With four generations represented in the workforce, generational stereotypes and conflicts are popular topics of conversation. It would be easy to get the impression that there is little common ground between members of different generations, but it’s important to remember that generational differences are just another form of diversity. Regardless of age, race, religion, or culture we all need and deserve to work in an environment of respect.

Want to make sure you’re contributing positively to your workplace environment? Follow these guidelines:

  • · Avoid stereotyping: Rather than making the assumption that someone either has or lacks skills/experience based on their age, communicate with them about their abilities and comfort levels.
  • · Make your differences work: So you’ve discovered that your co-worker lacks technical skills, but is a master at presenting to a group. Team up to make your complementary talents benefit both of you look good.
  • · Learn from each other: In addition to workplace skills, we stand to gain new life skills and perspectives when we work with people different from ourselves. Ask questions, and willingly share your own knowledge.
  • · Expect the best: People often live up to our expectations. Give them the opportunity to shine by assuming their intentions are good and that they’re giving their best effort.
  • · Keep an open mind: Even if you feel like you’ve tried everything and still aren’t seeing eye-to-eye with your co-worker, be open to positive changes and opportunities to connect. It can take time to bridge gaps, and everyone will move at their own pace.

Are you seeing more generational diversity in your workplace? What advantages or difficulties have you experienced? Post in the comments, and let’s talk about it!