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We live in a world where there are many differences between people. For the first time ever there will be five generations working together, ages ranging from 18 to 80, each with a distinct set of values, attitudes and behaviors. Oftentimes, inclusivity brings about misunderstandings and conflict. With an open mind and an appreciation of each person’s contributions to this world, we can strengthen our relationships, our clubs and our community.
Leaders and employees alike must learn to show tremendous respect across multiple generations, recognizing that great ideas, creativity and innovation come in all shapes and sizes. There are several basic skills and behaviors that can help in these efforts and build stronger relationships: be a strong listener, practice empathy and compassion, lend a helping hand and overcome any prejudice that may exist. Drop your pride. Once we adapt and truly listen to the ideas of millennials, the strategies of generation X and the wisdom of baby boomers, our world will be more unified.
As leaders, it’s essential that we have a vision and constantly strive for excellence. Developing, maintaining and communicating clear expectations through a mission statement and core values is essential to relationships. Holding our staff, coworkers and friends accountable will ensure that a culture where everyone feels included and supported is the culture that is maintained in the workplace. There are six crucial behaviors we can inhibit to ensure we are doing our part to make the world a better place.
Possess and radiate a positive attitude. Is your glass half full or is it half empty? Research shows that it’s not what happens to us that’s important, but how we choose to respond to it. There is no longer any doubt that what happens in the brain influences what happens in the body. When facing a health crisis, actively cultivating positive emotions can boost the immune system and counter depression. Studies have shown an indisputable link between having a positive outlook and health benefits like lower blood pressure, less heart disease, better weight control and healthier blood sugar levels.
Be appreciative and grateful for all you have. There is always someone who has it worse. I’m reminded of that on a daily basis; when I see our clients in Project Walk struggling to get from one place to another, or just to function as an able body. It really puts things into perspective.
When we learn about others and respect our similarities and our differences, we understand more about the world and about ourselves, thus helping us to grow and build stronger relationships. It also opens the doors to many other opportunities, friendships, work prospects, travel possibilities or just a better understanding of the world in which we live.
Everyone deserves to be treated with respect, regardless of age, religion, national origin, disability, etc. Treating people with respect makes your world a nicer place, whether at home, at the club or out in your community. The potion is simple – simply treat people the way you want to be treated.
When you use kindness in your interactions with others, you give them the gifts of acceptance, love and compassion – and this generosity is likely to be reciprocated by the other party in return.
When you focus on the blessings you have, you’ll be happy and content. When you focus on what you don’t have, you’ll never have enough.
We have an opportunity, and somewhat of an obligation, to give back to those who are less fortunate. Not only are we improving the lives of others in our community at The Claremont Club, but also the work we are doing makes us feel good in our personal lives. We are giving our employees access to charitable work, which improves engagement and connection. The members of our community want to be associated with those to do good.
By adapting to these six particular behaviors and making them the foundation of our interactions and relationships in our personal lives, we are prone to express those behaviors and share them in our workplace, schools and homes. When we exude these positive behaviors in these spaces, we are making an impact to many greater causes. Our part may be small, but it is important and contributes to a larger picture.
I urge you to exude these behaviors in your everyday lives, because the small things make a big difference. With the teamwork of all generations working for the same cause and similar intent, together we can make a difference and change the world.
Tracy Stepp is the director of human possibilities at The Claremont Club. For more information email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.