Sir Richard Branson said “Don’t be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” (Branson). Failing at communication is not something that anyone wants to do but can be a great learning experience if happens. Failing at communication is not discriminatory it affects us all. However, does age have an effect on communication? What are some characteristics of a generational era and some examples? Does technology play role in how one communicates today and does it affect our communication skills?
Effect of Age on Communication
Age and communication do they affect each other or are we the listener, of different ages, receive information differently? One can perceive that they do affect each other. People of different ages have a different “lingo”. If a twenty year old stands in front of an audience of sixty plus year olds, the words and nonverbal cues the twenty year old uses may not be something an audience of that age group understands. An article in Forbes Magazine stated “We surveyed Fortune 500 executives across the country and found that 80% of them find communication across generations to be a most challenging issue in the workplace.” (Weiss para 2). So age does have a large effect on communication and its barriers.
Being part of the Generation X (1960-1980) some characteristic that show up are, being a “latch key kid”, skeptical, desiring directness, and independent (Kersten para 17-19). Divorce among the parents of this generation is also common and it fits like a shoe for this one. Some personal characteristics that may not apply to everyone in this generation are the want to know everything and will ask questions until satisfied with the answer. Technology can be good but it is not a must in life. Also, being a latch key kid enable the ability to do anything if the mind was set on it and helped develop the ability to be a self-motivator.
Reasons and Examples
A person is shaped by what is around them while growing up and people are still influenced by what they are exposed to as adults. Those of older generations were not influence by the same things that newer generations are influenced by. An example, a baby boomer is not influenced by the most current technology. It doesn’t mean that they can learn to use it but the technology doesn’t influence their lives like it does to today’s generation. The baby boomers are leaving the workplace and being replaced by younger generations so the baby boomers don’t need to adapt to all the new technology. The words and nonverbal cues that are used by baby boomers are not the same as today’s generation. Baby boomers don’t tend to use slang as much as newer generations.