Bridging the Generation Gap. Tamara Erickson talks about Diversity


"The biggest mistake that "boomers" make with Generation X is to think they are going to want to follow the same career path as they did," Tamara Erickson, an expert on the multigenerational workforce, told the World Business Forum. "Once people realize how valid it is to have different perspectives, they tend to open themselves to all forms of diversity."

"Most of us, including myself, have some pretty strong views about what's good and what's bad and what's right and what's wrong that we're not really even aware of, and we bring this into the workplace," she said. Boomers have had to compete at every step of the game and are relentlessly driven, she said. Generation X, on the other hand, are more likely to be thinking about how they can keep their options open. They are not so into playing the corporate game. An interesting thing about Generation Y, she says, is that they trust authority, which neither the boomers nor Generation X do.

"So don't jump to conclusions," she said. "When somebody reacts to situations in the workplace in a way that you think is really strange, don't make a snap judgment that they are wrong or not committed. Try to step back and understand where they’re coming from."