Let us know you’re in. Simply send your name and email address through our webpage, blog or Facebook page.
Determine who your OCG friend will be. Ask someone of a generation other than your own, to be your Operation CrossGen friend. Let us know you have determined that friend and send your friend’s name if you have their permission to do so.
Ask your friend, “What do people your age tend to think/say about people my age?” Absorb the answer without comment! Share your findings on our web page, Facebook page or blog.
Find out from your friend what qualities are important to them in a friend. Listen quietly. Share your findings on our web page, Facebook page or blog.
Ask your OCG friend, “How could a person of my generation be most helpful to a person of your generation?” Or, put another way, “What is something you’d like to see my generation do on behalf of your generation?”
Ask your OCG friend, “What does my generation need to learn from your generation?”
Ask your cross-generational friend: How has my generation helped or hindered you financially? How can my generation, or I personally, be more helpful to you in the area of finances?
Ask your OCG friend. Listen without retort, but seek to understand. You might pick up a cue about an underlying felt-need. Your friend may speak in generalities, but listen for specifics. Ask clarifying questions and be willing to engage in conversation about the topic depending upon your friend’s response.
Ask your inter-generational friend, “What cause or issue is important to you? What is an area of the world or of life where you wish you could make a difference?”Listen well to the answer. This answer might lead you and your friend to some shared activity later this year. So hang onto this one. Share your findings with us here or on our Operation CrossGen Facebook page, where you can ask to join the OCG group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1807754132808636/
If at all possible, try to get together in person this week, to visit eye-to-eye, face-to-face. If you two already do that or if your OCG friend lives far away, try to set up a conversation using a different format than usual. If you’ve been communicating by text, go for email or instant messaging or a phone call. Just mix up the communication style a little. Check in with your friend, find out what’s happening in their world this week. The point this week is simply to go higher or lower-tech than usual. Tell us how it went, here or on our Operation CrossGen Facebook page, where you can ask to join the OCG group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1807754132808636/.
And get ready. Our next two challenges will involve doing an activity together. The next challenge is coming May 31.
Your cross-generational friend enjoys certain hobbies, feels strongly about certain causes, longs to spend time doing certain things. Your challenge today is to join your OCG friend on his/her turf. Ask your friend to take you along or include you in one of her regular activities (go to the gym, work in the garden, bowl with a league, serve food at a shelter, study for a test, jam with the band, whatever it may be!). Or find something you can do together which reflects a core value for your friend. Then debrief together about it and share your findings here or on our Facebook page where you can ask to join the OCG group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1807754132808636/.
Equal time is coming. OCG Challenge #10 will allow you to invite your friend to join you in something of value to you.
Have you had a chance to join your Operation CrossGen friend on his or her turf yet? Hung out where he hangs out, engaged in an activity she feels strongly about? Tell us about it. What did you learn?
Now, it’s equal time time. Invite your OCG friend into your world. Spend some time together doing something that is very much a part of your world, whether a hobby or a difficult task or a cause or a mundane part of life. Afterward, debrief with your OCG friend about the experience and be share your experience with all of us.
It’s catch-up time. If you haven’t had a chance to take any of our previous cross-generational challenges, now is the time. Maybe schedule a meal or coffee date or walk with your OCG friend and seek to discuss any of the topics we’ve suggested so far. Maybe you haven’t had a chance yet to take up Challenge #9 by entering your friend’s world for a couple of hours, or Challenge #10, inviting your friend into your world. If you are all caught up, make a point to get together with your friend this week for conversation. Pay attention to any additional insights you can gain about his/her generation.
Re-visit the idea of money with your cross-generational friend this month. Ask if he follows (or even tries to follow) a budget. Does she have one or more savings accounts? Are those accounts ear-marked for anything special? Do they choose to give to charities, churches or other causes? Why or why not? Ask, listen, seek to understand your friend’s financial world.
We’re focusing on finances this month with our cross-generational friends. This week, ask, “What is one thing you wish were different about your financial situation?” The only non-acceptable answer is, “I wish I had more.” If you don’t get a substantial response, try one or more of these variations on the question. “What’s something you wish you’d known earlier about money?” “What aspect of managing your money is most difficult for you?” “What goals do you have in relation to finances?” Again, “get rich quick” is not an acceptable answer! Ask, listen, learn.
During these lazy, hazy days of summer, try to learn about your cross-generational friend’s thoughts on time. Ask your friend what she likes to do when she has nothing to do. Is she comfortable with having “nothing to do?” Is there a difference between what he says he likes to do and what he actually does with free time? Is she at peace with how she uses her time? Ask, listen, absorb and learn!
As summer winds down and life gets crazy, aim to spend some time with your cross-generational friend this week with no agenda. Maybe the word is “chill.” No activity. No cause. No work. No agenda. Just be. Let your friend bring up topics. See what happens. Could be enlightening and surprisingly effective. Find out!
High-tech, low-tech or something in between? Talk with your OCG friend this week about technology. What forms of technology does he like/use? Why? What does she not like/avoid? Why? What needs does he seek to fill through technology? Remember, do your best to listen, not advise. We’re all about gaining understanding of each other in Operation CrossGen.
Last time you hung out with your cross-generational friend, you asked him a lot of questions about technology. Pick up where you left off. How about asking her to teach you something? Your friend might be able to answer some of your Facebook, email, Photo Shop or Power Point questions, help you set up an Instagram or Twitter account, teach you a thing or two about auto mechanics, carpentry, gardening, electricity, sewing, food processing. Every generation has an area of expertise. Discover your friend’s expertise!
Whether you’ve been hanging out regularly with your cross-generational friend or are just getting started on this thing we call Operation CrossGen, no matter. Jump on in now. Get with someone of a different generation than your own and have conversation about commitment. Find out what/who your friend feels committed to, how they define that word. Where have they seen positive or negative examples of commitment? Ask, listen and seek to understand. Don’t fix!
Last time you chatted with your OCG friend (if you had a chance to do so), you talked about commitment. On a similar note, this week, ask your cross-generational friend to talk about the word “discipline.” Is that a good or a bad word? Where does your friend experience success or difficulty with personal discipline? How much of this is generational? How can your generation help or hinder your friend’s generation with discipline? Aim to hear and to learn!
Since this is a month of tradition—a big holiday full of traditional foods—try talking about and sharing a favorite tradition with your cross-generational friend. Invite them to make an old family recipe with you. Watch your seasonal must-see movie together. Take your friend snowmobiling. While you do the activity, try to talk about traditions. Are they valuable to your friend? Why or why not?
What’s on your friend’s mind about the whole concept of gifts and giving this season? What kind of gift or giving is most meaningful to your friend? How has your generation demonstrated giving in either positive or negative ways to your friend’s generation? What constitutes a meaningful gift?