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

Photo courtesy Creative Commons

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 paint a picture of a generation of entitled, lazy, participation trophy babies, but some experts say that perception is wrong and informed by our society's misunderstanding of Millennials and their relationships to technology. 

On the other hand Baby Boomers, 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 accused of being apathetic and uninvolved but, they’re also the generation who 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, to work better together?

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.

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