by Michael J. Urick
Originally published: May 8, 2017
ecently, several colleagues and I noted that conflict in the workplace can emerge as a result of perceptions of differences related to what members of various generations care about, how they engage in work, and how they define self and others. We also noted several ways in which these conflicts might be resolved including achieving results, managing image in the workplace, and focusing on self in challenging interactions. But some readers may wonder as to the importance of positive intergenerational actions in the workplace. They may ask: why is it important to improve intergenerational conflict at work?
Intergenerational communication is often apparent in popular culture. In a recent article, I reviewed several movies that highlighted intergenerational mentorship. For example, Han Solo mentors a younger Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Similarly (and perhaps more realistically), Anne Hathway’s and Robert DeNiro’s characters engage in highly effective mutual intergenerational mentorship after overcoming challenging interactions upon initially meeting in the film, The Intern.