Small Biz Boomer

Life Lessons for All Generations

Archive for the tag “Social Media”

For BabyBoomers Sometimes It’s Best to “Listen Down”

Recently I attended  a conference  where I met two young women  who had just attended a workshop for millennials.  One was  a millennial and  the other a Gen-Xer .  Both expressed concern about the lack of clarity and focus of  the  panel.  The workshop, they said, simply did not speak to them.  I asked them about their concerns and found they had some great ideas to what could have been done differently.  We then discussed their workplace situation.  It seems both faced barriers and constant challenges  from baby boomers who were still stuck on how things were done 20 years ago.   The boomers, they said, would not even try to . listen to their ideas.

No doubt about it we  baby boomers are amazing.  I do know and greatly appreciate “AARP” – the American Association for Retired Persons which advocates for us boomers and those older.   We have amazing  role models that remain relevant across generations .  Witness Aretha Franklin,    “The Queen of  Soul,” with a new comeback album that will “cover” the latest hits.   The late  Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Brendan Eich (the guy that invented JavaScript) remain tech industry  and social  icons.   Heck we even can claim a  U.S. President  (Barack Obama).   We are leaders of social change,  news anchors, business owners,  heads of state, corporate giants, authors and  we are  eternally young to boot.   Yet for far too many it has been hard for us  to make room for the generations that  have come after us.  While we have much wisdom and knowledge to pass on,  we have become rather stingy and egotistical about it.  We jealously guard our turf, not wanting to share.  Worst we don’t want to hear fresh ideas from those younger than us.  Yes, we will hire “young” presuming that younger  means cheaper just so long as  our ideals,  our wisdom, our  knowledge will still dominate.  That need, by the way, includes the workplace as well as the simple community event.     So where can we start to bridge the information/wisdom/knowledge gap?   Let’s just start by listening.   Young people have a lot to offer not just in terms of social media or new tech know-how.  Many are also quite wise.  Frankly, if  we #boomers are to really to  remain “forever young,” we have to start listening and respecting what we hear from members of   generations that follow us.    So  next time a seemingly overconfident millennial or gen-Xer offers you advice,  just listen.  It may be the first step in helping you change the world  or at least change your life.

 

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