Creating Bonds Within Groups
“Communication is a journey. The more that people have in common, the better the chance that they can take that journey together.” ~ John C. Maxwell
Do you lead a project, business or committee? Is there a sense of “us versus them” distrust within the group because of distinctions between generations, experiences or interests? Then, how do you get those individuals to work together? You continually focus on the things people have in common so they can bond. And, don’t allow your group to dwell on differences like negative stereotypes which widen the chasm for communication.
When you have things in common with people, there’s a starting point where you can have a conversation. The initial conversation of those things lays seeds for growing a bond. We’re all human and have basic needs. Having friends, nature, and emotions are among things everybody shares. Some emotions are positive, warm and helpful. Other emotions aren’t that way on the surface.
Biases are one of the “non-positive” emotions which come naturally depending how, when, where, and who raised you. You developed these from when you were young. These prejudgments are reinforced or weakened by your environment, friends, family and your experiences. Prejudgments could include negative stereotypes about people who were born at a different time.
Working with people from different backgrounds, histories, experiences and ages, I promote communication, conversation and connection. When I hear, “those Millennials” or “Okay, Boomer”, I cringe recognizing them as the biases they are: ageism. Either expression when spoken with contempt is off-putting and is used to shame the other.
Whether ageism is used as a bias in rewarding/punishing or communicating, it’s not helpful to anybody and only creates friction, more bad behavior and animosity within your team and your organization.
Want to promote and reinforce people working together? Start at the beginning. You are the leader – eliminate the ageism from your communication first. Then, bring the shared values and needs to your sphere of influence: department, practice, team. What do we have in common: we work for the same organization and are trying to do something collectively for the benefit of the business. How can we best accomplish this together? Do we need a mix of skills and experience to maximize our assets? Does that include people of different age groups?
There is no us versus them, there is only us.
How is your team or business operating with multi-generations? If you are not benefiting from the full abilities of all your professional employees, email me and let’s talk: firstname.lastname@example.org