The Myth of "Generational Traits"

4 min

Age stereotypes
have aged out.

To check your own
age assumptions:

1. Question what you assume 

We all have preconceived notions that we associate with the various life stages. What pictures come to mind when you hear "baby boomer" and "millenial," "old" and "young"?  How might those images be oversimplified or outdated?

2. Question why you assume it

Unlike other prejudices, ageism is something that affects all of us. We've all been young at some point – and we're all getting older. If you've had a long career, think back on how it felt to just start out. And if you're younger, how do you hope you’ll be treated as you age?

Here's a scenario.

Glenda's team has been working long hours trying to get a new product rolled out to customers. She just pulled aside an older employee and let him know that he should feel free to excuse himself early because "she knows he's exhausted." Glenda meant well – why was her comment hurtful and inappropriate?

Quiz 1 of 1

Glenda meant well – why was her statement hurtful and inappropriate?

Even though she's probably right, it's wrong to bring it up out loud.
She should ask more about his health history before making assumptions.
Instead of leaving him out of key work, she should talk to him about retirement.
She's making assumptions about his energy levels based on his age.

We're all more alike than we may think. 

By recognizing your own assumptions, you can help your team find that common ground.

Lesson complete

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