Older generations are working longer while younger colleagues are much better at looking after number one compared to before. This could lead to irritation at the coffee stations in the office, but there are ways to prevent this.
In days gone by, it was obvious that older colleagues knew more because they had more experience. This is not necessarily the case anymore which is clearly a result of the fast technological developments. Young colleagues take the office by storm, full of self-confidence, new knowledge and ambitions, ready to challenge old structures. This can lead to friction in the quietest of workplaces According to the American authors David Maxfield and Joseph Grenny, people born in the 40s and 80s are least in agreement. But there are ways to bridge the generation gap. And as always in the heat of battle, common sense must prevail and feelings must not get the upper hand. The 30-second rule may be a good way to proceed:
“If anyone criticises someone, especially a colleague that has less influence and experience, then they should only do so for no more than 30 seconds. After this, they should take a deep breath and give the other person a chance to respond,” says David Maxfield.
Here are other pieces of good advice to use:
“Stick to the facts and not to preconceptions about age for instance. Not everyone born in the 40s has the same values and neither do those born in the 80s.”
“When you use facts, remember to refer to sources, say where you read or heard about them.”
“And most important of all. It can be very tough to discuss a problem with a colleague but it is the only way. Otherwise the issue will just compound over time.”