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Episode 402: Generational Sensitivity and Diversity for Project Leaders (Free)

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Margaret Meloni
Margaret Meloni, MBA, PMP

Here are some buzzwords for you:

Multi-generational teams. Generational shifts. Inter- and intra-generational communication. Multi-generational workplace. Millennials vs baby boomers. I think you get the idea... right? We’re here today to talk about how old I am... :-) Just kidding... we’re here to talk about generational sensitivity and diversity and how to make the best of it in project management.

And in order to explore this generational topic we turn to our "soft side expert" Margaret Meloni (www.margaretmeloni.com). She has been an IT and project manager for some time and has had the pleasure to work with people from many generations. And I’m not saying she’s old either...

Episode Transcript

Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.

Podcast Introduction

Cornelius Fichtner: In this episode of The PM Podcast™, you’ll learn how to deal with and reap the benefits of having a project team that spans generations.

Hello and welcome to The Project Management Podcast™ at www.pm-podcast.com. This is Episode 402 and I am Cornelius Fichtner. Nice to have you back.

Here are some buzz words for you --- multi-generational teams, generational shifts, inter and intra-generational communication, multi-generational workplace, and millennials versus baby boomers. I think you get the idea, right? We’re here to talk today about how old I am. Just kidding! We’re here to talk about generational sensitivity and diversity.

If you area project manager who wants to become Project Management Professional (PMP)® or PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® certified, then the easiest way to do so is with our sister podcast, The PM PrepCast™ or The Agile PrepCast™ and study for the exam by watching the in-depth, exam prep video training from www.pm-prepcast.com.

And in order to explore this generational topic, we turn to our soft side expert, Margaret Meloni. She has been an IT and project manager for some time and has had the pleasure to work with people from many generations. And I’m not saying that she is old either.

Podcast

Cornelius Fichtner: Hello, Margaret! Welcome to the program.

Margaret Meloni: Hi, Cornelius. It’s okay. It’s good to be old. Not that I think of myself as old but you know every day above ground is a good one.

Cornelius Fichtner: Gives you some respect.

Margaret Meloni: That’s right. I’m glad to be here.

Cornelius Fichtner: Our topic is generational sensitivity and diversity. Let’s look at the definitions first to make sure we’re all talking about the same thing. What do we mean by sensitivity?

Margaret Meloni: Okay. I define sensitivity as awareness but not just awareness. So for example and since we are talking about generational, sensitivity could be: “I am aware of the fact that myself and a team member were born during different eras.” But that’s not enough to because I could be aware and turn around and make around and make a joke at that person about their age but it’s awareness with respect and that to me is sensitivity. It’s awareness and respect together.

Cornelius Fichtner: And what about diversity?

Margaret Meloni: Okay, very simple with this one. Lack of sameness. Lack of sameness, which probably won’t show up in the dictionary.

Cornelius Fichtner: Lack of sameness, okay.

Margaret Meloni: Makes different people together.

Cornelius Fichtner: And then of course, lastly, we also have generational.

Margaret Meloni: Yeah, so coming from different generations, born during different eras. It’s marked by time periods when we were born, which we’ll talk about a little bit. It could be marked by the significant events or the events that we hold to be significant then have shaped our thoughts and opinions, which is coming from different generations.

Cornelius Fichtner: When we put it all together, we get generational sensitivity and diversity, what does that have to do with managing my projects?

Margaret Meloni: Well, I could say nothing and it will be a short interview. But that’s not right and I don’t believe that and you know that. Today, we have five generations in the workforce. This is new. In the past, maybe we’ve had three or four, and I’m going to talk to you about some of the different categories and what I want to say is that some of these categories are used differently by different people, and that I am coming from a very US-centric perspective and I say that because in different countries, their generations are named differently and the percentages of the population, it’s different, okay?

But so when we talk about that, we’ve got the traditionals. The traditionals are some people say born 1930ish. Some people say born before 1945 so the traditionals, they were shaped by depending on when they were born, they might have been shaped by the depression or the attitudes of their parents about the Great Depression or World War II.

Baby boomers, approximately 1946 to 1964 is when baby boomers were born, shaped by the post-World War II, shaped by the 1960’s depending on how early, now, I see a difference here. An early baby boomer might be what some people would have called belonging to the hippy generation whereas later baby boomers wouldn’t relate to that at all because it’s…

Cornelius Fichtner: Yeah, I’m part of the late baby boomers. I would not consider myself to be a hippy at all.

Above are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete PDF transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.

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Cornelius Fichtner
Cornelius Fichtner
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM, is the host and the author at The Project Management Podcast. He has welcomed hundreds of guests and project management experts to the podcast and has helped over 60,0000 students prepare for their PMP Exam. He has authored dozens of articles on projectmanagement.com and PM World 360. He speaks at conferences around the world about project management, agile methodology, PMOs, and Project Business. Follow him on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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