John Thurman, Counselor, Speaker
Thursday, May 23, 2013
professional Christian counselor, overcoming depression, Crisis Response Specialist, anxiety, infidelity recovery, affair proof marriages, men's issues,sexual addictions, infidelity,
Communication: Talking Heads, Talking Fingers
Talking Heads, Talking Fingers
By John H. Thurman Jr.
(Adapted from “Talking About My Generation,” Entrepreneur, March, 2009)
I turn fifty-seven this week, and one of the new skill sets I am adding to my life, although in somewhat of a clumsy manner is texting. I am about as fast as syrup in the winter time, but I am learning to do it. Wow have we come a long way. Growing up in Fort Valley, Georgia in the 50’s and 60’s about all you had to communicate with was the wall phone in the kitchen; hey it did have a twenty-foot cord on it.
As a therapist who is also a business/ministry consultant and baby boomer I receive calls from time to time from business owners who are frustrated over communication issues in their businesses.
It goes something like this, companies twenty-something Gen Yers consistently attempted to keep their Gen X and baby boomer co-workers in the loop by IMing them the frustration arises when they find out their co-workers are not signing into the IM program on their work station computers.
Such is life in the world of a multigenerational workforce, in which highly experienced and seasoned baby boomers are working alongside tech-savvy twenty somethings who have high expectations and little experience. Caught in the middle are the knowledgeable Gen Xers in their thirties and early forties who are struggling for work/life balance as they walk the tight rope of managing multigenerational work teams. Add to the mix of the modern workplace with its disappearing organizational charts and hierarchy and you have multiple opportunities for intergenerational conflict.
So with this in mind what are some ways we can better understand the multigenerational workforce, and apply to our businesses and ministries.
How they like to communicate
Approach to Problem Solving
What they’re worried about
Respect for them mean
In closing, perhaps the best things we can do to improve communication is to appreciate our different styles and modes of communication and learn to respect and learn from each other.
I am grateful to my Gen Y kids and some of my younger clients for teaching me about new ways to use the technology. Let it be a building block not a barrier.
©2009 John Thurman