Carol Hatton-Holmes Provides Effective Workplace Advice in PBJ’s “Ask Gen-E” Feature

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Carol Hatton-Holmes

Working for a boss who is significantly younger than you can be tough, especially considering the types of differences that can arise from belonging to different generations.

The new Philadelphia Business Journal feature, “ask Gen-E”, covers these specific generational differences in the workplace with Carol Hatton-Holmes, a partner in Gener8tional Connections in Greater Philadelphia, answering a readers question and offering her insight and advice on the issue.

In the edition published on January 15th, a reader from the Baby Boomer generation asks for help in dealing more effectively with working for his new boss, who is 24 years his junior.

“She uses technology for everything. Instead of getting up from her desk to come and talk to me, she sends me an instant message,” says Bob C.

He continues to say that he feels she considers he will retire soon and finds him not adaptable, and that the type of communication she sends him is foreign to him.

“She sends me text messages when I’m out of the office that she wants to talk to me in a language that I don’t understand. What is BTW, LMK, HAGD? Why can’t she just call me on the phone and if I don’t answer leave me a message,” ponders the reader.

In her answer, Carol Hatton-Holmes points out that Bob is not alone in this, as many people from his generation had to delay retiring for various reasons, and have found themselves in the position of working for significantly younger bosses.

“Try to find your boss’ strengths and be open to her ideas and suggestions,” says Hatton-Holmes.

While warning against comparing his boss to his children, she also emphasizes that it’s time to adjust to new ways of communication.

“Ask her how she prefers to stay in touch. If she tends toward texting, and you don’t text, it’s time to learn,” she suggests.

Hatton-Holmes also advises the reader to learn new technologies and to use the opportunity to learn new software programs, attend workshops and keep his skills updated.

“Communicate with her on a personal level as well as a business level. This will not only strengthen your understanding of her but it will make you a more effective team member and will build trust and personal commitment that will benefit both of you,” concludes Hatton-Holmes.

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