AORN Blog - The Periop Life

What's Your Gen IQ?

A Conversation with Amy Lynch, Generational Expert and Gen IQ Pioneer

What’s your GenIQ?

November 20, 2018     

Are you loyal? What kind of feedback do you prefer? How do you define a hero?

You may be surprised to know that people raised in different generations can have very different answers to these same questions.

That’s because we all are shaped by the technology and the generation we grew up in—it shapes our brains and the ways we connect with the world around us.

While generational differences are well known, they are not certainties.

At the end of the day, people are people. A boomer mom with millennial children will likely be very social-media savvy. A millennial raised by older parents may not prefer text messaging.

Whichever generational differences exist in your workplace, they don’t mean meaningful interactions between generations aren’t possible— it just takes the knowledge to discern what generational influences shape how your coworkers best communicate and collaborate.

So, how’s your generational intelligence? If it’s high, you’re not making these three generational mistakes.

1. Buying into Stereotypes

Stereotypes kill a multi-generational team in a heartbeat. This happens when you look past the individual and make generational assumptions. For example, you assume an older nurse doesn’t want to learn how to use technology or you assume a younger nurse doesn’t have a strong work ethic.

2. Speaking with Generational Bias

Even subtle words in conversation can signal a bias to generational assumptions that can be offensive. Biased conversation can be especially damaging in a mentor/mentee situation where you’re sharing or receiving skills and knowledge from a colleague.

3. Ignoring Generational Conflict

When communications break down in the practice setting, there is a good chance that the root cause is not personal but generational. Unfortunately, if you don’t take the time to break down generational barriers, major communication problems can develop and can even lead to dangerous errors in patient care.

Don’t miss Amy’s education session at Global Surgical Conference & Expo in Nashville next spring to learn how to can avoid gen conflict and improve multigenerational communication and collaboration in your practice setting.

Quiz time! Before attending the conference, take Amy’s quiz to find out where you land in the generational spectrum and come prepared to talk with Amy and your peers about your results.