When it comes to the workplace (or space), there is no doubt that we all have to learn to deal with deadlines, long hours, excess coffee and … personalities. In this new era of digital inclusiveness, we not only have to become smart about working with people from all ethnic backgrounds, but also, be understanding of the generational gap between team members. Specially, if that team members is, well, your jefa (or jefe).
Scary? Yes. Impossible to deal with? No.
We have some tips that will allow you to talk to bosses from different generational eras. Whether your boss is a Baby Boomer, a Gen-Xer, Millennial, or even a Gen-Zer, We got you! Please keep in mind that these tips are merely suggestions.
For the most part, these people don’t beat around the bush much, so you’ll want to be assertive (aka as direct, to the point). Of course, so as long as it is respectful. This generation has lots of gems to share, so let them talk without interrupting. Once they are done, go ahead and contribute to the conversation with your own set of magic. Emailing or texting them also needs to be very direct. So, please, get to the point quickly. If you can, try calling them. It’s faster, and all parties involved will be relieved the conversation wasn’t extended longer than it needed.
It seems as though Gen Xers are often forgotten, but they are just as important. Perhaps the reason why Gen X isn’t spoken about a lot is that they have learned how to adapt to different generations rather well. They were the first generation to see the advances of modern technology from the start, which is why they can be so understanding. The beauty of a Gen X boss is that you can look up to them while still joking with them. You’ll even want to be direct with them. They don’t believe in wasting time and enjoy maximizing their days as much as possible. Also, don’t worry if they respond to you with a simple “K.” They were taught that digital communication was supposed to be brief. Maybe we should learn from them?
Gen Y or Millennials
Contrary to popular belief, Millennials are not as young as many think they are. In fact, older Millennials are already 40. Yes, (Wild!) So, by this point, many of them are doing more than “adulting.” They are the adults, and plenty of them are navigating the workplace as bosses, despite many people not having high expectations. So, how does one communicate with a Millennial boss? Well, generally, they are going to be understanding. After being submerged in a world that seems to conspire against them, they know a thing or two about taking a step back and assessing the situation. Also, since many of them are aware of the importance of mental health, they will make a genuine effort to listen to your concerns. Ultimately, you will want to approach a Millennial boss with the truth and without thinking you’re going to be judged for it. Of course, don’t forget that they are your boss at the end of the day.
Gen Z bosses are just starting to trickle into the workplace, so it is not as common. However, if you are lucky enough to encounter a Gen Z boss, communicate freely. They, too, will be more than happy to hear you out. Interesting enough, they will be more direct than their closest generation, Millennials. So, feel free to match their energy. If you ever feel at a loss with them, share a meme or two with them. Overall, this type of professional relationship is one where learning is welcomed.