Reset the Dialogue: Generational Differences

Arin N. Reeves
May 2014

It’s time to reset the dialogue on generational differences.

Talking about generational differences is all the rage in workplaces these days. Much is written and said on Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y and how they all relate (or don’t) to one another. I’ve done my own share of researching, writing and speaking on this topic over the past few years, and I’ve watched and listened in frustration as the dialogue on this topic has slowly devolved into a diatribe against Gen Y.

If we want productive workplaces, we need to stop the diatribe and reset the dialogue.

Think Smarter. Lead Better.

  • It is not that I'm so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.

    Albert Einstein
  • Honest difference of views and honest debate are not disunity. They are the vital process of policy among free men.

    Herbert Hoover
  • Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs.

    Leo Tolstoy
  • When we lose the right to be different, we lose the privilege to be free.

    Charles Evan Hughes
  • In our work and in our living, we must recognize that difference is a reason for celebration and growth, rather than a reason for destruction.

    Audre Lorde
  • I not only use all the brains that I have, but all I can borrow.

    Woodrow Wilson
  • One must even beware of too much certainty that the answer to life's problems can only be found in one way and that all must agree to search for light in the same way and cannot find it in any other way.

    Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

    Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Differences challenge assumptions.

    Anne Wilson Schaef
  • Diversity and independence are important because the best collective decisions are the product of disagreement and contest, not consensus or compromise.

    James Surowiecki
  • Honest difference of views and honest debate are not disunity.They are the vital process of policy among free men.

    Herbert Hoover
  • Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.

    Stephen R. Covey
  • Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilisation.

    Mahatma Gandhi
  • To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.

    Tony Robbins
  • Where all think alike, no one thinks very much.

    Walter Lippmann
  • The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.

    F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Peace is not unity in similarity but unity in diversity, in the comparison and conciliation of differences.

    Mikhail Gorbachev
  • Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.

    Stephen R. Covey
  • The biggest mistake is believing there is one right way to listen, to talk, to have a conversation -- or a relationship.

    Deborah Tannen
  • The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.

    Albert Einstein
  • There never were in the world two opinions alike, no more than two hairs or two grains; the most universal quality is diversity.

    Michel de Montaigne
  • Wit lies in recognizing the resemblance among things which differ and the difference between things which are alike.

    Madame De Stael
  • Diversity: the art of thinking independently together.

    Malcolm Forbes
  • Difference of opinion is helpful in religion.

    Thomas Jefferson
  • America has believed that in differentiation, not in uniformity, lies the path of progress. It acted on this belief; it has advanced human happiness, and it has prospered.

    Louis D. Brandeis
  • Wide differences of opinion in matters of religious, political, and social belief must exist if conscience and intellect alike are not to be stunted, if there is to be room for healthy growth.

    Theodore Roosevelt
  • Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in.

    Isaac Asimov
  • Controversial' as we all know, is often a euphemism for 'interesting and intelligent.

    Kevin Smith
  • Diversity creates dimension in the world.

    Elizabeth Ann Lawless