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Communicate Across Generations Effectively

Alexandra Levit | Water Cooler Wisdom

July 06, 2010



• Share your unique expertise. X-ers are interested in amassing as much training and knowledge as possible.

• Look to X-ers as team leaders. They have been chomping at the bit to be out of the Boomers’ shadow for years and are ready for their time to shine.

• Use technology to make team meetings easier. Many X-ers have families to think about, and they appreciate you keeping their necessary work/life balance in mind.

• Don’t block their path to decision makers. X-ers just want to get the work done and can get impatient with turf wars and too many bureaucratic channels.


• Take Millennial employees out to lunch and inquire about their career goals and aspirations. They want to feel like you care.

• Explain to Millennials why things are done a certain way in your organization, educate them on who they need to talk to to get things done, and spell out “unwritten” rules to ensure compliance.

• Have an open-door policy in which you are available for Millennial team members to ask questions and receive guidance. Provide constructive feedback in real time.

• In the event of a crisis, don’t shut them out because of their status as junior team members. Millennials love the apprentice approach and will learn so much from having the opportunity to work by your side.

This article was originally published on Water Cooler Wisdom.

Featured Author: Alexandra Levit
A current columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Metro US, Alexandra has authored several books, including the popular They Don’t Teach Corporate in College (Career Press 2004 and 2009), How’d You Score That Gig? (Random House/Ballantine, 2008), Success for Hire (ASTD Press, 2008), MillennialTweet (SuperStar, 2009), and New Job, New You (Random House/Ballantine, 2010). Her book on the top myths of business success is due out from Penguin/Berkley in spring 2011.

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