At The Center for Generational Kinetics, we have three incredible certified speakers in addition to our Co-Founder, Jason Dorsey, whose TEDx talk on Gen Z has over 200,000 views. This is the last in our three-part series in which you will get to know each of our certified speakers and see what they think about generations!
All About: Curt Steinhorst
- Which generation are you in based on your birth year—and your state of mind?
I’m a millennial by birth year. In terms of behavior, I’m a hodge-podge between Gen Z and Millennials. I have a lot of Gen Z in me; I’m entrepreneurial, fiscally conservative, and realize that the desired outcome requires hard work and time. I’m connected, make purchasing decisions through online research, and value collaboration like a classic Millennial.
- If there’s one thing you want people to know about generations, what is it?
We are all the product of our own life experiences. When we realize that our own perspective of what’s normal, appropriate, or rude is a function of past experiences that others might not share, we can then actually learn and grow and communicate rather than entering into the relationship already offended.
- What is the biggest misconception that you think audiences have about generations?
What generations are and what they are not. Some people use generations to basically write off 1/3 of the population as wrong. This group allows generations to be a box that everyone fits into. The other group enters into the conversation reacting against this view. They will think, “this whole discussion is a lie. Every person is different; unique. And all we are really talking about is how people act certain ways when they are younger, then change as they get older.”
This group doesn’t realize that the trends that shape our understanding of normal – and form how we communicate, lead, buy, plan, etc. – are products of this.
In summary, generations aren’t a box to stereotype every person, but they are critical to understand if we want to have any hope of working alongside people who don’t share our experiences.
- Who is your biggest influence or role model?
One of the greatest benefits of my life is that I’ve had a number of amazing role models. My grandfather, whose name I carry, was the model husband, father, and grandfather. My mom and dad are probably my biggest influences. I came from parents who love one another well, provide unconditional support while teaching self-reliance, demand excellence without applying unrealistic pressure, and let me dream big while spotlighting the beauty of the mundane.
- What’s one thing that people would be surprised to know about you?
There’s nowhere I would rather be than waterskiing on the lake with family (followed closely by drinking scotch with close friends).
BONUS QUESTION: One piece of advice for a manager who has to lead across generations?
Prioritize the importance of training basic communication – from clear expectations and best practices on email to helping people learn how to present and manage conflict. These soft skills aren’t being taught anywhere else. And they will determine the success of your team.
Interested in learning more about inviting Curt to speak at one of your upcoming events? Email firstname.lastname@example.org!