You most likely work in an environment that is comprised of a mix of generations. How do you think this affects the communication that takes place in your workplace? You probably realize there is a difference between the way your generation communicates and the way other generations communicate around the office. Much of this has to do with the way each generation was raised and the circumstances surrounding their experiences.
To effectively communicate, it might help to know in broad terms how generations view one another. Here are a few things to be aware of when communicating with other generations according to http://www.slideshare.net/beatyaall/bridging-the-generation-gap-in-the-workplace-1829670.
Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) – Prefer job security and like to work in teams. Possible perception by other generations:
- Generation Xers might say Baby Boomers work too much and don’t have good follow through.
- Generation Yers tend to relate more readily to Baby Boomers than to Generation Xers.
Generation X (born 1965-1980) – Believe in balance, informality, and self reliance. Possible perception by other generations:
- Baby Boomers might say Generation Xers are rude and slack off. They might also criticize what they perceive to be the excessive use of technology.
- Generation Yers tend to view Generation Xers as overly serious.
Generation Y (born 1981-1999) – Believe in diversity, optimism, and are confident and goal oriented. Possible perception by other generations:
- Baby Boomers might say Generation Yers are tech savvy but at the same time need too much attention and reassurance.
- Generation Xers might view Yers as spoiled or needy.
If you find yourself having communication issues with someone from a different generation, remember that their life experience has been different than yours and have a little patience. Don’t view them through the bubble of their defined generation, but instead take an extra few minutes to talk to them and try to find some common ground.