2020-2021 National Mentoring for Leadership Ambassador
Blending the Generational Gap
Auxiliaries are struggling with blending ideas from all our members. By blending our generational gaps, we can learn from each other. You may be asking yourself how this fits into mentoring. Well, we first need to have an understanding how our members think, where they come from and how that works with a nation and organization that are always evolving. What ideas or projects worked five, 10, 30 years ago may not now, and vice versa; what did not work then may now. Sometimes ideas are before their time. Ask yourself, “What will it hurt to try it again?”
Blending generations starts with leadership and us as mentors. All levels of our organization face these issues, and most Departments have a team of multi-generational Officers and Chairmen. Auxiliaries look to their District and Departments to show them the way.
Having up to five generations of Auxiliary members working together can both promote creativity and innovation but can also cause conflict and misunderstanding. To start process of blending the generation gap you must know the answers to the following Ask these questions:
- How do we work together cohesively?
- How do we make everyone feel heard and wanted?
- Are you leading by example, do you let each other fail or do you work together to all succeed?
Here are some tips to avoid conflict and blend ideas as an Auxiliary for our veterans:
- Be respectful, flexible and understanding.
- Avoid stereotyping generations.
- Be open to learning and others learning from you.
- Adapt to different communication styles.
- Focus more on similarities, and less differences, between generations,
Mentoring does not always come from one generation. We are all learners and teachers working for one common mission. This is what makes our organization great. Let us look at each generation and what molds them.
Department of Maine Chairman Lynn Dunton shared this with Auxiliaries in her Department. What a great idea to promote healthy attitudes for the betterment of ourselves and our organization.
10 ways to maintain a healthy attitude:
- Find one good thing about every person you meet/know.
- Associate with positive people.
- Do a good deed every day.
- Turn challenges into opportunities.
- Eat right and get plenty of rest.
- Exercise daily even if it is a brief 10-minute walk.
- Be proud of yourself and what you do your work, your volunteer work, your family.
- Find time to relax and do something you enjoy each day – even if it is for five minutes!
- Remember to smile and laugh every day.
- You are in control of yourself and your attitude.