As a Millennial, how do I understand and work with a Gen Xer?

Here's How Generation Xers Are Driving Millennials Crazy in the Workplace (and Vice Versa)

Personally, I don't like the generalizations made about generations, but I do respect the awareness that it brings to workplace dynamics. Everyone is different and communicates in a unique way and the more you know about yourself and understand the internal workings of others, the more harmonious the work environment is. In that vein, let's talk broad age cohort characteristics.

Who is in each generation:

  • Baby Boomer: born 1943 to 1960 (aged 55-72 today)

  • Gen-Xer: born 1961 to 1981 (aged 34 to 54 today)

  • Millennial: born 1982-2002 (aged 13 to 33 today)

A few tips for working together:

  • Xers tend to be more independent. So, when working with a Xer, don't be surprised or offended if they choose to work alone.

  • An Xer manager is not going to act like a helicopter parent. Xers tend to be entrepreneurial thinkers and results-oriented, so they may not tell you how to do every step of the job.

  • Xers tend to be hands-off, low face-time managers. So when working for an Xer, ask them to clearly define their expectations.

  • Millennials are often cheekily called the "Everybody Gets A Trophy" generation. Few Xers were regularly praised growing up. So, when working with an Xer manager, don't expect a lot of praise.

  • When you do receive a compliment from an Xer, you've done an great job.

  • Don't take Xers’ skepticism personally. Xers grew up questioning everything. Expect them to give the pros and the cons to even the best of ideas.

Published on Inc.com as an answer by Mira Zaslove, Fortune 500 manager, on Quora. The question was "As a Millennial, how do I understand and work with a Gen Xer?"

See the full answer here: Here's How Generation Xers Are Driving Millennials Crazy in the Workplace (and Vice Versa)

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