Each generation communicates and processes information differently. These differences can create a significant degree of stress, especially when individuals don’t know how to effectively communicate.
Tampa, FL (PRWEB) September 13, 2012
Americans are facing unique challenges in the modern work place. Many of these challenges are due to the four generations that are simultaneously active in the work force. “Each generation communicates and processes information differently,” says legacy planner performance coach Dr. Denise Federer. “These differences can create a significant degree of stress, especially when individuals don’t know how to effectively communicate.”
“Legacy planners spend plenty of time talking about dollars and cents, but there is one thing they don’t talk about enough,” Dr. Federer states, “and that’s how to talk to others about money.” Because the generation gap plays an increasingly larger role in business, legacy planners must learn how to talk to and manage generations. “Boomers have a particular perspective that differs from Generation X, Generation Y, and Millenials,” explains Dr. Federer. “While these younger generations have their own unique characteristics, they share similar values that contrast with the values of Boomers.”
Below are some tips to help legacy planners in the Boomer generation to effectively communicate with the younger generations.
1. Communicate Values – “Contrary to popular belief, younger generations aren’t any more shallow than previous generations,” Dr. Federer says. “In fact, they’re some of the most values-driven members of our society. They crave meaning in their work, just like Boomers do.” Dr. Federer advises Boomers to explain more than simply what needs to be accomplished and how. “Younger generations need to understand the why. It’s up to Boomers to communicate the meaning behind actions. Boomers may be surprised at how responsive younger people are once they understand the purpose of their work.”
2. Work Isn’t Everything – “The best and worst thing about younger generations is that they don’t value hard work in the same the way Boomers do,” Dr. Federer observes. “Younger people value smart work.” The younger generations multi-task better, prioritize better and are often able to get a lot more done in a shorter amount of time. “It’s not because they’re smarter – it’s just how they were raised. The internet, cell phones, social media – even when it comes to having fun, there’s always a lot to get done in a young professional’s life.”
While these qualities can make younger people efficient, energetic and insightful, it also has led to dips in the quality of what they produce. “Young professionals see ‘good’ instead of ‘perfect’ as a trade off for balancing personal and professional lives,” Dr. Federer points out. “Boomers spent years divorcing each other and fighting in the household. Many in the younger generation refuse to succumb to that. Thus the time it would take to be focused on the details of work are instead reallocated to family life.”
Dr. Federer also advises Boomers to take advantage of today's technology—or at least allow others to take advantage of it. “You can accommodate your younger employees by allowing them to work remotely. Keeping strict office hours on some days while allowing remote work on other days can be a huge boon to a younger professional whose focus lies more on home life,” suggest Dr. Federer.
3. Don’t be Defensive if You’re Being Misinterpreted – “All Boomers must remember at least one thing: younger generations have been raised with more methods of communication than any previous generation,” Dr. Federer states. “They prefer to communicate on multiple fronts and as such don’t have a lot of time to be wasting on ambiguity.” Boomers should try to be clear and concise when communicating with younger generations. “Don’t leave things to assumptions,” Dr. Federer warns. “Communicate as clearly and directly as possible. They like direct, frank and honest communication.”
4. Try to Learn About Each Other’s Perspectives – Younger generations work hard and play hard. “They’re able to get a lot done in a very short period of time and they value work-life balance,” says Dr. Federer. Older generations appreciate nuance. “Boomers work hard and play when it suits their work schedule. They’re detail oriented and career-focused,” she continues. “There’s nothing wrong with either approach. Sharing perspectives is important. Younger generations can learn from the experience of Boomers. Boomers can learn from the exuberance and passion of younger people.”