Sunday, March 05, 2006

Generation Strain in the Work Place


In today's diverse workplace, we have:
Generation Xers - under 40, born between 1963-1977
Baby Boomers - 40s, 50s - born between 1946 - 1962
G. I. Generation & The Silent Generation - born before that

I'm reading a great book right now: "Generations at Work: Managing the Clash of Veterans, Boomers, Xers and Nexters in Your Workplace," by Rom Zemke.

Here's one thing he says. See if it rings true for you.

There isn't as much tension between Gen X managers and workers in their late 50s or 60s as there is between Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.

His theory? In the U.S. and Canada, Gen Xers "have a lot of respect for anyone who's from the World War II/Korean War era because they view them as being straightforward and frank . . . [while] they equate the Boomers with bull. . . 'You know, they're from the '60s - everything has to be some great, dramatic 'cause'."

Other theories? The natural rise in emotional intelligence that comes with age . . . people in their 50s who haven't gone over the edge get along. You know those couples who've been married 40 years and just don't fight. "It isn't worth it."

Also, people in their 50s and upwards these days are - - let's face it - - grateful to have jobs. Many employers appreciate what older workers bring to the scene, with their maturity and vast experience in whatever their skill areas are, particularly dealing with people, but job INsecurity exists these days for all age groups, and perhaps most for the youngest and oldest age pools?

Jump the learning curve on emotional intelligence. It isn't a given that it increase with age. Take the EQ Foundation Course, The EQ Alive! Program, get EQ coaching, take the EQ Map and see where you stand. Then get after it!

The "cure" for the generation strain in the work place, is a very large dose of EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE. Age isn't the only diversity going on these days. More and more, the traits valued most by employers, beyond a baseline of skill and education, is the emotional intelligence competencies - - communication, good attitude, optimism, integrity, interpersonal skills, etiquette, and the resilience to deal with the diversity and the fast pace of the change. All part of EQ, all rarely taught in school.

IQ gets you through school. EQ gets you through life.

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