June 27, 2022 // 9:28 AM

Four Tips for Intergenerational Communication

Written by Sharon Sparkes

In the past century, we have seen various ways to communicate multiply exponentially. With rapid change and abundant options, clarity on the best tactics for communication become hazy. So the number one question becomes how do you communicate effectively – in an intergenerational manner?

Transparency – direct, honest communication

Being transparent, clear and brief is one of the fastest ways to improve communication. Know what you are trying to convey before you start a dialogue. When asked a question, be willing to give clarity while continuing to be as transparent as possible.

Environment – where are you communicating

Are you talking on the phone? If so, make sure that you speak clearly and don't have distracting sounds on your end. Are you writing a letter? A typed message will always be more legible – a personal, heartfelt note comes from a printed handwritten note. Are you communicating directly with a person? Clear your mind of distractions before addressing your audience.

Equality – having social sensitivity

Communicate with the other party as your equal. Whether you are communicating with someone your junior, someone your senior, or your cohorts. Make sure you are not patronizing your audience when you are conveying your message. Be sure not to talk down to them or utilize unnecessarily complicated language that wouldn't be in your audience's vernacular. When communicating as a dialogue, make sure all parties have similar air-time, and all parties are given the opportunity to speak.

Optimism – keep a positive outlook

Leverage your enthusiasm by maintaining a positive attitude. Your audience can tell if you are upbeat even if your face is not visible. If you smile, people are more likely to respond positively to you, be more accepting of what you say, and are more likely to keep the dialogue going.

Every day is a new opportunity to learn. If you keep these four points in mind when communicating outside of those closest to you, you will have greater success. In addition, having the proper tools to communicate across generations effectively will benefit your growth and relationships.

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