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					INTERGENERATIONAL
  COMMUNICATION
        Learning Objectives
• Identify and describe key traits of four generations
• Describe how generational differences can shape
  professional behavior and interactions
• Identify ways to adapt communication styles to
  communicate more effectively across generations
• Make decisions on how to adapt workplace behaviors
  and practices to attract, develop, and retain different
  generations of employees
                         Norms
•   Be open
•   Listen actively
•   Participate fully at your own comfort level
•   Share “talking” time
•   Use “I” statements
•   Use only hypothetical examples            Please make
•   Ask questions                               sure all cell
•   Honor confidentiality                      phones and
•   Treat others with respect                   pagers are
•   “Ouch” and educate                           turned to
•   Have fun                                     “vibrate”
                                                 mode!
  A Key Message from Phi Beta
            Sigma
   The characteristics and attributes
   associated with individuals in the
   described generations represent
 generalizations determined by third-
parties with expertise in this area. They
 do not represent the official views of
      Phi Beta Sigma or any of its
     executives, and should not be
           construed as such.
Generations Icebreaker
     Questions
         Definition of Diversity
    “The many identities that define each person as a
    unique individual including:”
•   Age                   •   Nationality
•   Education             •   Language
•   Socioeconomic class   •   Religion
•   Race                  •   Sexual orientation
•   Ethnicity             •   Physical & mental
•   Gender                    abilities
Diversity Wheel




                  Source: Adapted from Marilyn Loden,
                  Workforce America, 1991
Why Focus on
Generations ?
     Old Proverb


People resemble their times
  more than they resemble
      their parents….
    Stereotypes vs. Cultural
           Patterns
• Stereotypes               • Cultural Patterns
  – Generalizations that      – Refers to the shared
    we make about a             norms and values
    group of people             which make up a
    based on a particular
    diversity dimension         cultural group’s
    that they share             “programming”
  – Fixed and absolute        – Flexible for individual
                                differences
     Which Generation do you
       most identify with?
NAME OF
                                 AGES               YEARS
GENERATION

                                                 Born before
Traditionalists              60 Years Plus
                                                    1946


                                                 Born between
Baby Boomers              43 – 61 Years of Age
                                                  1946-1964


                                                 Born between
Generation Xers           27 – 42 Years of Age
                                                  1965-1980


Millennials (Generation                          Born between
                          7 – 26 Years of Age
Y)                                                1981-2000
Generations
Icebreaker
  Group Discussion
• How did you wear your hair in eighth
  grade? In High School?
• What television/radio shows did you
  watch/listen to after school or on Saturday
  mornings?
• Who were your heroes and heroines when
  you were growing up?
• What world events were
  going on when you were
  growing up?
     Generation Heroes and
           Heroines
              Traditionalists      Baby Boomers          Generation X          Millennials
               Born before 1946       1946–1964            1965–1980            1981–2000

Heroes and     War Heroes,         Political Figures    Actors, Athletes,       People in
Heroines
              Political Figures      Civil Rights      Musicians across     Business, Singers,
               and Parents        Movement (Pro or     Race/Gender lines    Musicians, Actors,
                Superman                  Con)          Michael Jordan        and Parents

                Franklin D.        Martin Luther          Bill Cosby           Bill Gates
                Roosevelt            King, Jr.                                Tiger Woods
                                                       Michael Jackson
              George Patton         Rosa Parks                                Allen Iverson
                                                            Selena
             Jackie Robinson      The Kennedy’s                              Mom and Dad
                                                        Howard Stern
               Joe DiMaggio
             Winston Churchill
Description of Generations
You might be a Traditionalist
     if you remember:
       Traditionalists—Born before
                   1946
•   Upbringing                              •   Values/Beliefs
     – As children, grew up in hard times        – Place duty before pleasure
     – Many lived in segregated                  – Believe patience is its own
       communities and attended                    reward; are willing to wait for
       segregated schools                          delayed gratification
•   Key Events Shaping their                     – Value honor and integrity
    Lives
     – Stock market crash
         • 2000+ banks failed
         • 9 million Americans lost life
           savings
     – 1930s Great Depression
         • 86,000 businesses closed
           their doors
         • By 1932, 1 out of every 4
           workers was unemployed
     – World War II
      Traditionalists—In Professional
               Environments
• Wants                                 • Workplace Behaviors
   – Want others to respect them           – Avoid challenging the system
     and value their expertise, which      – Maintain dedication to a job,
     was gained over time and                once they take it
     through experience                    – Most are not technology savvy,
• Preferences                                and tend to avoid using it
   – Hierarchy—respect authority,          – Engage in face to face
     even sometimes when it                  communications
     frustrates them
   – More formal communications
   – Spelled out roles and
     responsibilities
   – Clear directions
   – Stability
You might be a Baby Boomer
     if you remember:
    Baby Boomers—Born 1946–
             1964
•   Upbringing                             •   Values/ Beliefs
    – Indulged by their parents                 – Optimistic
    – Were told they would be the               – Personal Gratification—now
      generation that would change the            versus later
      world                                     – Personal Growth
    – Experienced integration in                – Involvement
      neighborhoods and schools
•   Key Events Shaping Their
    Lives
    –   John F. Kennedy Assassination
    –   Vietnam War
    –   Civil Rights Movement
    –   Man landing on the moon
    –   Healthier/ Post War Era resulted
        in a baby born every 17 minutes
        for 19 years—resulting in 76
        million baby boomers
        Baby Boomers—In the
       Professional Environment
• Wants                               • Workplace Behaviors
   – Want to change the world and        – Live to work—put in long work
     the workplace to suit their           hours
     needs—including government          – Driven—willing to “go the extra
     policy and consumer products          mile”
   – Want to please everyone             – Good at Relationships
• Preferences                            – Good Team Players
   – Prefer the process of getting       – Process Oriented
     things done, sometimes to the       – Uncomfortable with Conflict
     detriment of achieving results      – Judgmental of those who see
   – Prefer convenience and                things differently
     immediate gratification versus
     delayed gratification
You might be a Gen Xer
   if you remember:
   Generation X—Born 1965–
             1980
• Upbringing                        • Values/Beliefs
   – 50% were latch key kids           –   Diversity
   – Learned to be autonomous and      –   Balance
     self-reliant                      –   Informality
   – 50% were affected by divorce      –   Self Reliance
   – Boomerang Kids—3 times more
     likely to move back home as
     young adults (in their 20s)
• Key Events Shaping their
  Lives
   – Watergate Scandal
   – Women’s Liberation Movement
   – U.S. Corporations began
     massive layoffs
   – Rodney King Incident
          Generation X—In the
         Professional Environmet
• Wants                              • Workplace Behaviors
   – Want to be independent and         –   Work to Live, not live to work
     self-reliant                       –   Adaptable
• Preferences                           –   Techno-literate
   – Prefer not to make long term       –   Independent
     commitments to companies           –   Not intimidated by Authority—
   – Prefer full package of                 don’t automatically give
     workplace benefits that allow          respect to authority in the
     for balance—not just more              workplace
     money
   – Will speak up for themselves
   – Comparison shop during
     interviews—looking for best
     salary, benefits, work/life
     balance, and raises
You might be a Millennial
   if you remember:
 Millennials—Born 1981–2000
• Upbringing                       • Values/Beliefs
   – Many are the children of         – Belief in Collective Action
     Baby Boomers                       and Optimistic
   – 1/3 born to single mothers       – Relationship with Parents
   – More demographically             – Civic Duty
     diverse than any other           – Diversity
     generation—1 out of 3 is an      – Tenacity/“Stick- to-
     ethnic minority                    it”iveness
   – Best educated generation in      – Combines teamwork ethic of
     U.S. History                       boomers, (can do attitude)
   – Spend a great deal of time         of traditionalists, and
     on internet and computers          “technologically savvy” like
                                        Gen X
  Millennials—In the Professional
            Environment
• Wants                                   • Workplace Behaviors
   – Want to live in the moment              – Technologically Savvy
• Preferences                                – Multitaskers
   – Prefer to be optimistic about life      – Inexperienced with handling
                                               difficult people and issues
   – Prefer to earn money and
     consume it immediately                  – Demonstrate respect only after
                                               they are treated with respect
• Key Events Shaping their                   – Rely on immediacy of
  Lives                                        technology
   –   Oklahoma City Bombing                 – Skeptical—question everything;
   –   Schoolyard Shootings                    that’s how they grew up
                                             – Have a need for supervision
   –   Clinton/Lewinsky Affair
                                               and structure
   –   Columbine High School
       Massacre
Comparison of Generations
                  Comparison of
                   Generations
               Traditionalists   Baby Boomers       Generation X    Millennials

What
                   Hard             Personal         Outcomes        “What’s
Motivates
                   Work            Fulfillment        Driven          Next?”
Them At Work

                                                     Personal
Philosophy          Duty            Optimism                       On My Terms
                                                      Focus
Attitude                           Crusading          Live for
                 Sacrifice                                         Just Show Up
Towards Life                        Others             Today

Approach to                         Buy Now/        Save, Save,
                Thriftiness                                        Earn to Spend
Spending                            Pay Later          Save

Approach to        Work                              Eliminate      Do Exactly
                                 Work Efficiently
Work               Fast                              the Task      What’s Asked
Intergenerational Conflicts
 “A hiring bonus! Still wet
 behind the ears, and he
 wants a hiring bonus! At
his age, I was just grateful
        I had a job!”



                      Who’s this
                     Traditionalist
                     referring to?

                     Newly recruited
                     Millennial staff
                       member…

                                  31
          “So I told my boss, if
        you’re looking for loyalty,
              buy a dog...”



     Who’s this
   Generation Xer
    referring to?
Baby Boomer boss
     “If I hear, ‘We tried
       that in '87,’ one
          more time!”




              Who’s this Millennial
                 referring to?

               Traditionalist coworker




33
“Where is he? Doesn’t
 anyone have respect
  for time anymore?”




                Who’s this Baby
                   Boomer
                 referring to?

                The “late” Millennial
     “In Good Company”
      Video Clip Part A1

• What did you observe in the video?
• What were the dynamics between
  generations?
• How does this relate to what you’ve
  learned thus far about the generations?
     “In Good Company”
      Video Clip Part A2

• What did you observe in the video?
• What were the dynamics between
  generations?
• How does this relate to what you’ve
  learned thus far about the generations?
   Adaptation

Communicating Across
   Generations
       Communicating with
         Traditionalists

• Build trust through inclusive language (we, us)
• A leader’s word is his/her bond, so focus more on
  words, not body language
• Face-to-face or written communication is received
  best
• Use more formal language
• Don’t waste their time; they have a job to do
• Don’t expect them to share their innermost thoughts
  immediately
  Communicating with Baby
        Boomers

• Boomers are the “show me” generation, so use body
  language to communicate
• Speak in an open, direct style
• Answer questions thoroughly, and expect to be
  pressed for details
• Avoid controlling, manipulative language
• Present options to show flexibility in your thinking
• Use face to face or electronic communication to
  reach
  out to them
        Communicating with
         Generation Xers

•   Learn their language and speak it
•   Use e-mail as your primary communication tool
•   Talk in short sound bytes to keep their attention
•   Present the facts, use straight talk
•   Ask them for their feedback
•   Share information with them immediately and often
•   Use an informal communication style
•   Listen! You just might learn something
       Communicating with
          Millennials

• Let your language paint visual pictures
• Use action verbs to challenge them
• Show respect through your language, and they will
  respect you
• Use e-mail and voicemail as primary communication tools
• Use visual communication to motivate them and keep
  them focused
• Constantly seek their feedback
• Use humor—reassure them that you don’t take yourself
  too seriously
• Encourage them to explore new paths or options
     “In Good Company”
       Video Clip Part B

• What did you observe in the video?
• Why was Dan able to be more effective
  in this meeting than his coworker?
• How does this information relate to what
  you’ve learned thus far about the baby
  boomers? Millennials? Traditionalists?
Application
   Acorn Application Model
Accommodate employee differences
Create workplace choices
Operate from a sophisticated management style
Respect competence and initiative
Nourish retention

				
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