DJHP / Careers
I recently had the honor of attending my cousin’s wedding in Kennebunkport, Maine. I was stunned by the beauty. The hotel, rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony, even the wedding party was filled with beautiful people. It was picture perfect and it brought tears of joy to my eyes.
Aside from the wedding, I also reunited with family members I hadn’t seen in years, had my fill of Maine lobster and seafood, and I met my nephew for the first time since his birth a few months ago.
Emotions were running high and the weekend was delightful. You’re probably wondering what the point of all of this is. Well, here it is.
As I was able to reconnect and meet new people, I realized that this event of my life had a much bigger impact on me than I could have ever imagined.
The ages at this wedding ranged from 95 years old to 10 weeks old. Every generation was present. People from all over the country were in attendance. Each person had their own style and personality. Each generation brought traits and attributes that at times were difficult for me to decipher. I was appalled by certain behaviors and overjoyed by others.
It was not until after I returned and had time to think about everything that I realized I had learned one of the greatest lessons I have in my life: the extreme importance of intergenerational relationships.
If you find yourself in such a situation, take advantage of it. We have so much to learn from one another.
Here’s how I suggest you approach it:
Keep an open mind. This is one of the hardest feats for me — and a lot of other people. If you tend to go into situations with assumptions and expectations, you miss out on some really great experiences. Get rid of those preconceived notions, and open yourself up to the ways other generations might think or act.
Communicate clearly. This is particularly important.
“In order to understand and interact with others, it’s sometimes just a matter of clearly communicating what you mean.”
Each generation has specific characteristics about communication. My personal style is to be informal and “overly friendly.” I didn’t understand why this made people uncomfortable. Not everyone communicates the same way. Try to be as clear and concise as possible. It offers a level playing field when engaging in conversations.
Adapt to other communication styles. One great thing about my generation is that we’re able to adapt easier than others. But you shouldn’t expect others to have as easy of a time. To have successful and meaningful interactions, pay close attention to how other people are communicating and work with the other generations to make the conversation comfortable for everyone.
Reflect and learn. I wouldn’t have realized how precious this time was if I didn’t reflect and think about it in my own mind. I was confused and happy, upset at times and hurt. Until I data dumped my own brain, I didn’t understand why this happened. Not everyone is like you. Not everyone is openly friendly and willing to share their experiences.
I am elated that I had this experience. I mean, who doesn’t love getting dressed up in a beautiful city to celebrate love? Not only that, but this experience opened my eyes to the generations and I will use this to conduct my behavior in business, relationships, and life.
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Emily is the People and Project Assistant at (DJHP) Dr. Jan Hoistad Partners where she and other team members provide support services to busy professionals in need of a helping hand. She wears many hats in the organization and is passionate about helping others who are passionate about what they do. Recent projects include writing, editing, researching, creating power points, strategic planning, and scheduling. QuickBooks, project management, email campaigns, creating visuals, contact management, event planning and coordination and much more. Emily is always looking to expand her portfolio with new and exciting projects. She offers creativity, efficiency and peace of mind.