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Do Baby boomers have a knack for raining on your millennial parade?
By the time you put on your big girl’s clothes and walked inside the office building, crawling with baby boomers, all of a sudden you are given the stink eye. But the work landscape is changing. The millennial workplace is upon us.
Everything you do is wrong and what you don’t do is worst.
The millennial workplace parade is making walls come down and letting diversity come in. Reinvention all around. Nothing could spell trouble more to boomers fighting for the structure of their playground. After all, they improve the system of their parents and took the power of industry to new heights (and depths) who could blame them for thinking themselves untouchable.
Boomers refuse to let go of the reins out of fear of their own professional and generational mortality.
Because they know, when a new, stronger, more numerous generation steps in, that can only mean one thing, they’re out. And we’re not only coming, we’ve arrived. We are here with “new” ideas, which to them are plans to bulldoze their legacy. The resistance they’re putting up in all areas of life will be their last rallying call. So…
How to find your inner mojo when face with boomer’s resistance and negativity?
Unlearned what you have learned.
Just like Yoda wisely says to Luke, the best thing you can do when facing a new situation is to come in with the willingness to learn, absorb new information without the filter of what you know or what you think you know. Practice humility and believe there’s much you can learn from the people around you, regardless of their generation. When you are focused on learning, you are building up your inner mojo!
Look for the gaps you can fill.
How can you add value to the team? Settled their boomer’s anxiety by showing them you are an asset, bringing fresh ideas and skills. You’re not there to take anybody’s job, or to make anybody look bad, you are a team player. But you are there to work and grow in your profession and your field. If you are not explicitly given the challenge, you will find a way to seek it.
Don’t take it personally.
The resistance you feel from the boomer generation has nothing to do with you. At its core is just product of fear; fear of change, fear to lose their financial security, fear of losing their respect, their standing and seniority. The best way to cope with their fears and negativity on a daily basis is practicing empathy, and knowing which channels are available in-house to seek out counseling or ask for help when dealing with a hostile coworker.
Show not tell.
The best way you can make baby boomers see and appreciate the value of your millennial contribution is by showing them point blank. Boomers are all about walking the talk, and that’s one thing we must emulate and incorporate into the way we do business and work with their generation. It should be the way you think about your personal brand.
Get to know them and let them know you.
At the end of the day, people working together are just that, people, individuals with their own personality, character, backstory, no matter the generation they belong to. All those elements of your coworkers are interesting and useful to get to know. And you should be willing to share some of your own self with them, especially those personal traits that can have a positive impact or influence, make for stronger connections and possibly opportunities for growth. Your inner mojo can be a source of strength for you and your team!
We cannot change baby boomers’ character as a generation.
But we certainly can quench their fears with a dose of millennial perspective. In business, as in life, is never really our with the old in with the new. Some things do and should remain, the best things.
Those things set the tone for the transformation.
Change is inevitable, we’re all going through changes daily, empathy, understanding, professionalism and healthy communication can work wonders in this process, at work with our colleagues, and at home with our parents.
Shout out to all the baby boomers who had a hand in raising this millennial!