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Friday Top 5

GREAT #assnchat discussion this Tuesday on the challenges and opportunities created by having four different generations all in the workplace at the same time.

My top takeaways include:

  1. It’s important not to confuse generational cohort differences with life stage differences (Jamie Notter). One place that expresses itself is in “job” mentality versus “career” mentality (Kait Solomon). (Of course, I would tend to argue that it’s totally appropriate for a 25 year old to have a “job” mentality.)
  2. On Marissa Mayer and the telecommuting fracas: why does it have to be all or nothing? Why not offer 3/2 or core hours or supplement telecommuting with virtual presence technology? (have to admit, I was the one who brought that all up)
  3. Younger generations understand the need for formal performance reviews, but what they don’t want is surprises. Feedback, both critiques and praise, should be ongoing (John Chen).
  4. Don’t *just* communicate with your staff when there’s a problem. You’re teaching them to dread interacting with you (Laurence Hart).
  5. Knowledge about generational differences doesn’t give you answers; it helps you have better conversations (Jamie Notter).

Bonus point: don’t pre-judge people based on age, perceived level of experience, a previous bad encounter with someone you think is like them, what you’ve read in a poorly researched article (Time, I’m looking at you). Give people the benefit of the doubt, assume the best until proven otherwise, and cut each other some slack.

Have an outstanding first weekend of summer, everyone!

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About Elizabeth Weaver Engel, CAE

Elizabeth Weaver Engel, M.A., CAE, is CEO and Chief Strategist at Spark Consulting LLC. Elizabeth has over 19 years of experience helping associations grow, in membership, marketing, communications, public presence, and especially revenue, which is what Spark is all about. She speaks and writes frequently on a variety of topics in association management. When she's not helping associations grow, Elizabeth loves to dance, listen to live music, cook, garden, and blog about the Philadelphia Eagles.
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