baby boomers, generation x and y with some millennials tossed in too? Do you complain about the "lack of work ethic" and "sense of entitlement" that seem to go hand and hand with the younger generation? Find out how to stop the generational battle lines from being drawn and how you can bring your generational diverse group back together.

So what generation are you? What about your staff? In order to come together we first need to learn about what makes us different? What experiences shaped our generation to become who they are?

Radio Babies or Silent Generation-Born between 1930-1945 (63 million people)

  • Heroes to look up to- presidents, astronauts, sports, music

  • Fought in WWII- Korean War

  • Clear Enemy: Communism

  • Lived through Rapid and Significant Technological changes

  • Described as "Conservative, Fiscally Prudent and loyal to employers"

  • Parents lived through the Great Depression- taught the children to save money and appreciate a steady job

  • Three Factors that shape their belief system

» Parents Views

» Values held in their community

» Views of Respected political leaders

Baby Boomers- Born between 1946-1964 (78 million people)

  • Big families and large classes in school

  • Competed for attention, rewards and recognition

  • Witnessed several "revolutions"

  • "Unpopular" Vietnam War

  • Described as ambitious, greedy and materialistic

  • Sold out their beliefs in the 80's

  • Most Educated Generation with a goal to "better lifestyle"

  • Three Factors that shape their belief system

» Views of the Immediate Family ( Parents, aunts, uncles)

» Friends' values and views

» Political Events

Generation Xers or Baby Busters- Born Between 1965-1976 (48 million people)

  • Highest % of divorced parents and dual income families

  • Learned early to be independent and fend for ourselves

  • Heroes were movie, music and TV stars

  • Economy was bad and inflation was high

  • Grew up scared and untrusting

  • Politics never solved anything and usually made it worse

  • Parents were being laid off- learned to always keep options open

  • Technology expanded into all areas of our lives- machines for everything

  • Three Factors that shape their belief system

» World events as seen on TV

» Friends' values and views

» A handful of respected coworkers

Generation Ys or Generation Why- Born Between 1977-1990 (80 million people)

  • Born in the fast lane

  • Grew up with Different parenting styles-Their parents protected them for the world- and they are Conflict Avoiders and generally don't respond well to criticism of any type

  • Socially conscious

  • Open to diversity and globally minded

  • Personal Safety is very important

  • Very Entrepreneurial

  • Heavily influenced by Technology especially the Internet

  • Three Factors that shape their belief system

» Community values and lifestyles

» Grandparents' Views

» World events as seen on TV

Millennials or Generation 9-11- Born 1991 or later (just entering the labor force)

  • Raised by Protective parents as the "center of attention"

  • Individuals tend to be confident, happy and secure

  • Extremely techno-savvy- think texting

  • Care for one another and build communities

  • Patriotic and trust authority figures that are meant to keep them safe

  • Engage in Community service activities

  • Play well in teams and believe in equal contribution and skills

  • Expect Challenge and opportunity in a job- Immediately

  • Need instant feedback and lots of praise

Resource: Bridging the Generation Gap by Linda Gravett and Robin Throckmorton

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