The good news is that with a rebounding economy we contract employees are again being called in for major projects at brandname companies. The bad news is that onsite in the workplace we are encountering 3 other generations in addition to our own. The challenge is to mesh our styles so that we can collaborate effectively and efficiently.
Here is what I have figured out so far:
Identify and mirror culture of those with the power. As with selling of all kinds, be it a product/service or ourselves for a job or assignment, we have to speedread who to play to and how. Then we mimic, without overdoing it and appearing foolish, their tone, facial expressions, body language, word choices, pace, and values.
Don't make macro observations about other styles. It annoys members of other generations to point out how we perceive they present themselves in the workplace and how that might differ from how we do it. Focus on getting the task done together. End of that story.
Thank others for feedback. Feedback is someone's opinion of whatever. As a vendor it's not our assignment to analyze which opinions are valid or useful. Maintain a professional cordial approach, do any course correction to satisfy those with power, and filter that data later.
Be circumspect. Our observation that the Beatles were the last great musical group can date us as "old.' Therefore, it is wise to keep the conversation neutral.