At Racepoint Global (RPG), our mission is to help shape conversations that matter for tech-forward brands. As an integrated comms and PR shop focused broadly on the tech sector, we acknowledge that creating inclusive environments is one of those essential conversations. More inclusive and diverse teams drive better innovation.
This is imperative for other agency and in-house leaders, as well, as we all benefit from creating inclusive environments in our own workplaces. Moreover, as communicators, we have the power to influence culture. That requires us to think holistically about the audiences we must reach.
While audiences are changing across MANY dimensions, one often overlooked area is within the sphere of age. We are in the most age-diverse period in our history—people are living longer and working longer. That requires us to think about how to connect across “generations” at work.
This is the essence of the work my friend, Marci Alboher, does at CoGenerate (formerly Encore)—where she helps more experienced workers find their second- or third-act roles and bridges generational divides to create impact.
Earlier this year, Marci and I were discussing questions related to navigating aging in work and life. In that conversation, I shared that curiosity is one of our core behaviors at RPG and that I’ve been thinking a lot about how people from different age groups can learn from each other to enrich their work experience.
She said that I had to meet her friend and long-time collaborator, Scott Shigeoka, whose book, Seek: How Curiosity Can Transform Your Life and Change the World, was about to be released. As a result of that conversation, I pre-ordered copies of Scott’s book for our entire team. And it sparked an idea for our PRovoke Media podcast.
Hosted by PRovoke’s Megan Miller, I hope you’ll listen to Cross-Generational Communications: Creating Ageless Connections.
I’m grateful to Scott and Marci for sharing their perspectives and experience. They covered a lot of ground in this conversation, including:
- The power of difference and why you should “look at the shoes.”
- How a culture of curiosity creates compassion, courage, and connection.
- The power of open questions like “tell me more…” or “Who else should I speak to…?”
- A reminder that curiosity is contagious. And there are different kinds of curiosity: inward, outward, and beyond.
- The power of asking individuals about their communication styles and preferred operating modes. This also includes the importance of determining buy-in about how best to give and receive feedback.
- How storytelling is a great equalizer across generations (baby pictures, anyone?), and why we should invite “imaginary people” into the room where we make decisions.
- That people value flexibility about the same as a 10% pay increase and retention is ultimately about wellbeing.
- The importance of owning the narrative of our career arc as we age and recognizing that we have different career “seasons.”
- How people naturally fear “endings” and how we must embrace endings as an important part of the human experience.
The energy in the conversation is palpable. It’s fun to listen in on folks—of different generations—who respect each other’s work.
I hope it sparks your curiosity about ways in which you can foster cross-generational collaboration—or, like me, think about ways you can contribute as a leader in a different season of your career.