How many of you can say that you have had an odd conversation with someone you work with? Maybe you have been frustrated at work due to a communication issue with someone from a different generation?
I'm willing to bet a lot of you have encountered these issues.
These problems are completely normal and things that will continue to happen as new generations enter the workforce. However, there are ways to minimize these communication problems and stop you from hindering your workplace experience even more.
Here are four ways to remedy communication barriers between generations in the workplace.
Think of how you can help other generations.
We all know who the tech-savvy generation is, YoPros. Use your tech and social skills to help out on occasion. And to my experienced professionals out there, use your skills you have gained from your additional years of experience with YoPros to show them the ropes. If it comes off as genuine, there will be an added trust that was not there before.
Build rapport with other generations inside and out of the office.
This may be harder to do in a post-pandemic workplace if you're still working remote, but it can be done. If you're in the office, all generations need to make an effort when they have the opportunity to. This could include grabbing lunch or drinks after work, and even in a remote office landscape, you can request individual meetings with coworkers (experienced Pros, this may require you to reach out to the YoPros if they are newer to the office).
Be as clear as you possibly can in all communications…and follow up when you don't think your message was properly perceived.
The number one reason YoPros leave companies is because expectations are not clearly communicated to them. Most of the time this is because of generational communication barriers. Don't let this impact you and your team! When you communicate with YoPros in any capacity, re-read or re-think what you're about to say or write and ask if it would make sense to whoever is reading. YoPros, the same goes for you in all of your communications. Don't let communication be the reason you're unhappy in a job. It's completely avoidable if you start here.
Acknowledge that you are not the smartest person in the room (because, who is!?)
When you start acting like you think you are the smartest person in the room, all generations will get a bad taste in their mouth. YoPros, be willing to learn from more experienced generations and experienced Pros, be humble if a YoPro teaches you something new.
These tips were brought to you by these wonderful YoPros:
Isaiah Wilson Commercial Real Estate Broker, Dallas, Texas
Sean Slaughter Area Manager, Enterprise, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Grace Evans Pan-EG Solutions Architect, HP, Chicago, Illinois
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If you need a little more assistance in this department, visit our memberships that can take your YoPro career to new levels, or our business consulting offerings, designed to help experienced professionals better engage young professionals.