Communication can make or break an organization. Effective communication can help organizations solve problems and accomplish their goals. Poor communication can cripple organizations, creating even more problems and preventing them from focusing on the goals they’ve set.
There are several factors that make communicating difficult. From my conversations with leaders both young and old, the primary reason communication seems to break down in organizations today is the generational divide. Young people and older people communicate in very different ways from very different perspectives.
A few days ago, I discovered this thought by Jessamyn West:
“There are two barriers that often prevent communication between the young and their elders. The first is middle-aged forgetfulness of the fact that they themselves are no longer young. The second is youthful ignorance of the fact that the middle aged are still alive.”
Thankfully, these difficulties aren’t insurmountable! I found two resources that can help.
A resource for younger leaders:
Whether you’re a Millennial struggling to connect with the Baby Boomers on your team or a leader from Generation Y struggling to communicate with your Gen X cohort, communication is key. This presentation outlines the communication preferences of the different generations and has some extremely helpful insights for effective inter-generational communication.
A resource for older leaders:
Fast Company introduced me to an interesting video for leaders looking to attract a younger demographic. The video explains the worst mistake older leaders make when it comes to communicating with a younger people and how to overcome those challenges.
I’d go as far to say that our churches’ potential for accomplishing our mission is directly tied to our ability as leaders to effectively communicate our thoughts and ideas. Between these two resources, you should have a comprehensive guide to start communicating effectively with older and younger leaders on your team.
What is most challenging about communication between generations? What leaders or churches have overcome these differences to communicate effectively?