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Haydn talks “Sticking Points” on Manager Mojo podcast

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I was recently interviewed on Steve Caldwell’s Manager Mojo podcast. The focus of Steve’s podcast is to provide common sense solutions to management and leadership issues. I had a great time sharing my experiences.

About my interview, Steve writes:

You have to learn how to identify the sticking points when you are dealing with today’s multi-generational workforce says this week’s guest, Haydn Shaw. Haydn is the author of “Sticking Points: How to Get 4 Generations Working Together in the 12 Places They Come Apart.” Haydn is a long time consultant with FranklinCovey and has spoken to over 100,000 people in his storied career. He shares his wisdom and insight on the Manager Mojo Podcast and provides many thoughtful ideas on how to reach the various audiences you work with. I know you will love this episode.

You can download the podcast or listen here: Haydn Shaw on Manager Mojo.

Many thanks to Steve Caldwell. Hope you enjoy.

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Three mistakes to avoid when supervising people your parents’ age

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Here’s an excerpt from my latest column in the Huffington Post:

My father-in-law, Bob Irvine, never lectured me when I was a young manager supervising much older employees. Instead, he laughed at “those young college guys who come in thinking they know everything and trying to prove to their bosses how smart they are. They sweep into the department acting like most of what we’ve done for years needs to be fixed. It takes nine months to train them on what doesn’t work when they get out of the classroom and into the real world. Then we can get back to making steel . . . for six months until they get transferred and we have to start over again with another one.”

Even though Bob’s been gone more than a decade now, these conversations we had while working on a car or cooking at the grill came back to me last week during a management seminar I was teaching. A participant asked one of the most common questions about generations: how do you manage people in generations older than you? The Millennial and younger Generation Xer managers nodded when I answered: the research shows that when a person is old enough to say to their boss, “I have boots older than you,” their boss has to lead rather than try to tell them what to do. Managing rather than leading is the most common problem that gets young managers on the road to a “big fail” with older employees.

I’ve seen young managers make three mistakes most often that keep them from leading employees the age of their parents….

Read my entire column here.

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FAQ #2: Arent generational differences really just life stages?

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Today I’d like to address another of the most frequently asked questions I receive about generations: Aren’t generational differences really just life stages?

Not exactly. While there are many characteristics and behaviors that can be attributed to specific stages in life, these stages are shaped and impacted by the experiences and values of each generation.

When people complain that Millennials are postponing adulthood and stretching the time they spend experimenting with different careers and identities, they forget that the same was said about the Baby Boomers and Xers when they were in their twenties.

Yet each generational experience has been different, and we can’t ignore that. Here’s one example: Boomers spent more money than Traditionalists did at each stage in life because they didn’t experience the trauma of the Great Depression. They went through the life cycle milestones, but with greater optimism about money. And yet those high, optimistic expectations have also caused Boomers to have, overall, less satisfaction with life than other generations.

Admittedly, generational research is not an exact science, and it’s impossible to completely distinguish life stage behaviors from generational differences, especially when people are in their teens. But over time, enough data comes in from surveys, voting patterns, and purchases to see significant differences emerge so that we can confidently identify a new generation.

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FAQ #1: Aren’t generations more alike than they are different?

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Today I want to address one of the most frequently asked questions I receive about generations: Aren’t generations more alike than they are different?

The short answer is yes. But according to Pew Research Center, 79% of the public sees a generation gap in points of view. This might seem like a bad thing, but in reality, it isn’t.

Obviously, we don’t need sociologists to tell us that a 75-year-old votes, works, or buys differently than a 35-year-old. We see it for ourselves at family reunions or in meetings at work. But recent polling by Pew also reveals that while our society is noticing this generation gap, they’re not so sure that the gap is really causing huge problems in our organizations or families – just sticking points we need to overcome. This is great news! It means that generational tensions are inevitable, but generational problems are preventable.

While generations are certainly more alike than different, those generational sticking points can still sidetrack your team, so they can’t be ignored. Most people can relate well to two of the generations but not all four. This is why marketers spend millions of dollars to pinpoint generational differences. How are you helping your employees relate to all generations? How are you preparing your salespeople to sell to them?

Good leadership will work with everyone because people from all generations have the same basic needs. They need to be treated like whole people, not managed like things, and then they will volunteer their best. Understanding generational differences will enhance your effectiveness by allowing you to flex your approach to make each generation more productive.

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Video: Leading multiple generations in the workplace

Today I’m featuring a video that’s a few years old but still very much relevant when dealing with multiple generations in the workplace. From the 2010 Chicagoland Learning Leaders Peer-networking Breakfast:

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Restaurant Briefing: Working through generational tensions

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RestaurantBriefing.com recently did an article featuring my five steps to work through tensions between generations. Here’s an excerpt:

For the first time in history, there are four generations in the workplace – Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials – creating unprecedented challenges for managers and employees… and opportunities.

“These generations might as well be from different countries,” says Haydn Shaw, generational expert and author, Sticking Points: How to Get 4 Generations Working Together in the 12 Places They Come Apart. In fact, he continues, they effectively are….

Working effectively with generations is not about managing, it’s about leading, Haydn cautions. “The Boomers were the last generation that responded to management; Gen Xers and Millennials respond to leadership. Moving from management to leadership means stopping to understand why the generations approach life differently. And you’ll need to quit trying to fix or cut a deal and figure out how to motivate different generations by learning how to solve problems with them. You have to get the different generations talking to each other and working through their frictions.”

Read the entire article here.

[Photo via RestaurantBriefing.com]

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Read Haydn's columns at the Huffington Post
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What People Are Saying
About Haydn


Haydn's principles were the key to getting generations working together at our company.
- Matt Rubel, former chairman, CEO, and President of Payless Shoe Source


Haydn is smart, practical, and funny. He has the ability to see the big picture through vast amounts of information in multiple disciplines while simultaneously providing practical insights and tools that can be used immediately. Haydn has the rare gift of taking complex things and making them simple—without being simplistic.
- Stephen MR Covey


When Haydn spoke to our leaders, he got us thinking about generational differences in new ways that help us better attract and empower employees of all generations.
- Ralph C. Stayer, CEO and owner of Johnsonville Sausage


Haydn's presentation on generationscontains insights and processes that do indeed work. We've had Haydn back many times to teach our managers these tools. I found it so valuable and enjoyable that I invited my wife to come hear his presentation. It will improve your ability to speak the language of other generations at work and in your personal life.
- Jim Thyen, president and CEO of Kimball International, Inc.

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What people are saying
about Sticking Points

Sticking points helps the readers sort out how to get all four generations working together rather than complaining about each other. Very insightful and well balanced.

sticking points testimonials
- Ken Blanchard, co-author of The One Minute Manager and Trust Works!


Haydn not only turns automatic contention between the generations in understanding, but reveals the opportunities. A must-read!
- Ron McMillan, co-author of four New York Times bestsellers, including Crucial Conversations


Sticking Points will be my reference guide for years to come as a go-to resource for both understanding and resolving generational differences. I predict it will become a reference guide for you, too, filled with ideas and insights you can apply from a person you can trust.
- Stephen MR Covey


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