Monday, July 13, 2009

The Things That Shape Our Points of View

In my post last August 20th, I suggested you check out the interesting Mindset List from Beloit College - a list the school publishes each year to help the faculty understand the factors that have shaped the incoming freshman class. This is a fascinating way of looking at why young people think and act the way they do (and it would probably be equally interesting to look at similar lists for persons of any age).

Last week in the Washington Post, staff writer Ian Shapira interviewed business coach Anne Loehr about the similar, and equally interesting, list that she called her "Generational Cheat Sheet." Because the online version of the article doesn't reproduce the cheat sheet as clearly as the print version, I've reproduced it here (sorry if the quality isn't perfect ... I did it as an MS-Word document, saved it as a .pdf, and had to re-save it as a jpeg to post it here) ...

In contrast to the Beloit Mindset List, Ms Loehr's approach is to look at the "life-shaping events" that produce certain "traits" in people of a specific generation. She looks at four generations: the Traditionalists (generally speaking, the World War II generation of my father, born in 1923); the Baby Boomers (yes, I'm one of those, born in 1951); Generation X (the generation of my children, born between 1974 and 1977); and Generation Y (which would include Marcy, my oldest grandchild, who was born in 2000).

The full article provides a very interesting look at how we miscommunicate across generations based on the events and times that shaped our views of the world. Based on my own very unscientific observation, this is generally a pretty accurate and astute list. I'm not particularly politically correct and I tend to believe in following, rather than breaking the rules, but the rest of the traits seem to fit. How does this list apply to those of you of the other generations, and how is it different? No single list can provide a one-size-fits-all guide to the way everyone in a particular generation thinks, but as general guides to beliefs and behavior, the Beloit College Mindset List and Anne Loehr's Generational Cheat Sheet are pretty good efforts.

I'm interested in your opinion...post a comment to let me know what you think, and how well the cheat sheet applies to you.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.

Bilbo

7 comments:

The Mistress of the Dark said...

I'm a gen x-er, however I wasn't raised by typical Gen x parents..so I through off the whole thing :)

Amanda said...

I'm Gen X too but I was surprised that it started way back in 1965! Always thought that the baby boomers ended sometimes in the 1950s and then there was something else before the Gen X. Also, I thought it was Gen Y that was the "ME" generation :)

Mike said...

Every couple of years at the phone company they would bring in motivational speakers to pump us up. Yea TEAM!! One of them said that our values are locked in at around the time we are 10 years old. So he said if you want to know what drives somebody, find out what was going on in the world when they were 10.

Debbie said...

I'm now a distraught Baby Boomer. Just realized looking at the chart, I'm becoming my mother!

Melissa B. said...

Interesting that you should mention Beloit College. Both my kiddos go to college in Wisconsin, and Beloit is in their athletic conference. In fact, my eldest's BF just got a job at Beloit. It's a small world!

Jean-Luc Picard said...

I'm in the baby boomer category with Gen X traits.

SusieQ said...

Since I was born in 1940 just five years shy of the beginning of the Baby Boomers, I identify more with that generation than I do the Traditionalists one.