Aligning Cross-Generational Communication

Financial Executives International invited Michael to lead a webinar about how to align communication across generations in March 2019. Episode 28 of Equal Chance To Be Unequal is the recording of that live webinar. You can also watch the webinar, including slides and audience polling questions, on Michael’s YouTube channel.

Michael offers a brief introduction of himself and dives into insights from Jim Collins’ book Good To Great and John Kotter’s book Leading Change. He then offers a few slides to show how each generation tends to view the following generation in a less-than-positive light, possibly because the older generation forgot how they behaved when they were at that same phase in life themselves. He then compares the five generations in the workplace to the different levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to show how one’s environment is a sizable predictor of human development. 

He talks through a few examples from Jennifer Deal’s book Retiring the Generation Gap which outlines the 10 principles of how humans from all generations are more similar than they are dissimilar. Michael reviews a number of important statistics from Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report including their Q12, the 12 questions that best determine an employee’s level of engagement. He also offers insights into what Google found through Project Aristotle and Harvard’s 80-year Study of Adult Development.

Michael talks through the importance of emotional intelligence and pulls findings from Daniel Goleman’s book Emotional Intelligence. He talks briefly about Kotter’s 8 Step Model of Change and William Bridges’ Model of Transition. He closes with reminders that –

  • before judging a person, recognize the phase of life he/she is in 
  • humans are far more similar than dissimilar
  • one’s environment is the biggest predictor of an individual’s behavior
  • close knit relationships are the secret sauce to a long, happy, and healthy life
  • we must build EQ through purposeful team and 1-to-1 meetings

Resources mentioned include – 

Loren Mahon’s FEI article

W. Edwards Deming

Jim Collins’ book Good to Great

John Kotter’s book Leading Change

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Jennifer Deal’s book Retiring the Generation Gap

Patrick Lencioni’s book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly

Stephen M.R. Covey’s book The Speed of Trust

Peter Drucker

Gallup’s State of the American Workplace

Google’s Project Aristotle

Robert Waldinger’s TED Talk 

Keith Ferrazzi

Daniel Goleman’s book Emotional Intelligence

William Bridges’ book Managing Transitions

Thank you to Financial Executives International for inviting Michael to facilitate the discussion.