Kin Blog

Communication Across the Generations

October 22, 2014
By Laura Hamilton

Communication Across the Generations

...what to keep in mind when talking to other age groups!

 When you relay a message, there’s a lot of aspects to consider: the actual facts verses opinions; and both parties’ values, culture, class, member/outsider status,perception, ego, gender, and GENERATION. Yes, age makes a difference when communicating! Especially when it comes to communication methods, work attitudes and feedback expectations.

Traditionalist/Veterans (1922-1945)

  • Trusted Methods: face-to-face, lettersCore
  • Values: respect, discipline, conformity
  • Feedback: no news is good newsReward: satisfaction in a job well done
  • Messages that Motivate: your experience is respected

Baby Boomers (1946-1964)

  • Trusted Methods: telephone (landline)
  • Core Values: optimism, involvement
  • Feedback: the don’t really need or want it
  • Reward: money, title
  • Messages that Motivate: you are needed and valued

Generation X (1965-1980)

  • Trusted Methods: cell phones
  • Core Values: fun, informality, skepticism
  • Feedback: want to know how they’re doing
  • Reward: Freedom
  • Messages that Motivate: forget the rules, do it your way

Generation Y/Millennials (1981-2000)

  • Trusted Methods: internet, email, texting
  • Core Values: realism, confidence, fun, strong social networks
  • Feedback: want it at the push of a button
  • Reward: meaningful work
  • Messages that Motivate: you will get to work with other bright, creative people

Keep the above in mind when recruiting new members, advertising events, and thanking volunteers. Remember, a poster may work best for some people, while others will look for event details on your Facebook page. Some members will like being recognized for their efforts publicly, where others would prefer and appreciate a handwritten card and a more quiet thank-you.



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