Having different communication styles is to be expected between people. It is all dependent on location, the way you grew up, cultural differences, etc. There is an added layer when you take into consideration generational differences. It is not only that there are different terms and communication styles, but there is a difference in interpretations, which can lead to conflict.
As the older generations continue to work in their later years, and younger generations are starting, this gap in communication styles can be a problem in the workplace. Therefore, understanding communication between the generations is necessary.
Baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, are not thought of as technologically savvy. That is because they did not grow up with the internet. For the most part, all they ever got was the telephone. However, they still value face-to-face communication over everything, with a phone call being a close second. They are also known to have a very strong work ethic. Meaning they believe working hard is how you earn your position and respect. This might come across in the way they communicate.
Then you have Generation X, born between 1965 and 1980. They are the middle ground between baby boomers and millennials. They did not necessarily grow up with the same access to technology as millennials, but they have a better understanding than the baby boomers. Their primary form of communication would be a phone call or email. Someone who is Gen X might be more independent, and able to work alone if given a proper set of instructions. It is also important to note that most Gen Xers have children or are starting families, and that may be more of their priority.
Finally, you have millennials who were born between 1981 and 2000. They grew up with technology and understand its uses in both personal life and business. They know social media and have been a great asset to most companies these days. Because they are so technologically savvy, they may be missing some of the important tools for real-life socialization. Thus, they prefer a text message or through other apps as opposed to a phone call or face-to-face meeting.
Most companies have a variety of employees and they will fall into these categories. However, it is important to understand the way baby boomers, generation x, and millennials communicate in the workplace.
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