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Generational Differences: Communication Preferences

A look at how various generations communicate and what this means in the workplace
by Melissa Sherrod on 26 January 2014

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Transcript of Generational Differences: Communication Preferences

4 Generations in the Workplace
The Silent Generation
Baby Boomers
Generation X
Millennials
1981 - 2001
1925 to 1945
Youth today is waiting for the hand of fate to fall on its shoulders, meanwhile working fairly hard and saying almost nothing. The most startling fact about the younger generation is its silence. With some rare exceptions, youth is nowhere near the rostrum. By comparison with the Flaming Youth of their fathers & mothers, today's younger generation is a still, small flame. It does not issue manifestos, make speeches or carry posters. It has been called the "Silent Generation."
"Youth today is waiting for the hand of fate to fall on its shoulders, meanwhile working fairly hard and saying almost nothing. The most startling fact about the younger generation is its silence. With some rare exceptions, youth is nowhere near the rostrum. By comparison with the Flaming Youth of their fathers & mothers, today's younger generation is a still, small flame. It does not issue manifestos, make speeches or carry posters. It has been called the Silent Generation." Time Magazine, November 5th, 1951.
1946 to 1964
When you think of "the 60's" you are thinking about Baby Boomers.
3 Boomer Presidents
No member of the Silent Generation has ever been President, although several have run.
The Silent Generation was described as an Artistic/Adaptive generation by William Strauss and Neil Howe. The Beat Poets and many other artists were members of the Silent Generation.
1961 to 1981
A small generation (45 million) compared to the Baby Boom (80 million)
and the Millennials (76 million).
Baby Boomers control over 80% of personal financial assets and more than 50% of discretionary spending power. They are responsible for more than half of all consumer spending, buy 77% of all prescription drugs, 61% of OTC medication and 80% of all leisure travel.
The first generation to play video games.
Gen X also experienced the dawn of the computer age.
Described as "slackers," Gen X was not greeted in the same way as were the Baby Boom or the Millennials. How has this played out in the media?
Surprisingly, Gen Xers, despite their reputation for slackerdom, were remarkably productive and influential in several fields. Especially:
Music
Hip-hop culture, grunge and alternative music are products of Generation X.
and they were pioneers
Focus is on family and children
Scheduled and structured lives
Multiculturalism
Terrorism
Heroism
Patriotism
Parental advocacy
Globalism
Focus on family and children:
structured and scheduled lives
This
Instead of This
The term "Helicopter Parents" was coined to describe the parenting Millennials received
Millennials experienced fundamental social upheaval...
Terrorism
Heroism
As well as two US wars that lasted for most of their lives.
Like all generational cohorts, Millennials are subject to stereotypes...
In the workplace, they are characterized as having:
Distaste for menial work
Lack of skills for dealing with difficult people
Impatience
Lack of experience
Over-confidence
“He is not committed to his job”
“She has a poor work ethic”
“He does not follow direction”
“I cant believe the way he/she dresses”
“What do you mean I can’t work from home on Friday’s”
They're often seen as too informal and entitled.
CHICAGO (AP) —A front-page story in the Chicago Tribune included the headline "YOU WORE FLIP-FLOPS TO THE WHITE HOUSE?!" inspired by an e-mail sent to player Kate Darmody from her older brother after he saw the photo on the team's Web site. Family members of other players expressed similar dismay, insisting the summer footwear staple was too casual for a visit with the president. "Don't even ask me about the flip-flops," said the mother of player Aly Josephs. "It mortified me." The women have defended their attire, arguing they wore a dressier version of the casual sandal. "Nobody was wearing old beach flip-flops," said Josephs, who wore a $16 brown pair with rhinestones. Darmody, 22, added: "I tried to think of something that would go well with my outfit and at the same time not be that uncomfortable. But at the same time not disrespect the White House."
“In the past, the term Generation Gap was used mostly to describe conflicts between parents and children. Today, the “Gap” has more of a presence in the workplace, where employees from different generations are finding it difficult to work side by side because their experiences, goals and expectations are different”.

GOVEXEC.com
65% of respondents agreed that generation gaps make it hard to get things done at work

24% of Silent, 30% of Baby Boomers and over 60% of Xers said they feel their generation is viewed negatively

BridgeWorks' 2012 Generations Survey

One-third of Xers indicated that they were often offended by someone from another generation at work.



BridgeWorks' 2012 Generations Survey
Millennials ranked “personal safety” as their #1 workplace issue.

BridgeWorks' 2012 Generations Survey
29% of the Silent Generation agreed that a person should build their career with one employer, compared to 14% for Boomers and 11% of Xers

BridgeWorks' 2012 Generations Survey
Majority (95%) of them have retired
Possess intellectual capital and institutional knowledge
Have strong work values and ethics
See themselves as vigorous, contributing members or the workforce
Silent Generation
The “Me” generation
Invented and Value work-life balance
They are the managers that are running our organizations today
Career oriented
“Love the good life”
Baby Boomers
The next generation of leaders
The most well educated generation
Goal-oriented
Led dot.com boom
Xers
Value independence
Look for new challenges
Challenge the status quo
Want the opportunity to make an impact
Millennials
Currently, there are
Millenials are the most multicultural generation.
The Challenge
Avoid stereotyping
Value the unique contributions of each generation
Encourage mutual respect
Leverage differences to enhance teamwork
Recognize they communicate differently.....
Try to maintain peaceful coexistence.
Preferred means of communication?

Chain of command, structured, letter writing, telephone, in person, email, cell phones
Jackie Kennedy
Marilyn Monroe
The Beatles
Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Bob Dole
John McCain
Martin Luther King, Jr.
How do Baby Boomers Communicate?
Group problem solving, phone, fax, email, Facebook (the largest number of new users), voicemail, iPods
Rocky
Saturday Night Fever
How do Gen Xer's Communicate?
This generation is independent. They generally don't like group work.
They favor decisions without unnecessary discussion
They communicate using cell phones, Facebook, Twitter, like texting, hate voice mail, & hate landlines. Many own the latest technology like iPhones and iPads.
The Silent Generation
Baby Boomers
GenX
Millennials
Famous Boomers
Famous Boomers in Technology
Steve Jobs
Bill Gates
Curt Cobain
Mark Zuckerberg
founder of Facebook
Brittney Spears
Shawn White
Elvis
Little Miss Sunshine
And next, the Baby Boomers
1946-1964
D
Aretha Franklin
Jimi Hendrix
Goldie Hawn
Bob Dylan
Sonny & Cher
Johnny Carson
Glenn Miller
Michael Jackson
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