When Loyd and I met last, we discussed Millennials and Boomers on a quick puddle jumper as best we could over the loud engines.

As a refresher, over the last couple of months, Loyd and I have focused our discussions on overcoming generational differences in the workplace. In December, we discussed influences responsible for shaping generational perspectives. January’s discussion was geared towards advice to Boomers about Millennials, and February focused on advice to Millennials about Boomers.

Today we are meeting at the rental car terminal on our way to meet with a client on this very topic. Our client is experiencing tension in the workplace between what the client is referring to as “old school” and “new school” ways of thinking. Over the last couple of months, our client has fielded multiple meetings on the topic. Frustrated and noticing a dip in productivity and team morale, he called us in to quickly “nip this thing in the bud.”

Once we found ourselves to the rental car and got our wits about us, Loyd asked: “So as we are driving towards what could be an emotional mess, how are you thinking of approaching the perspectives of “old” and “new” school thinker/team members?

Well Loyd, I started; you and I have had rich dialogue on how both Millennials and Boomers could expand their thinking about the other. What I would add to those discussions would be something to the tune of….

Advice to Both Millennials and Boomers

May I suggest that you dismiss the concept of right and wrong. On any given subject which you may debate, I can give convincing evidence that either of you are right or wrong. If you are not a believer, invite me over sometime, pick any subject and I’ll give you a ride from dumb-ass to genius. Opposing perspectives are the product of your starkly different developmental cultures. Most importantly, accept that listening is the greatest communication skill and that you cannot listen with your mouth open. Before you get your back up, make sure you understand what has been said in the unique language of a Baby Boomer or Millennial.


Dealing with complex business, family, generational, recruitment or growth questions? Ask Dr. Merlot: drmerlot@rawlsgroup.com


 Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter to stay informed on how to overcome related succession planning issues.