On Tuesday night I went to hear Michael McQueen speak on the subject, Engaging Generation Y. I found it fascinating to hear about each generation’s perceptions on life. Each generation has had different influences war, depression, working mothers, technology etc. Consequently they have come to different conclusions about a variety of issues. Michael discussed six areas in particular when they are noticeable differences between the way parents/teachers/employers think and the way young people think. As he spoke about these six areas Michael had two pair of glasses, he had one pair of glasses on for when he spoke about the parent’s point of view and then he changed glasses when as he spoke about the young person’s point of view. It had the effect of emphasizing that our points of view are like a lens we look at life through and because someone else is looking through a different set of lens doesn’t make them wrong. The six areas he spoke about were: the concept of truth, assumptions of respect, communication, the value of patience, the future and learning. He then gave some suggestions of ways to better connect with generation Y.

I was supposedly born into the baby boomers generation, however because I was born in England and immigrated to Australia when I was six there were influences in my early life that often makes me respond more like someone from generation X. For example I can’t remember not having television. Most of my peers can, because television didn’t come to Australia until much later. The schools I went to encouraged students to question everything which I did. Rote learning was being phased out, though I was thankful to learn multiplication tables by rote. Interestingly, I met someone who felt they were more of a baby boomer though they were born into generation X because of the influences that were present in their early life.

I have bought Michael’s book, The new rules of engagement : a guide to understanding and connecting with generation Y and hope to read it in the next week or two. Michael also has a website called:Nexgen Group.