The Generational Gap in Communication
If you have had conversations with people from an older generation, you understand that there can be a lack of understanding. You have certain terms and ways of speaking that do not connect. This can lead to conflict and just makes the workplace more difficult to navigate. Understanding the generational communication gap allows for a smoother time in the workplace.
The oldest generation you will have in your workplace are baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964. Because they are older, they did not grow up with much technology. The most they had access to was a telephone. So, their primary form of communication would be a phone call or a face-to-face meeting. They are also thought to value work ethic over everything as a way to earn position and respect. They are also at a point in life where they are laser-focused on their retirement and ensuring they are financially secure.
The next generation is Generation X, born from 1965 to 1980. Regarding technology, they are split right in the middle between boomers and millennials. They did not have the same access to technology as millennials, but they have a greater understanding of the technology basics than baby boomers. Throughout their work years, they had the greatest access to email. That is why their primary form of communication would be through email or a phone call. They tend to work independently when given a proper set of instructions. Similarly, most of this generation have a family or are in the process of starting one. They would have their family as their main priority.
Finally, you have the millennials. They are the technology-savvy generation. They grew up with access to the internet and social media and know how to use it both personally and professionally. Because of their vast knowledge, that makes them a hot commodity for most modern companies. Unfortunately, their reliance on technology may have had an impact on their in-person social skills. Making their preferred form of communication a text message or message through any other professional app. Millennials value their happiness more than compensation and will seek out jobs that provide professional fulfillment, even if that means constantly moving around.
Each person is different and may not completely fall into one of these generalizations. However, it is crucial to understand the communication styles between generations. It provides the potential for smoother workplace communication.
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