In some offices, you might kick-start relationships between older and younger workers with these tips:
• Try reverse-mentoring. Even if you have decades of experience, partner with a younger worker to find out what he can teach you about, say, jazzing up Twitter or LinkedIn posts, or what the best smartphone apps are.
Older workers may dismiss the idea of being mentored by a young upstart. But the benefits can go both ways.
• Go out of your way to collaborate with different generations.
For example, you may learn that a Generation X co-worker who doesn’t seem team-oriented (because she always leaves early) may just be overloaded with caring for children and elderly parents.
• Don’t get hung up on office etiquette you think everyone should be following. You may consider a younger worker rude for texting on her iPhone, for example, but for her and her peers, the behavior is likely a norm.
— Adapted from “Filling a generation gap,” Dennis Nishi, The Wall Street Journal.
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