Today I received a copy of a book review of my new book UP: Influence Power and the U Perspective- The Art of Getting What You Want by the Midwest Book Review. The quote from the book that they chose to describe the U Perspective reminded me how important understanding of the U Perspective of different generations is at work. (Text of Book Review below). The different generations are usually classified as follows:
Gen X 1961-1980
Gen Y 1977-2000
Because each generation was affected by different life shaping events, their U Perspectives- what they care about and what will motivate them- differs. As a result, frequently generational miscommunication arise. If you are a boomer, you need to recognize that money and success which motivated you, may not be the prime motivator for other generations, or at least not a motivator in the same way as they were for you. Gen Xers want challenging work and work life balance in addition to money. Gen Yers also seek challenging work. While they expect to have many jobs and employers they tend to be more loyal and respectful of authority if you can win them over. Millennials, not really in the workforce yet, tend to be more relationship driven (although often those relationships are virtual), more easily distracted and better able to multi-task than prior generations. Since most of them are still being supported by their parents, how they see money and career remains to be seen.
What does this mean for the workplace. If you want to succeed pay close attention to the different U Perspectives of each generation. Gaining their support and cooperation, whether as a boss or a colleague, will require understanding the generational aspects of their U Perspective. Motivate them to want to help you by focusing on what they care about. Money alone will generally not be enough to attract and retain them nor to gain their support. Don't assume that they would do "what you would if you were in their shoes." Trust me they wear different shoes than you do. Avoid miscommunications by listening and learning about how each generation sees things, how they like to process information and how they define career success. However, do not assume that everyone from the same generation is the identical. While U Perspectives are informed by shared generational experiences, everyone's U Perspective is unique because everyone specific life experiences and values are different. Once, however, you understand an individual's U Perspective motivating them to want to help you achieve your objectives becomes a much simpler task.
THE BOOK REVIEW UP: Influence Power and the U Perspective- The Art of Getting What You Want:
"Written by experienced businessman and winner of the 2005 Seton Hall University Business School's Award for Teaching Excellence Lee E. Miller with consultant and entrepreneur Barbara Jackson, UP: Influence, Influence, Power and the U Perspective- The Art of Getting What You Want is a self-help guide to cultivating one’s ability to influence people and build lasting agreements that advance mutual goals.
Chapters discuss the "three C's" method of influencing others (Convince, Collaborate and Create), and the importance of understanding others' perspectives. "Since our beliefs and values are developed over time, on a subconscious level, most people simply assume that everyone sees the world the way they do. Even when we recognize that someone else sees a situation differently than we do, our first instinct usually is to try to persuade them to see things our way. The U Perspective takes the opposite approach. Its effectiveness is not rooted in the ability to convince others to change their views or adopt different values. Instead, its power comes from recognizing what others already believe and want and providing solutions based on that information." A top-notch guide, especially ideal for greasing social wheels in business circles but packed cover to cover with tips for more effective negotiation and team-building in personal circles as well."