How Empathy Helps Bridge Generational Differences

SourceHarvard Business Review
CountryMiddle east

CURT NICKISCH: Welcome to the HBR IdeaCast from Harvard Business Review. I’m Curt Nickisch. People don’t always understand each other or work the same ways. They communicate differently, they have different work habits, they prioritize different things, they have different ideas of what constitutes a job well done, or even what the purpose of a job is in the first place. These kinds of culture and value clashes have been in the workplace forever.

But for a long time, they were often suppressed by organizations that forced a one size fits all culture. But with the growing realization that these differences can fuel business growth, not just slow it down through friction, they were emerging more and more, and all that demands a different type of leader. One clear way in which these clashes are playing out in the workplace comes along the generational divide. Managers who grew up in a more rigid work environment are now leading millennials and others who did not. Today’s author says that empathy is one of the most important tools managers can have to better understand other generations in the workplace. Mimi Nicklin is an ad agency executive and the author of the book “Softening the Edge: more...