Misunderstanding Generations: What We're Getting Wrong About Millennials, GenXers and Baby Boomers | WYPR

Misunderstanding Generations: What We're Getting Wrong About Millennials, GenXers and Baby Boomers

Aug 30, 2017

Credit Photo courtesy Creative Commons

 (We originally aired this program on June 28, 2017.)

There's no shortage of think pieces exploring the ways Millennials -- that is, folks born between 1981 and 1996 -- differ from older generations. Those pieces often describe a generation of entitled, lazy, participation-trophy babies.  But some experts say that perception is wrong and reflects our society's misunderstanding of Millennials and their relationship with technology. 

On the other hand, Baby Boomers -- members of the "flower child" generation born between 1946 and 1964 -- are often seen as hardworking and disciplined when compared with younger generations, but they also get a bad rap for being selfish, particularly when it comes to political and fiscal ideology.

And what about Generation X?  Sometimes called "the forgotten generation" because of their relatively small numbers, those born between 1965 and 1981 are frequently accused of being apathetic and uninvolved, but they’re also the generation that championed the notion of "work-life balance."

How are these perceptions about the habits of those belonging to any particular generational group influencing the ways we interact with one another? Where are we getting it wrong and how can we better understand each other, and work better together?

Joining Tom to address these questions are two guests who've spent a lot of time exploring generational differences:

Crystal Kadakia is the author of The Millennial Myth: Transforming Misunderstanding into Workplace Breakthroughs and the founder of Invati Consulting, where she advises businesses on how to create a modern workplace culture based on millennial insight. 

Chuck Underwood is a generational studies expert and founder of the consulting firm The Generational Imperative. He’s also the author of America’s Generations In The Workplace, Marketplace, and Living Room.