Bridging the Generational Gap: The Matures
Last week-end, we were invited to a 55th wedding anniversary dinner. The dialog that took place around the dinner table was amazing. The grandmother was angry at the grand daughter after leaving a voice mail that was never returned. The response from the Grand daughter was rolling her eyes, saying: Grand-Ma; voice mails are so yesterday, I never listen to my messages you should have Facebooked me.
The Grand-Mother response was: You kids are so spoiled, and have it so much easier.
This kind of conversation is not unique, it has been happening at family gatherings and frequently in the workplace.
This is the first time in American history that four different generations are mingling and intertwining in all aspects of our daily lives. They work side-by-side, bringing their own values, goals and communication approaches to the workplace; which can be a blessing or a curse.
The older generation is still contributing and working due to few reasons:
- Medical breakthroughs allowing a healthier and longer life.
- Today’s financial turn-moils, where most Americans have lost a considerable percentage of their savings, retirements and 401K.
- Unaffordable high costs of health care.
But before we go any further; let us discuss who are the four generations, their characteristics, their values and beliefs and most importantly what makes them tick.
Here are the different generations in our society, community and workplace:
- The Matures/ Veterans/ Traditionalists: Born between 1927 and 1945; and are 65 to 83 years old.
- The Baby Boomers: Born between 1946 and 1964; and are 46 to 64 years old.
- The Generation X/ GEN X: Born between 1965 and 1975; and are 35 to 45 years old.
- The Generation Y/ GEN Y/ or Millennials: Born between 1976 and early 80’s; and are 28 to 34 years old.
I remember reading this quote in an article written about generations, I really thought it summarized the perceived differences between the generations: “When asked to recall how and where Kennedy died, the Veterans and Baby Boomers would say gunshots in Dallas, Texas; Generation X remembers a plane crash near Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.; and Generation Y might say, “Kennedy who?”
To really understand what makes each generation characteristics, we need to dig deeper in the conditions and surrounding that influenced the world in which they grew up. Childhood experiences helped shape each generation’s future, and often held tightly to age-based values, thoughts, passions, and idealsContinued on the next page