As a result of people living longer, more generations are working and interacting together. These different groups are communicating and learning about each other more often than they have done in the past. People are simply living longer and want to contribute to society.
In the workplace, the older generations, the Maturers and Baby Boomers, think the younger generations, Generation X and Generation Y, lack respect and are often lazy. The younger generations often think the older generations are stuck in their ways and very closed-minded.
I worked with an organization that included the four main generations working together. Within this organization, there was often time conflict and confusion when communicating. The older and younger generations expressed that their personal way of doing things and acting was correct and the other generations were completely off track. In general, they did not reflect and accept generational differences that existed. They did not reflect an understanding of other generational differences.
When communicating with different generations, it is important to know that each generation has unique attitudes, expectations and habits. Discovering how to effectively communicate with the different groups can limit misunderstandings or conflict at work as well in your personal life.
You can effectively communicate with these groups by first understanding and accepting yourself as you are at this moment. By doing this, you will have clarity about yourself as an individual. You can then be able to spend time with other generations learning their core values. Discover how their values are similar and how are they different. You can also reflect on how their values impact their relationships. When knowing someone else’s core values, you will be able to determine what motivates, interests or excites someone.
Take time and study those who are different from you without judgment. Some ways to do this are to determine the other persons preferred mode of communication or learn about their preferences or expectations. Be open to others’ differences and clearly communicate information about your preferences as well.
Excerpt from Discovery: Raise Your Personal Power in a Changing World
By, Dr. Jessica Blalock © 2012