Multi-Generational Teams

Multi Generational Work 2

Leveraging your team’s generational traits for success

Are you leading a multigenerational team? Does it feel challenging to keep the team going and maximize their strengths? Are you trying to figure out how to get everyone across the finish line on your projects? Are you working with one generation and for another generation? The answers might be in understanding each generation a bit more, and using their generational Innate traits to drive you forward.

Innate Top Traits by Generation

     Gen Z: Adaptive, Creative, Reserved

     Millennials: Adaptive, Creative, Diligent

     Gen X: Adaptive, Diligent, Creative

     Boomers: Adaptive, Diligent, Creative

     (Source: Innate’s 2022 Research of over 1 million people)

Explore Innate traits and their impact on your team

Adaptive is a common top Innate trait among all of the generations, which is helpful to know as you are leading a team. While each generation has had different opportunities to utilize this trait, each of them have a common goal of finding a way forward. Knowing that they are ultimately looking for a solution is a good place to start your work (and a good place to return to if your team starts to encounter conflict).

Creative is the second most common primary trait for Gen Z and Millennials, and the third most common primary trait for Gen X and Boomers. No matter which generation you’re working with, you’re likely to be interacting with someone who can think outside of the box and wants to be appreciated for their ability to make something new.

Diligent is the second most common primary trait for Boomers and Gen X and the third most common for Millennials. These people on your team are likely motivated by their commitment to completing projects, and your ability to leverage that commitment can greatly impact your success (and get your projects wrapped up more quickly if they’re in charge of that element).

Reserved is the third most common top Innate trait for Gen Z, and they’re the only generation to have this trait in their top three. Being reserved means they are more likely to process their thoughts and develop their ideas internally, before (or without) sharing them with the group. If you’re working with Gen Z on a multigenerational team, you may want to specifically consider how you can ask questions that will allow them to engage successfully with the team.

Leveraging your team’s Innate traits

Knowing about your team members’ generational strengths is a great place to start, and it will allow you to tailor your strategies in working with each of them. Here are a few things that each generation is likely to do best for your team:

Gen Z: develop big vision, energy for dreaming, and a desire to create independently

Millennials: translate between digital and analog, contribute more realistic vision, keep the dream alive without overpromising

Gen X: break barriers, challenge the status quo, help troubleshoot misunderstandings

Boomers: provide stability, consider the practical, stay motivated for the entire project

While your team might not represent each generation, the leadership roles listed above are a great starting place. And they might allow you to see the gaps that you’ll want to cover as the team develops. Keeping these strengths in mind can also change your leadership approach, which might make all the difference in how your team accomplishes their goals.

Wondering how your primary Innate traits match up with the most common traits for your generation? Take our Innate Traits Quiz to find out.

Key Takeaways

  • All four generations have primary Innate traits in common.
  • Knowing more about the specific traits can allow you to tailor your leadership to the members on your team.
  • Changing your approach to your team members based on their generation and potential primary Innate traits can empower success.
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