Effective Communication Between Generations

1

Even though people in the various generations often don’t agree, there is one thing they all agree on: Respect for each other in the workplace simply doesn’t exist. Those in the older generations (the Silent Generation and the Baby Boomers) think the younger workers of today are lazy and disrespectful. On the other hand, the younger generations (Generation X and the Millennials) think the older workers are stuck in their ways and too closed-minded.

Despite these differences, people from the varying generations must work together productively for the company to succeed. If they let their generational outlooks get in the way, conflict will result.

Use the following suggestions to overcome generational differences so everyone can get along:

Know each other’s preferences

In a nutshell, the Silent Generation and the Baby Boomers prefer face-to-face communication. They like consensus, and they expect everyone to respect authority. They don’t like conflict and will avoid it at all costs.  Generation X and the Millennials love online meetings. They twitter each other and use e-mail the majority of the time. They’re not afraid to confront others; they want their voices heard. They dislike being on teams and prefer to work alone.

While we can’t automatically assume every single person in a particular generation behaves and thinks a certain way, knowing the generalities is a great first step. Therefore, take the initiative to learn about the other generations you work with. The more you understand their point of view and what events shaped their lives, the more you’ll be able to work with them without conflict.

Spend time with each other

Simply knowing each other’s preferences is one thing; it’s another to actually spend time learning from the person. Remember that learning and mentoring is a two-way street. Just as younger people can learn things from older people, the older generation can definitely learn from the “kids.”

As you do this, realize that you’ll likely have to make compromises. For example, a younger person can teach an older person about some new computer communication tool. The younger person will need to employ patience during the training, and the older person will need to keep an open mind to the new technology. You’ll also have to confront your own personal biases and work through them. Only then can you truly benefit from the interaction.

Be open to talking things out

The older people don’t understand what all the pierced noses and tattoos are about, while the younger people can’t comprehend how someone can be so loyal to a company. Instead of just wondering in silence, it’s time to talk it out – with the very people you don’t understand. As long as the conversation stays respectful and does not turn into an accusatory yelling match, it will be a healthy way to gain broader understanding of each other. The sooner you start the conversation, the quicker you’ll resolve differences.

Bridge the Gap

Remember to do the following to effectively communicate between generations:
• Know each other’s preferences
• Spend time with each other
• Be open to talking things out

Generational differences can be tough. However, when you are open and honest and take the time to really listen to each other, you can overcome any perceived differences – real or otherwise.  A little generational understanding can go a long way to boosting the company’s bottom line.

Joyce Weiss, M.A., CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) is a conflict resolution consultant and accountability coach who provides bold solutions to boost the bottom line® for individuals and teams.  Contact Joyce at 800.713.1926.  Resolve conflict and interpersonal issues by looking at video blogs and podcasts at http://JoyceWeiss.com.  Joyce invites you to visit http://www.Joyceweiss.com/newsletter-i-33.html to receive the Bold Solutions Ezine to improve your working condition.

Article Author: Joyce Weiss

Article Source: http://www.articlealley.com/article_2042134_15.html

About the Author: Joyce Weiss, M.A., CSP is a conflict resolution consultant and accountability coach who provides bold solutions to boost the bottom line® for individuals and teams.  She is the author of Take The Ride of Your Life and Full Speed Ahead.  Contact Joyce at 800.713.1926 or Joyce@JoyceWeiss.com.  Resolve conflict and interpersonal issues by  looking at video blogs and podcasts at http://JoyceWeiss.com.  Joyce invites you to visit Joyce’s Bold Solutions Newsletter
to receive the Bold Solutions Ezine to improve your working condition

http://www.JoyceWeiss.com

Share

How to Add Polish to Your Interpersonal Communication

1

E-mail, IM, Skype, phone, snail mail — there are more vehicles for communication than ever before.   But when it comes to truly effective communication, there is nothing as good as face-to-face meetings.  That’s because more than 90 percent of the communication we do is nonverbal.  How can you possibly accomplish your communications objectives if the person you are communicating with receives only 10 percent of your message?

Add Strength to Your Words.  When I was growing up I was repeatedly told, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”  That’s what nonverbal communication speaks to. When you meet with someone, you have the opportunity to send your entire message and they have the ability to truly embrace it.  You can share the tone and volume with your voice and place emphasis on certain words.  Your facial expressions, gestures, and body language convey additional meaning that is totally lost with computer-based communications.  There is little room for misunderstanding.

Power Up Your Nonverbal Communication.  When you get together with someone, they have the chance to experience the real you.  If you want to make a good impression you’ll dress properly, and make sure your hair and nails are clean.  You’ll lead with a firm handshake that demonstrates self-confidence and follow up with good eye contact and a winning smile.

Tune In to feedback. Meeting with someone is more personal than using high tech lines of communication.  It gives you the opportunity to build a bond and establish trust.  When you’re talking, you get immediate feedback from the person you are with.  If the response is not what you expected or hoped for, you are in a position to modify it on the spot.

Ramp Up Your Listening Skills. A face-to-face meeting give you the opportunity to listen.  And listening is the most important communication skill we have.  After all, you don’t learn anything when you are talking.  You already know all about what you have to say.  It is when we listen to others that we have the chance to learn about them and what they are sharing.

Being an effective listener means asking open-ended questions and listening carefully to the answers.  Avoid the tendency to interrupt or advise.  Cultivate the ability to make the person you are listening to feel like they are the center of your world while they are speaking.  Let them see how interested you are in what they have to say — even if you really aren’t.  Actively listen.  That means listening intently and processing the information so you are in a position to respond in a thoughtful manner.  Be sure to read between the lines.  And be cognizant of their nonverbal behaviors.

Show That You Care.  Face-to-face communication is an opportunity to establish a common bond.  Make an effort to find an interest that you share. Be sincere.  Be interested.  Be giving. Supplementing your newly polished communication skills with the knowledge you care can work miracles with your interpersonal communication.

Author: Carol Dunitz, Ph.D.

Carol Dunitz, Ph.D. is president of The Last Word LLC, a communication and creative services company.  She is a professional speaker and author of ‘Louder Than Thunder,’ a parable about listening and interpersonal communication.  Dunitz is the playwright, lyricist and composer of ‘Bernhardt on Broadway,’ a musical about Sarah Bernhardt.  She can be reached at 312.523.4774, cdunitz@lastword.com or www.DrCarolDunitz.com.

Article Source: http://www.articlealley.com/article_1175095_50.html

Share
© Copyright Interpersonal Communication Blog - Theme by Pexeto