Communicating Across Ages

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    Communication can exist across all ages despite challenges. Communication can be made easier through collaboration. Communication and collaboration between older and younger (millennium) generations is needed from both parties for transferring knowledge. The millenniums have more technical knowledge and patience to teach the elderly. The elderly have more life experience in businesses and in years that can be shared with millenniums. How do we get communication and collaboration between the two different age groups?

    Meet

    There are many groups that meet to discuss and share information in all subject areas. People find each other through the internet to meet those with similar interests. The same methodology should be applied in businesses.

    Example 1

    Senior Centers want to have educational classes for senior citizens on how to use mobile devices and how to create a document on their computer. To accomplish this, the Senior Center could search out schools that can help. The result can be gatherings where high school seniors show senior citizens how to operate their new mobile devices and how to work with an application. Both parties benefit. Senior citizens get to learn as well as share their life stories and students gain experience and knowledge from working with others and/or earn extra credit. No matter how it is initiated (email, phone, etc.), communication and collaboration brings the two groups together for a positive outcome.

    Example 2

    A new training manual has to be created. What should it entail? Like above, technical writers should follow the same approach for communicating and collaborating to gather information for content building. Technical writers need to email or search out a group composed of varying ages. Why? Because new millennium ideas plus senior experience can add up to creating, e.g., a new design, mindset, or plan. Having a mixed age group allows everyone to share how one learned previously, how one learns now, and how one wishes to learn. With this type of meeting, information and ideas can flow easily between the different age groups. With collaboration, understanding, and agreements, a new way of creating and presenting training content should manifest.

    Working Together

    • Listening – For everyone to work collectively, ensure that everyone is willing to listen to each other. Keep the meeting orderly and make sure everyone has a chance to speak. Information or opinions from one age group may be in conflict from another age group. But, if they listen to each other and there is understanding without defensive interactions, then goals can be reached. Listening = Learning; both are important.
    • Learning – Have top leaders communicate the importance of learning for all employees throughout the organization by creating a learning environment

    Whatever the goal, theme, or agenda of an intended meeting, the interaction of different age groups can be beneficial and present something new.

    If you have other methods for gathering information between varying age groups, please leave a comment. Thank you.