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Age Differences In The Workplace

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Age Differences

o How does differences in age effect communication in the workplace?

For the first time in history, there are four generations of people working side by side in the workplace. Think about your place employment and the different people who work there. It is sometimes hard to get your point across to someone in a different age generation. This especially becomes a problem in the supervisor – employee relationship. In order to effectively communicate with your peers, you have to understand the context in which they view the world. This problem is a real concern for managers. There has even been a Center for Generational Studies created.

• Differences in Attitudes and Values

Every generation is a product of the times in which they come of age. Each generation will have there own sets of beliefs and ideas as with culture. According to Robert Wendover, the managing director of the CGS, "There is just a natural separation in turns of the assumptions they [young people] are making about society, about values, about right and wrong, and about all of the types of things that we, in most cases have grown up assuming simply because we have been living with them for so long." No one generation's belief is right or wrong, yet there are differences amongst the generations that must be recognized and dealt with accordingly.

• Stereotypes

I will list some general characteristics of people who belong to each of these generations. However, be careful not to stereotype and make certain assumptions about an individual because of their age. Many members of the younger generations moved far away from home in hopes of getting rid of their parents, only to find that they'll be working with them. To younger w...


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...fluence whether the message sent and the message received are one in the same. These screens are composed of the personal factors each person brings to the conversation, such as gender, culture, and age differences as discussed previously. The extent to which these screens are open or closed significantly influences both the sent and received messages. By keeping the previous mentioned points in mind when communicating with co-workers in different age groups when communicating; speaking and listening; internal conflict can be reduced greatly.

Up until now, the role of the receiver has not been emphasized. However, their role is equally important to the communication process. In the next clip you will see an example of a sender's message not being correctly interpreted by the intended receiver and Adrienne will explain more about the receiver's role afterwards.

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