Across the Generations

by Leslie on February 23, 2013

IMG-20121123-01480I had the privilege this past week to talk to two completely different groups about the generations merging in the workplace.  One a group of professionals trying to deal with the younger entries into their ranks and the second a class of graduating students about to enter the workforce.

My first presentation was at a Managers and Professional Adminstrators conference at a local University.  The theme of the conference was Telling our Stories and I was asked to relate what my research into the multiple generations has unveiled along with my personal experience of working with a Hot 40 Gen Y radio station. The fact is each generation comes with their own  preferred work ethic and communication style and because Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y (and here comes Gen Z) are now working side by side we are seeing clashes of styles. Usually it is the Gen Y that the current workforce are having challenges with – their entitlement, their lack of attention, their lack of loyalty to a company. All issues outlined or perceived as problems.

My second presentation was to graduating students from Concepts Career College. Young women with the knowledge and training to enter their fields but challenged in what they are going to face and how they are supposed to prepare themselves for these preconceived notions against the Gen Y age group. This is the most stressed generation across the board. The world is their oyster but they don’t know how to maneuver through an ever changing landscape.

In the past 5 years the radio stations I work for  flipped an AM oldies station to 101.3 The BOUNCE in Halifax, programmed for the 18-34 year old (Gen Y) listener. I have been in love with this group since the day I met them and started to work with clients trying to earn their trust and earn their business.

In speaking to the two groups I was able to encourage each of them to look at the persons they’ll be working with as  individuals as opposed to a generation. Once we are able to recognize them for the strengths and weaknesses they bring to the workplace we are able to understand how we can partner, mentor and help each other.

With a whole crop of young announcers and street team members I have been able to connect with them while we have a blast doing our jobs. I appreciate their energy, their willingness to take on a project at the drop of a hat to beat anyone else to market with it and, of course, their ability with technology.  Yes they challenge me when they don’t respond to an email so I now text them instead. It breaks my heart when they up and leave to head to shinier opportunities but I stay connected so I can watch them grow. I appreciate the “let’s try it a new way” attitude they bring to the table and that it is our job as Boomers or Gen Y’s to hear them, teach them and learn from them.

I look forward to talking with more groups about how we can communicate better. If you can’t make it to the talk – I’ll text you the updates:)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Voices in Our Heads

by Leslie on February 13, 2013

The Voices in our Heads, Let's Talk MarketingA friend and I were recently talking about what the messages are that our mother’s planted in our heads.

Her voice says; “do something with you hair”. This surprise me since her hair is always immaculately styled and coloured. But I guess that is why. It is also interesting to note that this was the one area that her teenage daughter challenged her on, as we lived through shaved head, bleached hair and every style going.

My voice tells me two things: “put some lipstick on” and “use your inside voice”. While the put some lipstick on is fairly harmless, I can tell you I never leave the house without it. It is the “use your inside voice” and the message that I was being too loud or grabbing too much attention that has held me back.

I am naturally an introvert and I have three siblings, so at home I would raise my voice to be heard, only to be told – shhhh, use your inside voice. I think this made me not trust that what I had to say had any value.

I am now 50 years old and it has only been over the last five years that I have regained my voice, that I have felt heard. It took a very special co-worker to acknowledge what I had to say had value. I believe it was also the discovery of social media and the ability to connect with people at a safe distance that has encouraged me to connect up close and in person.

And because I was figuratively silent for so many years I am now anything but as I hold seminars, teach webinars, consult with clients and look for every opportunity to share what I have to say. 

To that end, welcome to my blog. Let’s Talk…

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