While people might tend to spend the majority of their time with their contemporaries, there will always be situations in life where people have to interact and work with those from different generations. But if you don’t know how to do this effectively, you could find that your personal and professional relationships struggle. Luckily, those of younger generations can easily learn how to more effectively communicate with people older than them.
So, whether you’re working with people at your corporate job or volunteering in an assisted living facility, here are three tips to help Gen Z communicate with older generations.
Learn How To Communicate Respect
When speaking with people from an older generation, one thing that you’re really going to want to focus on is being respectful. Many times, older people just assume that people of younger generations will be disrespectful and rude. But if you can show them respect in a way that’s comfortable for you and makes sense to them, you’ll find that it’s very easy for the two of you to get along.
To communicate respect, one thing that you can easily do is listen to them. This is something that you can show both verbally and non-verbally. So the next time that an older person is talking to you, especially in a professional setting, try your best to give them your attention and take in their ideas with sincere consideration.
Opt For Face-To-Face Communication
For people of older generations, face-to-face communication was all they’ve known until relatively recently. Because of this, they’re often much more comfortable communicating in this way, especially if they’re having a longer conversation or discussing something a bit more complicated.
Knowing this, if you’re not just sharing something short and sweet with them, try to opt for face-to-face communication. Not only will you likely have more success in getting your point across, but the person you’re speaking with will also feel better about your interaction when they can take in the context of what you’re saying, how you’re saying it, and what your body language is communicating.
Imitation As The Highest Form Of Flattery
If you’re interacting with someone who’s older than you and you’re worried about how to best communicate with them, something that will never steer you wrong is simply trying to mirror the way they are communicating with you. If they texted you, texting them back is usually fine. If they try to call you, calling them back will generally be the best option. And as you get to know each other better, you’ll be able to learn how to change your communication style based on the individual you’re speaking with.
If you’re of Gen Z and want to have an easier time communicating with older people, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you in doing this. Not only will you have better and mutually respectful interpersonal relationships with elders, but you will also acquire new knowledge and experiences from them that you can use in your personal life.