March 14, 2023

246: What Managers Can Learn From Generational Differences with Vivek Iyyani

While everyone approaches their work with a different mindset, there’s one factor that can heavily influence the mindset you bring to work: your generation. From Gen X, to Millennials, to Gen Z, different generations can bring unique perspectives to a workplace that can lead to communication and cultural differences. To work together effectively, it’s important for individuals to recognize and respect each other’s experiences and strengths, and share their unique knowledge with each other.

Today’s guest is Vivek Iyyani. Vivek is a professional speaker and author. He’s written 3 books on Millennials and consults to Fortune 500 organizations to bridge the generational gap within their teams.

We talk about what managers can learn from Millenials and Gen Z, and what those generations can learn from older generations, too, all in service of making the workplace healthier and stronger for all of us.

Members of the Modern Manager community can win 1 giveaway copy of Vivek’s book, The Millennial Leader. In a new age of leadership, millennial leaders face the ultimate challenge of overcoming generational differences, reverse ageism, motivating an isolated, remote, gig and burnt-out workforce, while juggling all the responsibilities and expectations as a leader. This book is the ultimate guide for any Millennial who’s moving into management. Get it when you join the Modern Manager community.

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Read the related blog article: What Boomers and Millennials Can Learn From Each Other at Work




Key Takeaways:

  • Millennials prefer new technology and focus on doing things more efficiently. This may be mislabeled as being “lazy”.
  • Incorporating new technology or learning new processes (even if more efficient) can slow down Boomers, which is often why they resist new methods.
  • Balance new technology with helping everyone master it at their own pace. Ask with curiosity why processes or workflows are the way they are.
  • Millennials text more than talk, which can cause communication breakdowns. They can learn from Boomers the soft skills of having difficult conversations.
  • Ghosting at work happens when uncomfortable conversations are avoided. Conflict-avoidant behavior negatively impacts team culture because it stops constructive feedback.
  • Blue Tick Anxiety happens when two blue check marks show that a text message has been received and read, but there is no response. The sender may waste time worrying what they did wrong instead of being patient or just picking up the phone.
  • Be clear about norms and expectations for communication, including response times.
  • Older generations may have a “Toxic Badge of Honor” where they discount workplace complaints because they felt they had it so much worse when they were younger. All problems should be heard and honored. Always strive towards better work conditions.

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