Dealing with Millennials, Gen X and Boomers in Meetings

Crucial to organising a successful meeting, you should invite participants from different generations, although Millennials, Gen X and Boomers don’t usually share the same workplace beliefs and principles, so understanding their personalities is essential if you want to avoid conflicts.

Silhouettes of People in a Meeting Standing up

Learn their meeting preferences and expectations and learn how to handle them:

Generation Y (Millennials)

Millennials include people between 20 and 35 years old. Techno savvy, they will be able to grasp information in an instant. So, what are the usual traits of millennials? Well, they are incredibly active and are used to fast-paced, dynamic environments. Their attention span is much shorter compared with earlier generations and they like to be challenged – more importantly, they are thirsty for knowledge and information. They strive for improvements so they tend to be constantly asking for feedback, giving immediate responses at the same time.

Business People Smiling Towards the Camera

What meetings do they prefer?
Spontaneous meetings are most appealing to this generation because they like being updated as much as possible; they prefer expressing ideas that are still fresh.

What motivates them?
Millennials are mostly aroused by feedback because they always want to know which areas they should improve. Mentoring and giving them feedback gives them a sense of direction and assurance that their work is significant to their career growth.

What do they expect in meetings?
They look forward to interaction – group discussions, role playing exercises and other creative activities with high involvement encourage them to be more productive in meetings. Even meal times are important, since they believe it is a great chance for them to mingle with one another.

How to hold meetings with the Millennials
Frequent casual meetings will be more successful than formal, scheduled meetings.

If you are looking for meeting rooms in London to hold your scheduled meetings, make sure the environment is vibrant and can stimulate creativity, as confining a Millennial to a plain and typical room setting might stiffen the mood.

To increase participation, start by introducing interactive activities. This can improve their camaraderie and their confidence to express themselves.

They prefer on-the-go meals due to instant gratification, so provide food and beverages that can be easily served and reached as soon as they enter the room; teas, coffees, water and snacks should be readily available in the meeting room.

Generation X

Business People in a Meeting

Gen X is comprised of individuals aged 35 to 50. Their personalities are to a great extent moulded by the economic crises they are currently experiencing. More practical, cynical, realistic and sceptical, they mostly want to get what they have paid for. They tend to be more organised compared with Millennials and they value transparency. A good proportion of this generation were “latchkey” children, so they are independent and self-sustaining.

What meetings do they prefer?

They work best with planned meetings since this gives them more time to deliberate and organise their ideas and presentations. Having one-on-one meetings is engaging for them since they want to relay their notions in a single, heavy strike. They always want to get something from every meeting they attend otherwise they feel disappointed and think they shouldn’t have attended the meeting in the first place. Unlike Millennials, they find spontaneous meetings unsettling!

What motivates them?
Since Gen X employees are gradually being left behind with the drastic progressions in technology, they like to be coached. Like Millennials, they also like receiving feedback. They like to be challenged.

What do they expect in meetings?
They anticipate meetings that they can benefit from. Since they have been working for decades, they tend to seek opportunities for career growth.

How to hold a successful Gen X meeting
Notify Gen X employees of scheduled meetings as soon as possible since this will give them more time to gather the relevant information. Being prepared is vital for them.

Prove your meeting’s significance to them by laying out its goals and the benefits they can acquire after the event. They always want to attend events that can be rewarding for themselves otherwise they won’t be present.

Never deceive them with empty promises – they always want their expectations to be met.


People Smiling With Graphs on the Table in Front of Them

Including ages 50 to 70, these people are typically your company executives. They are known for being optimistic, industrious and determined. Tremendously hard working, they tend to define their self-worth according to their professional achievements – involvement is significant for them. They spend large portions of their time at work, which is why Gen X and Gen Y individuals are largely latchkey children.

What meetings do they prefer?
Since Boomers treasure involvement, they are happy with face-to-face meetings. They want everyone to deliberate over the proposals and solve work setbacks together. Boomers are not easy to contact and they believe in hierarchy, so you must first undergo a proper process before reaching out to them.

What motivates them?
Most of the time, they are motivated by competition; they like to be challenged and they like to make significant changes. They always strive to win and gain authority, believing they can do anything.

What do they expect in meetings?
Boomers want everyone to be present and well-prepared. They believe they have the right to be harsh when things don’t go well because they don’t like to waste time. Since they value participation, they want to establish relationships to make the business work and they are traditional, preferring face-to-face communications.

How to hold meetings with the Boomers
Boomers don’t like travelling, unlike Millennials. Prioritise their convenience when booking meeting rooms.

There are certain people you must go through first before you reach them – learn the hierarchy and follow it… or else!

Flawlessly executed meetings are a must and you should know how to handle stressful situations. I’ve said it once and I will say it again the Boomers do not like wasting time.

Follow-ups can be very difficult to organise with the Boomers, so make sure that all of your concerns are covered in the initial meeting.

By understanding the people you are dealing with, your meetings with different age groups will become much more successful.

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