“OK, Boomer.” “OK, Zoomer.” “OK, _____”
Want to forge stronger connections and build relationships outside of your age range?
Do it the same way you do it within your own age range.
Start with something they care about.
It helps if you care about it too.
AKA be curious.
And skip over the boring stuff. Go straight to leisure and weird hobbies. They’re the gateway drugs to good conversations.
Boomers have lots of great movies, books, and some fun TV shows.
Gen X have a whole other rebellious flavor of these, plus they started playing video games (Tetris?) and have great stories from their pre-online life.
Many Millennials have pre- and post-smartphone stories. Their video games got way more involved too (Bond?)
Zoomers are digital natives. Roblox (and equivalents) represent entire worlds they’ve explored. And they grew up with a bigger portal to humanity than anyone else, ever, with their smartphones.
It matters at work. It can change your career. It can make being stuck in line at the store just a little more sufferable.
Turn the curiosity up, and look for interesting cracks their experience puts in yours.
Ps. h/t Rachel Botsman for her Roblox/Tetris article in Wired (“To Keep Gen Z, Companies Need to Level Up”), and Lindsey Bell who’s weekly newsletter The Shift is one of my favorites for focusing in on the trends within demographics surrounding (all of our) relationships with work.
Pss. Neil Howe’s The Fourth Turning Is Here has a ton of amazing reference material on this topic. For an overview of the ideas and applications, see my essay, “The Time I Got a High School Paper Extension In A Bar: The Fourth Turning (But Not In The Way You Think),” or these posts too.