113: Bridging the Millennial + Boomer Divide at Work with Hayim Herring

Research from 2012 showed that people of every generation were experiencing loneliness in growing numbers. At a time when so many people are feeling isolated due to COVID19, it’s more important than ever to find ways to connect with people and build bridges across generations.

In this episode, I speak with Hayim Herring. Hayim is a rabbi and Ph.D. in Organization and Management, and is CEO of HayimHerring.com, whose mission is “preparing today’s leaders for tomorrow’s organizations™.” Hayim is a prolific author, presenter, and organizational futurist, specializing in nonprofits and values-based organizations.

Hayim and I talk about building relationships with people outside your generation, stereotypes and realities of boomers, gen Xrs, millennials, and gen Zrs, how we might all approach people of any age with curiosity and the value they bring to the conversation, and how to build a truly intergenerational workplace that engages people of any generation.

Become a member of The Modern Manager Community to get 30% Hayim’s book Connecting Generations: Bridging the Boomer, Gen X, and Millennial Divide which offers real-world strategies to strengthening intergenerational relationships in our workplaces and communities. Members also get Hayim’s recent report on how COVID-19 is making Gen Zers and Millennials rethink personal and professional priorities. To learn more about membership, go to www.themodernmanager.com/join.

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Read the related blog article: How To Bring Generations Together In The Workplace

Key Takeaways:

  • Every generation develops stereotypes about the other generations. These stereotypes can inhibit us from seeking relationships with people outside our own generation.
  • To build relationships with people outside your generation, ask someone to join you for a (virtual) coffee, find places to volunteer with people of other generations, or join a friend who has cross generational relationships.
  • Millennials say Boomers are obsessed with working hard so that they can retire and have fun. They are tough and tenacious, and Boomers are entitled, feeling like they worked for a long time and therefore earned or deserve leadership roles.
  • Boomers say Millennials only want to have fun now, they don’t have tenacity or grit, they don’t have big goals, and Millennials are entitled, feeling like they should be given responsibility right from the start.
  • There will always be a tension between those with experience and the wisdom gained over time and those with fresh eyes who aren’t beholden to any past experience.
  • Just putting people of different generations on team or in an office does not make for an intergenerational workplace.
  • Learning how to collaborate with and learn from people of every generation is a critical skill.
  • The responsibility of every generation is to hold on to what is good, let go of what isn’t, and plan the seeds for a better future so that other generations will thrive.
  • Companies should rethink how the offer benefits to better meet the need of each generation.



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