“Serenity now!” This quote from Frank Costanza on “Seinfeld” is increasingly becoming my favorite mantra for the workplace. When my uber-generation-Y colleague communicates in 20 e-mails what she could easily say to my face – serenity now! When I’m treated like “the little sister” because I’m numerically the youngest in my group – serenity now! When a peer calls me a suck up because I respect my boss – serenity now!
Don’t get me wrong, being a generational mutt has its perks. I’m a Generation Y-er by birth, a Gen X-er by nature, and I was raised by boomers. So I get it! I get that my boomer boss may occasionally turn to me for help in resolving some techno glitch, and I’ve learned not to take it personally when a Gen Y-er colleague throws an occasional hissy fit.
Yes, generational differences can create conflict and miscommunication in the workplace, but they also drive our ability to effectively communicate with diverse audiences – and as PR professionals, that’s what we do.
On Wednesday, October 7, we’ll be discussing generational diversity at the PR Day New Pros Roundtable. Join me and three other panelists as we discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly of working in a generationally diverse team. From budding professionals to seasoned pros, the panelists will answer everything you’ve wanted to know about different generations but were too afraid to ask.
In the meantime, to quote Pat Benatar, “Hit me with your best shot.” What are some of your workplace horror stories? Did diverse generational perspectives help your communications team lead a successful project? We’d love to hear your stories. Post your comments to this blog or to the PRSA Houston page on Facebook.
Click here for more information about PR Day 2009 or to register.
Contributed by Ariana Montelongo, public relations and minority outreach coordinator for LifeGift Organ Donation Center.