Are you a Baby Boomer desperately trying to understand how to communicate with that strange species – the Generation Y child?  Or are you a Generation X, baffled by the animosity that often exists between the Boomers and GenY?

Wherever you sit along the spectrum of generations, there are great opportunities to understand and embrace our shifting social norms and find ways to work together in a productive way, as long as we thing about it from a positive perspective.

Understanding the generations all starts with understanding the home.  The boomer family was more likely to parent in an authoritative fashion (and as such the boomer child is most strongly influenced by authority), the GenX family was more likely to parent in a consultative way (the GenX child being strongly influenced by data) and the GenY family would parent in a friend/advisor role (with the GenY child therefore being strongly influenced by peers).

Understanding the flattening of our social structures over time is the key to communicating/creating change more effectively across the generations.  While some people will respond to the word from the top (the boomer and boomer-like people), others will respond to evidence detailing why (the GenX’s), while yet others will need to be involved in creating the change (the GenY’s).

Want to send the right message to the right person?  Create a message which communicates directly that a change was being made, identifies why that change is necessary and involve those affected by the change in creating the future state.

Would that be so radical?

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Written by Lisa Smith

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Lisa is a professional thinker dedicated to helping people unlock their innate creativity and to empower them to think differently – for themselves. She is passionate about building innovative cultures and about harnessing and engaging talent to create thinking communities. Lisa holds an MBA, specialising in organisational change and innovation, which forms the nucleus of her work. She relishes opportunities to share the Minds at Work thinking strategies with government bodies, socially responsible corporate, educators, community groups and farmers, helping them to turn their big ideas into realities.