Bridge the Generational Communication Gap

We can bridge the generational communication gap between Gen-Xers, Nexters, Baby Boomers and Veterans. We just have to understand and appreciate the uniqueness of each.

If you read the January 9 Monday Motivators, you are aware that I am writing a 3 part series on communication to kick off the New Year! Communication is the umbrella of our relationships and interactions. It is at the core of what can help us be successful in the workplace. If we care about having impact and connecting with others, we have to consider the manner in which we communicate—the tools we use, the words, presentation of information, timing and so much more.

This week I am focusing on generational differences. This is something we cover in great depth at our World Class Assistant™ Certification course in Las Vegas. I’m sure everyone reading this can relate because the various generations are all around us.

Here are some tidbits for consideration when communicating with these 4 generations.


Yes, they are still in the workplace and are great contributors. Some of their core values are: dedication, conformity, law and order, patience, respect for authority and believe in logic not magic. If you understand this, do you see how you would change your approach and words you use?

  • Don’t dictate
  • Recognize their hard work
  • Treat them with respect
  • Be precise and organized
  • Emphasis on work process
  • Be practical
  • Communicate in a logical fashion


Some of the core values of boomers are optimism, teamwork, and personal gratification. They are driven and have a love/hate relationship with authority.

  • Prefer communicating in person
  • Converse with them about their work
  • Be respectful of their needs
  • Show encouragement (remember, they tend to be optimists)
  • Value their years of hard work and experience
  • They want to be kept abreast of trends


Core values include techno literacy, fun, informality, self-reliance and thinking globally

  • Be informal
  • They love feedback, especially when they have done a good job
  • Make it fun
  • Autonomy
  • They don’t want to be dictated to; want to be a partner.
  • Quality vs. quantity
  • Share the big picture


(Also referred to as the New Kids, Millennials, Gen Y, Echo Boomers, The Internet Generation) They tend to be optimistic, prefer collective action, social, and value diversity and morality.

  • Create participative conversation
  • Communicate electronically
  • Be supportive of their ideas and feelings
  • Avoid dictating to a Nexter
  • Build their confidence
  • Encourage them
  • Talk to them as a friend/mentor

It is well worth taking the time to understand the various generations and communicate in a way that the individual needs. This will open more doors; create opportunities; reduce conflict; build rapport and create win-win situations.

When did you bridge the generational communication back at work? Share with us in the comments below.

Best of luck!

Joan Burge


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