Marie-Elena Barry, clinical assistant professor in the School of Nursing, was quoted in a story about generational differences in the workplace in Healthcare Financial Management Association’s HERe Nov. newsletter.
According to the story, building an effective team of multi-generational workers first requires understanding the perspectives, characteristics, and preferences of each generation. Such an understanding will help leaders bridge gaps when conflicts arise and create a more open working environment. Barry noted how important it is to be able to create successful communication with someone who thinks differently because of their age.
“I think understanding the differences is really important to creating successful communication and collaboration and understanding how this other person thinks,” said Barry. “You need to recognize and appreciate the culture and diversity of those you’re working with, and apply diverse characteristics in all settings.”
“The slow and steady wins the race is not necessarily what the Gen Xers and Millennials feel about caring for patients and communicating,” she says. “They’re much more to the point. This attitude could be seen as being somewhat rude or disrespectful when viewed by another generation. More often than not, it should not be seen as being disrespectful. It’s just their generational communication style.”