A lot has been said about attracting younger people to one’s group to rejuvenate and revitalize it. This, on surface, sounds like a reasonable suggestion, but what is the actual experience like? The generations are as different as they are alike. Regardless of age, we love, are loved, rear families, work to provide for ourselves and others, have things we enjoy and things we dislike, have things we value highly and things that are not so important. The four biggest groups are “Traditionalists,” “Baby Boomers,” “Generation Xers” and “Millennials” and each has certain preferences associated with it.
It is really important to be aware of our differences and commonalities. We do not want to turn off the very people we wish to attract by a lack of awareness. Spend time discussing where we can best come together and work as a team. Find the points on which we strongly agree and build on them. Focus on the positive. Some of us like a hierarchy order, some prefer consensus, some like to challenge and some are achievement driven. While the approaches are different, all of us want to move forward to meet our goals. So, let’s aim to include everyone in achieving the mission and not insist that only one method will get us there.
Put another way, all of us know we need to get off the couch and move. However, some of us are runners, some are swimmers, some are bikers, some are skaters and some are walkers. No one activity is right or best for all of us. Precious energy is lost complaining about the challenge. Let’s look beyond our differences, to find a way to stimulate the necessary changes to allow everyone to be successful.