Generational Conflicts and What To Do About Them

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Today’s guest article comes from Miles Anthony Smith, MBA via InitiativeOne regarding a hot topic: Generational Differences.


Generational conflicts in the workplace are everywhere, aren’t they?

Whether they start as thoughts or become verbal or physical (hopefully not) or they take place in the virtual world of emails, chats, social media, etc., we each face a daily opportunity to confront or ignore them. And if we choose the latter, things will rarely resolve themselves, unfortunately.

But what is really at the core of the problem with generational differences? Are these true differences or are conflicts common to all humanity regardless of age?

We believe that it is more important to focus on what unites us than divides us. It’s just part of human nature to be attracted to similarities and repelled by differences. While each of these generations has unique likes and dislikes, there are just as many, if not more, commonalities.

Family, work/life balance, recognition for performance, sense of purpose, financial rewards, etc. are things most can agree on. So it’s with this in mind that we recommend to start filling gaps between generations based on that common ground. Here are some ideas to build bridges between team members of various generations.

8 Tips to Engage and Inspire All Generations:

  1. Demonstrate Respect by Allowing Some Flexibility

  2. Offer Cross Generational Mentoring and Mix Teams

  3. Allow Younger Team Members an Opportunity to Lead

  4. Encourage a Variety of Communication Methods

  5. Challenge All to Continually Embrace New Technologies

  6. Tailor Your Feedback Accordingly

  7. Use Team-Building Exercises to Form New Bonds

  8. Discourage Negative Stereotypes


By focusing on what we have in common, we can build a more cohesive team that will yield better business results (productivity, profitability, and speed of innovation). Isn’t that what we all want? If you want to discover more on how to successfully navigate generational differences, read up on InitiativeOne’s post Are Generational Differences That Important To Workplace Culture?

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Interim Editor In Chief, PhysicalTherapist.com

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