Intergenerational (Mis)Communication

“If youth knew, if age could.” — Sigmund Freud. Because youth don’t have the knowledge and experience, and age don’t have the energy and risk-taking spirit, they resent eachother.

If we find a way to combine the wisdom of the old and the spirit of the young, would we not reach a better community?

Because of this difference and abilities, people tend to make false assumptions of the other age group. Most youth believe that the older generations are constraining them because they are too close-minded and do not like change. While that might be true in some cases, not all of the older generation thinks so… A lot of them actually have aqcuired wisdom that the youth do not yet see and can evaluate situations with a broader, more complete perspective.

The same could be said about the older generations’ assumptions of the youth’s inability to critically think and evaluate problems and their solutions. While some of the youth act without thinking, that is not true for all. Some youth are wise beyond their years and act accordingly.

“I’m seeing a lot of generational conflict around differences in communication style and approach to working.” — Dana Brownlee, corporate trainer

In the workspace, people of different generations face conflict because of their different ways of thinking and their different beliefs and priorities. These should not necessarily be problems or obstacles, if dealt with properly, these differences could enhance and develope the work being done.

What can be done to help this problem is to make both sides understand their strengths and weakness and those of the other side (whether they are in the ways of thinking or their abilities). In that way, they can see whether they need the other, and not resent or push them away because of the differences but embrace them instead.

“Go out of your way to learn from each other.” — Dana Brownlee, corporate trainer

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