THANOS magazine

June 26, 2024

Mending the Generational Divide

Abbreviation of the article from NFDA’s Memorial Business Journal based on Antonio Green’s and Allyse Worland’s session at NFDA’s convention, USA


The room was filled with a mix of baby boomers, gen-Xers, x-millennials, social millennials. What Antonio Green and Allyse Worland attempted to do in their session, “Mending the Generational Divide,” during the recent NFDA International Convention & Expo in Las Vegas, is work on setting the goal of gaining a better understanding of how these groups can best and better communicate with one another, rather than simply complaining about each other.

The back and forth between the generations sometimes sounds like this:

“You think you know everything, don’t you?”

“Keep on working. You need more experience before you can offer input here.”

“Why can’t we?”

“Just because it’s been done the same way doesn’t mean we have to keep doing it that way.”

Green, a fourth-generation funeral director at James H Cole Home for Funerals in Detroit, posed a question to the attendees and asked them to use their phones to answer the following question with one word. He asked, “What are the two most significant issues when dealing with the older generation or dealing with the younger generation?”

The responses included “complacency,” “balance,” “change,” “baton” “willing” “technology”. “What this is telling us is we all have issues, some are going to be the same across any business, [or] industry,” Green said.

How do we overcome what are perceived as obstacles? “You may perceive them as something that is wrong or needs to be corrected, but we’re going to show you how you can use these as strengths and opportunities in your business,” Green said.

The groups must overcome that perceived gap, or the shortcomings that people may have and use them to their advantage. There are three steps in the process:
• Identify what the communication issues are so that we can overcome them between the different generations.
• Develop a better understanding of why it is certain generations act the way they do.
• Explore the uniqueness of the millennial generation in particular.

Want to learn more about mending generational divides?
Read the article in the summer issue of THANOS magazine - you can read online at pages 14-19

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