Chapter 2 Evolution of expectations

I have a pretty close relationship with my two teenage daughters, and they talk to me about anything (well, within reason). Yet, I know the conversations I have with them are very different from the conversations I have had with my parents — both now and when I was growing up.

The way we communicate with our kids, in most cases, has dramatically changed from generation to generation. I mean, who else remembers their mum or dad saying that ‘children should be seen and not heard'?

Nowadays, our children, from as young as toddler age, are not only invited to sit at the dining table, but are also expected to be involved in the conversation. They, in turn, expect to contribute and be listened to! This is likely why they also expect a seat around the boardroom table, even if metaphorical. Their expectations are different from ours; their expectations have evolved.

Everyone's expectations have evolved — not only about the type of work we do, but also about the way we are communicated to and the type of leadership we expect.

Now let's look at what happens when these different generations, with their different expectations, meet in the workforce.

We currently have four different generations in the workforce:

  1. Baby boomers: Born mid-1940s to mid-1960s.
  2. Generation X: Born mid-1960s to late 1970s.
  3. Generation Y (otherwise known as millennials or gen next): Born early 1980s to mid-1990s.
  4. Generation Z (also known as post-millennials or iGeneration):

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