It’s a well-known fact that Millennials have a different view of time than older generations. The focus is on output, not input: if the work gets done, and well, does it matter where and when? For Millennials the answer is no. For older generations, however, punctuality is a demonstration of respect and responsibility and commitment to the mission and goals of the group or organization.
Lesson: Be on time
The internet has given instant answers and information, and Millennials are not afraid to use it in the midst of conversation and work to search answers and solutions. As well-meaning as this is, older peers assume it to be checking out and a lack of focus.
Lesson: Focus, and make notes for later
3. Going Too Fast
Millennials’ digital nativity and the speed of technology have worn off on conversation and communication. I often hear older leaders say “man, he/she had great things to show me, but they went through it too fast. I couldn’t process it.” Kicking things down a gear might not be a bad thing when communicating intergenerationally.
Lesson: Slow down.
4. Not Communicating Clearly
Millennials have an innate, if not totally concrete, sense for systems and interconnectivity of different fields, concepts, etc. Part of our digital nativity is assuming that what we see and sense is clear to everyone else. In my experience, older generations process and invest best in logical pictures and diagrams on paper.
5. Not Answering The Phone
This one has hilarious perspectives and results. Millennials (and other generations, too) have come to see a phone call as an uninvited intrusion into the busyness of life and work. They are more than happy to text, email, or use another communication medium. Older generations still value (and rightly so) the personal touch of in-person or audible communication. Communication is also faster this way between digital learners and digital natives.
Lesson: Get over the fear of the phone
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