The tour was not going well for the Baby Boomer guide. As she stood at the front of the bus delivering her shtick, a group of Millennials was talking, texting each other and yelling out comments. This made it hard for everybody to hear the guide.
The exasperated Boomer asked the group to quiet down. “Don’t you want to hear this?” she asked. One of the Ms said, “Sure. I just texted someone something you said that was hilarious.” Her friends agreed. “We’re listening,” they all said.
It was a CGM, (Classic Generational Moment). The guide expected to give a lecture. After all, that’s the way she learned when she was growing up. But the Millennials expected a conversation, not just because the situation was casual, but because they are used to learning interactively. They expected to participate.
It was a mess. Everybody felt disrespected, though nobody had set out to offend. Whether it's in a meeting or on a tour bus, we gotta find the middle ground.
In this case, the Boomer could adjust her microphone so she could be heard by all. At the same time, she could move to the middle of the bus, meeting her audience halfway. That would have facilitated a conversation with her, rather than a lecture from her. And that would have held the attention of every generation on the bus. Tweet this