Ever feel like your colleagues at work behave like they’re from another planet?
Our behavior and communication styles in the workplace are shaped by our generation, habits outside of work, as well as some of our earliest professional experiences. Even if you’re a millennial or a Gen Z, you could behave more like a boomer based on your communication style. These differences can lead to miscommunication and misunderstandings at work, which could result in undesirable outcomes, say linguists and experts who study multigenerational workforces.
“It’s really important to understand each generation because we don’t live and work in a vacuum,” said Giselle Kovary, generational expert and management consultant at Optimus SBR. “The more we can understand how we show up, we can also identify how other people behave differently than us.”
Take our quiz to find out which generation your work style most closely resembles.
Question 1 of 8
It’s time to update a co-worker on a team project and touch base on a few outlying things. How do you reach out?
Question 2 of 8
The past several weeks have been a doozy. You’ve worked long days and nights, met crazy deadlines and dealt with problems at work and home. To top it off, this morning you slept through your alarm and spilled coffee on your shirt, and your power went out. You’re at your mental edge. What do you do?
Question 3 of 8
During your annual review, your manager lists off areas for improvement to advance. This is the first time you’re hearing this feedback, and you disagree. What do you do?
Question 4 of 8
It’s the middle of the workday, and you need to send your colleague a text to ask about the meeting that will begin in an hour. Which best describes your approach to the message?
Question 5 of 8
You are on a work chat about the latest strategies for an upcoming project. Your colleague makes a lighthearted joke that you find funny. How do you respond?
Question 6 of 8
A colleague sends an email asking you for an update on a project. What are you most likely to do in your response:
Question 7 of 8
Your colleagues discuss work all day long on Slack. During video meetings, they also use the chat function to chime in while you or other people are speaking. How do these chats make you feel?
Question 8 of 8
You send a colleague who you have a friendly relationship with a text or chat message during the workday about a project. Which of the following are you most likely to include in that message?
You need to answer every question to see your result. You’re missing questions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.