Bridging the gen gap
A quiet word to any Millennials… Life coach Deena (left) often sees people in their forties and fifties who are hacked-off with work, and Millennials are often the problem. ‘Older workers don’t tend to feel threatened,’ says Deena, ‘just annoyed and frustrated. What I hear often is that Millennials lack maturity and they should listen more. Most of these clients want Millennials to learn from the mistakes of older employees and show a little respect for their wisdom.’
She says that when the tables are turned and she’s talking to Millennial clients, the advice she is most likely to dispense is: ‘Create your credibility.’ ‘Millennials can’t just march in thinking they know it all,’ she says. ‘They need to be humble, curious, observant and be willing to learn.’
By doing this, she says, older bosses and colleagues will recognise their commitment and create opportunities for them. Also, says Deena, Millennials who are willing to learn from older colleagues will likely find that the latter are receptive to a few ‘modern’ ideas, too. In this way, the two groups can effectively mentor each other.
Adds Lee Poynter, global head of design at creative communications agency Crowd, who have offices in Dubai, the US and the UK: ‘We find that senior team members’ commercial and creative experience is as invaluable as the drive to contribute and the technological savvy that the younger team members bring to the table. Both groups can definitely benefit from each other’s experiences.’