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Did you know that for the first time ever, we have five generations in the workplace? Five! In a time where diversity and inclusion are (thankfully!) a top priority for organisations, generational diversity can be easy to overlook. Yet, each generation brings diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and behavioural norms to work that, when effectively connected, can improve organisational culture and performance.
The notion of so many generations now working together hadn’t really occurred to us until we watched Chip Conley’s TED Talk, “What baby boomers can learn from millennials at work – and vice versa”. Conley, Airbnb exec—and, coincidentally, Wiley-published author—found himself as the company elder when he brought his hospitality industry expertise to the (at the time) up-and-coming tech start-up.
“The more I’ve seen and learned about our respective generations, the more I realise that we often don’t trust each other enough to actually share our respective wisdom,” Conley explains. “I believe, looking at the modern workplace, that the trade agreement of our time is opening up these intergenerational pipelines of wisdom so that we can all learn from each other.”
We’ve talked before about how Everything DiSC® can help bridge the gap between different working styles…but can DiSC help us connect people across the five generations in today’s modern workplace? We believe it can!
People often ask us:
- Do people’s DiSC styles change as they get older?
- Are there differences among generations on DiSC style?
The short answer is differences in DiSC style based on generations is very, very slight. In statistical terms, age accounts for less than 1% of variance in DiSC styles. This means if you look at all the differences, we see across DiSC styles, less than 1% of those differences are related to age.
In other words, DiSC transcends differences in age and serves as a roadmap to connect people across generations. Through this roadmap, organisations can foster work environments that enable all five generations to teach and learn from each other.
Take, for example, a team of two Millennials, a Gen-Xer and a Baby Boomer. They may feel quite different from each other and struggle to connect, blaming this struggle on differences in age and experience. In learning their DiSC styles, they start to see each other from a new perspective. Instead of two Millennials, a Gen-Xer and a Baby Boomer, they might discover they are an S-style, a CD-style, and two D-styles! Because DiSC delivers actionable ways to connect across workstyles, this team can experiment with new, more effective, ways to work together.
Conley states, “I don’t care if you’re in the B-to-B world, the B-to-C world, the C-to-C world or the A-to-Z world, business is fundamentally H-to-H: human to human.” We couldn’t agree more. Implementing Everything DiSC in an organisation connects people on a human level. It helps people understand more about themselves, of course. But maybe more importantly, it also helps people understand others and how they can appreciate their similarities and value their differences.
We, like you, believe in the power of connecting diversity in the workplace and generational diversity is no exception. We’ll close with another quote from Conley:
“We have five generations in the workplace today, and we can operate like separate isolationist countries, or we can actually start to find a way to bridge these generational borders. And it’s time for us to actually look at how to change up the physics of wisdom so it actually flows in both directions, from old to young and from young to old.”
When we learn about our personality styles, we learn about the styles of others. This helps us change our interaction with others to be more cohesive in a team or group – in business and our personal lives.
DiSC personality testing is the tool that over 70% of Fortune 500 companies use daily making this a tried and trusted tool.
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THE POWER BEHIND THE TRAINING ESTABLISHMENT & DiSC-OURSE:
Director & Facilitator of DiSC-OURSE and Director, Mentor & Lead Trainer of The Training Establishment
Rebecca has over 30-years experience in the Hospitality, Travel & Tourism industry, Rebecca is an expert in creating dynamic leaders, specialising Sales & Marketing. The DiSC psychometric testing tool has found its home at The Training Establishment since we’ve been using this in our training courses since 2016. Rebecca has a personal passion with DiSC and has created a way for participants to learn about their style in a fun, engaging and memorable way. Irene Parker, Lead Trainer, for DiSC-OURSE is equally as passionate about DiSC and is the perfect trainer to lead your team through DiSC. Her delightful and entertaining style makes every participant listen, learn and take action. Irene developes all trainers to have the same outcomes and ensures your training will have an outstanding ROI.