Communication Across Generations

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We are all part of a particular generation, and we frequently hear about the differences between one and the other. Some people believe that a leader’s age/generation is a determining factor for his or her communication style. Although culture, technology, and other factors may change, basic communication characteristics remain the same from each generation to the next. Age and generation do not significantly alter ones communication methods, even during this age of technology and information. There is a common idea that one’s communication style is related to his or her age/generation. Having worked in multiple organizations, with leaders from varying generations, I do not agree that their communication style is related to their generation group. The communication methods used by all the leaders I have worked with have been varied, regardless of their age. A study was conducted by Bullen, Morgan, and Qayyum (2011) that reviewed the research and literature pertaining to generation differences, and the findings suggest that there is no supporting evidence that paired specific characteristics to a particular generation of learners. This study centered on the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). The conductors of the study reviewed research and literature, along with conducting focus group interviews with students from five different schools. Contrary to popular belief Bullen et al. (2011) found that generation is not a direct influencer. In contrast, the authors go on to state that we should move away from generation stereotypes, and develop a greater understanding of the issues related to the uses of ICTs. This same notion, avoiding generational stereotypes, is relevant in the workplace and in any environment w... ... middle of paper ... ... a leader’s communication style is dependent on his or her age/generation is unfounded. Experience and recent research found that there is no significant difference between ones age and generation. Assumptions and stereotypes are common, and sometimes happen subconsciously. Regardless, we should strive to limit our age/generation stereotypes and focus more on the individuals with which we are communicating, and use the most effective method of communication based on the context of the situation. Works Cited Bullen, M., Morgan, T., & Qayyum, A. (2011). Digital Learners in Higher Education: Generation Is Not the Issue. Canadian Journal Of Learning And Technology, 37(1), Macon, M., & Artley, J. B. (2009). Can’t We All Just Get Along? A Review of the Challenges and Opportunities in a Multigenerational Workforce. International Journal Of Business Research, 9(6), 90-94.
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