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What is it? Why do we need it? How do we get it?

Gener-Vision is, simply put, the ability to mentally put yourself in the other person’s shoes. It goes far beyond any one situation. Far beyond any one person. It is a glimpse at looking at the big picture and how we are all products of that picture.

Gener-Vision actually consists of consciously being aware of why we think and act the way we do based upon when we were born and what was happening in the world the first twenty years of our life. It is the result of the country’s culture as it was during this time in which we were forming our mindsets.

When I first put together my presentation “Bridging the Generation Gaps” as a part of a teambuilding presentation for the workplace, my enthusiasm started to grow. It all made so much sense. I was then asked to present it for 150 person audience at a University of Wisconsin’s Small Business Center Perspectives Series, and I started to see the enthusiasm of others as they absorbed the information. This interest and enthusiasm has been duplicated in the presentations since. Waukesha Technical College teachers defined it as “an eye opening experience”. Through my research it was soon apparent what a valuable tool this “insight” can offer, hence, the name Gener-Vision.

Today we have four generations represented in the workplace: the Veterans, the Baby Boomers, Generation-X, and the Millennials. Each brings with them their mindsets, core values, strengths, assets and liabilities. Each one has evolved differently from the other-is it any wonder we have challenges in our relationships? How do we most effectively manage our teams? How do we best serve our customers?

The next time you are placed in a difficult situation with a different generation member, stop and think why he/she thinks and acts like they do. In many cases it’s not so much who they are as it is the fact that they are products of the times in which they were raised. This does not alleviate them of accountability or responsibility for their actions

but it does help you in your own understanding in how to deal with the situation at hand. Then, take a deep a breath, and imagine what it would be like standing in their shoes, seeing things from their perspective. It will then be easier for you to proceed with respect and appreciation….and don’t forget a dash of patience

For more on Communicating with the different generations, click on Products, and order the value packed Special Report series.

Performance Consultant, Donna "Kinza" Christenson, is a workshop presenter and keynote speaker. She can be reached at 262-567-6817

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