AAMA Fall Conference Keynote Speaker Discusses Generational Differences

Window & Door
October 22, 2018


Meagan Johnson, a “generational humorist,” gave the keynote speech at the  American Architectural Manufacturers Association Fall Conference. 

Each generation has been influenced by the major historical events, social trends and cultural phenomena of their time, said Johnson. Consequently, each has different values, standards of quality and attitudes toward each generation they encounter.

"These differences can wreak havoc both personally and professionally, or they can be a source of incredible energy and creativity," said Johnson. "It's important to understand these differences and to have some specific strategies for dealing with them."

Johnson revealed that, for all the criticism millennials currently receive, the same stereotypes were attributed to baby boomers in the late 1960s. The unfair stereotyping goes both ways, she added. Johnson said that millennials now outnumber baby boomers, the generation that was thought to be the biggest possible. As baby boomers age, the number of senior citizens in America will double, she said.

In light of this, Johnson shared recommendations for how the two different generations can work together.

"Millennials want to always be learning something new at work," said Johnson, who recommended having a monthly 15-minute conversation with them about what they are better at now than they were a month before. In those conversations, she suggested asking millennials what skills they want to hone next and what resources can help them.

"Millennials want to know that there's someone participating in their career development, someone who is invested in it, too," she said.