Communicating Across Generations in the Workforce

Communicating Across Generations in the Workforce
“What challenges do you face while communicating across different generations?” asked Paul Ariola, during this month’s Chamber Education Series.

“What challenges do you face while communicating across different generations?” asked Paul Ariola, during this month’s Chamber Education Series. Ariola, Success Coach fro Dale Carnegie, presented “Leading Across Generations”, to an audience that represented the four generations currently inhabiting the workplace. The generations include, Veterans, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials.

“How someone grew up can affect the way they communicate,” said Ariola. During his presentation, Ariola focused on finding the root of why generations communicate the way they do. He had the audience discuss characteristics that represented each generation. Those that represent the Veteran generation hold on to traditions and are loyal to their workplace. The Baby Boomers whose parents withstood the great depression developed a strong work ethic and saw women enter the workforce. Generation Xers were more educated, self-sufficient, starting the trend of work-life balance. Lastly, the Millennials welcome teamwork and on average work for a company no longer than two years.

All four of the workplace generations experienced a different upbringing affecting their outlook on life.  “Try honestly to see things from the others point of view” said Ariola.

With so many ways to communicate, whether through email, text, or video messaging, the traditional methods to get messages across are taking a back seat. In today’s workforce, the Veterans, Baby Boomers and some of Generation Xers are having to adapt to today’s era of communicating with technology.

As part of a group exercise, the audience decided which key attributes would make successful communicators. These included, being understanding, being open, adapting and being a good listener.  According to Dale Carnegie’s ‘Triangle of Success’, a person’s attitude is an attribute highly valued in the workplace.

The ultimate takeaway to being a successful communicator has nothing to do with your generation or how well you speak. It all has to do with one’s attitude. With the closing words of Paul Ariola, “We are all different, but that doesn’t mean you can’t communicate well.”

Thank you to our Presenting Sponsor, Southern Bank & Trust Company, Gold Sponsor, Managing Communications, and Lunch Sponsor, Farm Fresh.

Join us at the next Chamber Education Series “Cybersecurity and the Future of the Cloud” on Wednesday, April 18 at the Hampton Roads Chamber.  Click here to register.

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