COMMUNICATION AND LEADERSHIP 1
There are three generations from which leaders have emerged over the past decades: the Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y. Methods of communication have changed as rapidly as the world has changed during this time creating a situation where multigenerational workplaces are common place along with different preferences for communication. Definite technological preferences exist within each generation, which have a marked impact on communication as well as leadership.
Part 1 - Effect of Age/generation on Communication
As time has passed, technology has changed rapidly. As technology has become more advanced and sophisticated, new ways of communicating have emerged. But not all people prefer to communicate in the method that is the latest technological breakthrough. People from different generations communicate differently, often falling back on what they grew up with, or what they are most comfortable with. The younger generations logically gravitate to the latest technologies, with the older generations more resistant to rapid changes. However, in a study of over 100,000 people globally, conducted by the Kelly Global Work Force Index, the majority of people, regardless of age or generation, prefer face-to-face communication (Buleen, 2013).
Age should not be a factor in the process of effective communication. As Don Clark points out, there are three primary steps in the communication process: Thought, Encoding, and Decoding. What information must be conveyed is converted into a message then sent to a receiver who must then translate that information. There are many barriers that can create dissonance with the communication process and age is certainly COMMUNICATION AND LEADERSHIP 2
one of them. But, age by itself, should not hinder communication. It can be combined with other factors such as cultural backgrounds, language, or even technology to create a...