Dr. Geil Browning
CEO & Founder
Emergenetics International

This month’s Motivation Monday series has focused on Principle #6 from my book Work That Works, entitled, Let Your People Live to Work, Not Work to Live. To get started, I asked you to consider how generational values impact your work. Then, I shared three activities to help you connect with employees in a way that would honor all generations. In this week’s blog, I’ll provide an example of how you can use common generational preferences in connection with a tool like the Emergenetics® Profile to maximize your existing management practices.

One of a leader’s most important job functions is to support the growth of their team members by providing meaningful feedback and coaching. And, with the growing interest employees are exhibiting in peer-to-peer or collegial coaching, these roles are often expanded to all staff members. To enhance your learning and development practices, managers and staff can optimize feedback by reflecting on generational tendencies and Emergenetics preferences.

Start by planning your approach to feedback through a generational lens. Below are a few considerations:

  • Silent Generation/Traditionalists: Often appreciate an approach that expresses respect for their experience, so consider asking for their input.
  • Baby Boomers: May like to receive written feedback, so take time to provide them with documentation.
  • Generation X: May appreciate when you get straight to the point, so consider limiting small talk.
  • Millennials: Often like immediate feedback, so offer your thoughts promptly and frequently.

Personalize the interaction further by utilizing the recipient’s Profile and their Thinking and Behavioral preferences:

  • Analytical: Provide a fair assessment of their work.
  • Structural: Offer specific examples.
  • Social: Discuss the impact their work has on others.
  • Conceptual: Tie your comments into the individual’s long-term development.
  • First-third Expressive: Provide your comments over email or one-on-one.
  • Third-third Expressive: Have a conversation in person or provide recognition publicly.
  • First-third Assertive: Deliver your comments constructively.
  • Third-third Assertive: Share your feedback in a straight-forward manner.
  • First-third Flexible: When discussing change, explain why it is important.
  • Third-third Flexible: Provide room for the individual to consider multiple possibilities.

To learn more about providing consistent, constructive feedback, I encourage you to read our recent blog post, which offers specific tips to help you create a culture of open communication.

Developing an environment where people live to work is becoming the norm. By considering generational tendencies as well as the Thinking and Behavioral preferences of your team members or colleagues, you can contribute to building a culture that honors varying approaches to work and drives engagement and success.

For more tips on how to apply the principles in Work That Works, purchase a copy of my book here or fill out the form below to purchase the companion card deck, which provides actionable tips to support your leadership journey.