Work place is very complex. Level of understanding and knowledge of every individual differs. This matters more with age of people. In an office you will find employees of almost every age group. And if you are a sales or marketing person, then this diversity of age, is even very common. Not only the knowledge but, also the learning habits are different among these age groups and so is the communication style. The modes and methods of communication are different for different age groups. You need to understand the methods of communication with different generations. A good communicator gets his/her work done easily.
Technology plays a pivotal role in communication now a day. WhatsApp and many other messaging apps have increased connectivity. This caused to more frequent communication. But dropping a message on the app may not be complete communication for all the persons of different generations. Few expect a proper email, while few expects personalized meeting.
You, regardless of your age group, need to communicate with all age-group persons. It is a need to have to maintain a good communication with all, especially if they are your clients. And to do this, you must understand the pattern of their communication style. We shall be learning communication style and the pattern followed by different generations.
Disclaimer here, there may be exceptions, so you must analyse each individual for their communication style. What I am going to tell you, is the commonly followed pattern.
Different Generations and Their Communication Methods
1. The 50’s Generation (The Gentlemen Generation):
People aged above 50 Years are to be categorized under this. They got educated in the time when having landline Telephone was a royal thing. They developed their communication style in more human way. Even today, when many of them are pretty good in handling gadgets, they prefer to have old-styled or say classic way of communication. They believe in Face to Face meeting more. If there is an important matter then they would like to discuss all aspect of the matter in a personalized meeting. They make notes and respect the other speaker. Keeping record and expecting same, is their habit. They believe in listening and also being heard. So, when you are communicating with them, please be prepared, listen to them. Don’t show much of hurry. Give respect for what is being told to you. Post communication; put a complete e-mail with mentioning minutes of meetings. Most importantly, never underestimate their skills if they follow classic methods of communication. In fact, this is called Gentlemen approach for communication.
2. Generation X :
People aged 36-50 Yrs falls in this age. They have seen changing technology during their young ages, so they are very much adaptive to the technology. By nature, they have emotional quotient in their communication. They talk about planning and responsibilities. They are mostly e-mail generation. A complete communication on email is preferred over telephonic discussion or a one-liner message. They are very open to discuss any matter. Just the matter need to be very clear. So when you are communicating to them, you must produce the complete matter for better understanding. Don’t presume much, instead, talk to them. Don’t be very straight forward but put any dialog in very sensible manner. They will welcome you, if you can prove that you have something good to discuss.
3. Generation –Y:
People aged 28-36Yrs falls in this category. By this time, they have moved to maturity and responsibility; this makes a change in their mind-set. This clearly impacts their communication style. Unlike others two (mentioned earlier), they anticipate more about any matter. And because of this, they prefer straight forward approach. They are comfortable more with emails and text messages. Personalized meeting is not preferred by them. They value time and expect you too to value it. So when you are communicating with them, then be straight forward. If you are dropping an email then, it should not be a long elaborative one. The email should be crisp and clear. If meeting is not very necessary then avoid it, but if necessary then keep it on the point. Don’t waste time in talking about random things.
People aged below 28 yrs are millennial. Young age makes them very energetic and positive. They prefer voice calls, one-liner texts and short emails. For them, communication is a tool for collaboration. So, if you just wish to make a friendly gesture then you better avoid it. Their discussions are more agenda driven. When you are making discussion to them then your agenda should be clear to both. Show them that how can you collaborate in their business and growth. Avoid negative talk, sarcasm and puppy talk**.
As we saw, every generation have their own way of communication. A single style cannot cater all. While Gentlemen Generation want to listen and to be heard, millennial are very much subject oriented. Still, it is a good practice to analyse each individual before beginning of any communication.
**Puppy talk :- A directionless discussion to please someone.