Written by Gary Matsuda
What generation do these quotes describe?
“… entitled whiners who have been spoiled by parents who overstocked their
self-esteem. . . how unmanageable they are in the workplace . . . with their inability to take criticism… they’re a generation of basket cases profoundly narcissistic and deprived of a sense of agency . . . in short they’re a nation of wimps.”
”…lazy entitled selfish shallow unambitious shoegazers who have trouble making decisions…”
“Partly I am lazy. I don’t feel like working this summer. I’m writing a book and taking a history course at Columbia. Even the dullest art history book gives me a greater sense of freedom than being imprisoned in an office. I don’t feel like being confined, I want my time to be at my own disposal. I suppose I’m spoiled.”
“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents . . . and tyrannize their teachers.”
They are in the order given: Millennials, Generation X, the Boomers and some young punks described by Socrates from about 400BC. If you had trouble associating the quotes with an age group, that’s the point, each generation seems to say the same thing about the generation after them.
Michael Seaver, an award-winning executive coach, leadership consultant, author and speaker was with us recently to get us to think differently about our approach to communicating with another generation. If we go beyond focusing on our differences and we should find more things in common than we think.
Too young. Too old. They just don’t get it, so out of touch with reality. While every news post you read seems to support the position on how flagrantly wrong others are, Michael asks must there really be a ‘Generation Gap’? There is if you believe there is. Our natural inclination to be wary of strangers, to ‘size up’ someone new prevents us from creating real human relationships. That’s our brain’s limbic system at work, protecting ourselves from new situations and potential enemies. In just a few seconds it tells us if someone we’ve just met can be trusted so we have to be intentional about overcoming our brain’s natural protective tendencies to create negative emotions, work through some of our biases and actively work to find something in common.
We can do that on an emotional level and he breaks it down with ‘Five Ways We are all Similar‘ that demonstrates human commonality and how we’re more similar than dissimilar and enables us to find better ways to start and deepen relationships.
Credibility – Who do you trust the most?
It turns out the top three credible sources of information for most people are, technical experts, academic experts or a person like yourself.
You would wonder why celebrities are used to promote a product or service when it’s actually more effective to get validation from experts or from people who look like us.
Why is this important? You can use this to ask the right questions to get to the point of trust faster.
When informational interviewing an expert –
• Why do you enjoy your area of expertise?
• When and how did you know it’d become your career?
• How do you use your expertise day to day?
When networking with a person like yourself –
• Walk me through your journey to today.
• What are your most important life lessons learned?
• Why do you continue working for this organization?
• Fastest way to build rapport is to find commonality
10 Principles of What Everyone Likes/Dislikes and Needs
Knowing that these fundamentals are true for everyone, you can apply these to just about any relationship.
You don’t have to know someone’s past or what generation they belong. You can use questions like these to get past small talk:
- What is your favorite thing to learn about?
- What recent life changes have you experienced?
- What do you value in a leader and why is that important to you?
- Do you have a coach? What has he/she taught you?
Another way to cut through the generational divide is to look at human needs from ‘Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs’ model. Absolute life essentials are near the bottom of the pyramid and as these lower needs are met, we grow and build upon each successive need, ultimately to be able to help others.
Although sometimes, life happens. A crisis can quickly move us down a level or more, so the application here is to ask carefully how someone is meeting or has met their needs. With tact, you can ask someone from a different generation –
• Tell me about the community you were raised in.
• From your teenage years, what world events do you remember most vividly?
• What values are you trying to pass to your children/community?
4 Life Stages
Another way to communicate across the generational divide is to categorize life into stages using psychologist Carl Jung’s Four Life Stages:
Like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, as we mature, we find ourselves in different roles and changing needs. As we try to navigate upward in Maslow’s Pyramid, in Jung’s model, we’ll will generally move from left to right ‘Athlete’ to ‘Spirit’. Allowing that ‘life happens’, boundaries between stages are fluid and we can move from one stage to the next on our own time.
So how can we use Life Stages to our benefit?
Common questions to help you connect in ways we are all the same:
• What are your life’s most important goals?
• Have you defined your life’s legacy? What is it?
• What challenges did you overcome? How do you help others do the same?
Five Brain Wave States
Dr. Bruce Lipton’s description of how Electroencephalogram brain waves is associated with different activities and different ages. From birth to age 6 a high percentage of the brains’ activity is spent in Theta and Delta where a child’s mind processes and absorbs a billions of bits of information that tend to stay for a lifetime.
Gamma 32-100Hz: Heightened perception, learning, problem solving tasks, cognitive processing
Beta 13- 32Hz: Awake, alert consciousness, thinking, excitement
Alpha 8-13Hz: Physically and mentally relaxed
Theta 4-8Hz: Creativity, insights, deep states, dreams, deep meditation, reduced consciousness
Delta .5-4Hz: Deep (dreamless) sleep, loss of bodily awareness, repair
All this matters because if you want to connect meaningfully with someone, (and hopefully your brainwaves will get synced up!) ask things such as:
• What did your parents do that you find yourself doing?
• What new habits have you formed recently?
• What do you do to find stillness, to find time to reflect?
Booker T. Washington said, ‘Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way’. Be uncommon by using some of these five ways to find similarities others often miss. If we are to connect with more people and have higher quality relationships use these ideas to find uncommon commonality and appeal to someone’s nobler motives so they will want to offer you expertise or guidance.
Robin Stanton, Sr. Recruiter, Talent Acquisition
Most likely the oldest company you’ve never heard of. Unless you’re in the business to business mortgage servicing industry, you’ve like not heard of them. But having been around for over 100 years and still going strong proves they’re doing something right. With projected growth of 40% for the next few years, they act like they’re like a startup.
Some opportunities are:
• Call center servicing
• Support services in claims, loss mitigation and foreclosures
Contact: Robin Stanton, Sr. Recruiter, Talent Acquisition
Patrick Groome, VP, Military and Veteran Recruiting Manager
Chase has positions open in everything (not just finance!) from entry level to VP positions but they are looking closely for the soft skills that you bring. If you are a good fit, you’ll have a good chance to find a place anywhere from customer facing positions to back office support. Once you get in (with one of their 111 jobs now open in Arizona), there’ll be plenty of room for career growth.
Contact: Patrick Groome, VP, Military and Veteran Recruiting Manager
Robin Ersland, Talent Acquisition Marketing Specialist
One of the biggest employers in the Valley and getting bigger especially during the pandemic, the needs are ever growing. A wide variety and number of jobs (700 positions!) and career paths are open to you from entry level on up including areas in but not limited to, supply chain, analysis, research, coordinators and security.
Contact: Robin Ersland, Talent Acquisition Marketing Specialist
Free DISC Assessment
We all like free, so at no cost to you find your behavior traits (which may help point to your values) and what kind of job will likely fit you through our online DISC assessment at:
For details about upcoming Career Connectors events, click here to visit the events section on the website for dates, times and details about hiring companies and keynote topics!