Seven Tips to Effective Cross-Generational Communication


How well are you communicating with the generations in your workplace?

Here are seven tips for effective cross-generational communication from Linda S. Thompson’s book – Every Generation Needs a New Revolution.

Seven Tips

Pre-Boomers like face-to-face time. They are logical and conservative communicators. Don’t make it too personal, they don’t express their inner thoughts and feelings easily.

The Boomers are the personable group and are all about meetings – get together and discuss it. They use both face-to-face and electronic communications, but for those big decisions, they want to “sit down and talk.”

The X-ers want you to prove to them you know what you’re talking about. They are individuals first, and a group second. Make it quick and direct, they don’t have time for chit chat. They prefer electronic communication because it’s more efficient.

Gen Ys need feedback and are overall very positive. They have an affinity for networking and collaboration is their middle name. Text messaging is mandatory for this group, however they are great face-to-face with the Pre-Boomers (people of their grandparents’ generation).

Understand their motives. Who is right and who is wrong, or is it all grey area?

  • X-ers can discuss an issue without having to be right.
  • Boomers tend to be the “my way or the highway” type.
  • Pre-Boomers see things in black and white with ethics being first and foremost.
  • Gen Ys look for the greater good, almost like “all for one and one for all.”

It’s not what you say, but how you say it, with each of these groups. Our communication style must adapt to the realities of today, i.e., face-to-face meetings combined with technology options.

Look beyond appearances. Someone who appears “old” isn’t brain-dead; someone who is “a kid” may have a brilliant idea if you’d just take the time to listen.

For additional solutions to improving communication in your organisation contact us today to speak with an LMA representative in your area.

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