Communicating with a New Generation
If you’re going to lead anything you need to learn to communicate across generations. Most of us have no problem communication with those are older than we are, but we often stumble when dealing with the younger generations. I have studied, worked with and watch e generation that prefers learning in a non-sequential, mosaic way–no doubt influenced by the a culture saturated with endless sound and video bytes. I have experienced that first hand in the lives of my own children whose world is one large media bucket where they both learn and interact with information in a much more informal and yet dynamic way than I did at their age.
We no longer search for information, but information seeks and finds us whenever we are. Between my Twitter and Facebook feeds I’m constantly aware of news, trivia, the important and the ridiculous searching for me every second of the day.
For those of us in communication this seemingly shift toward the chaotic and yet abundant information overload along with the changing learning habits has significant implications. Here’s a few to consider:
1.Publishers that survive this shift will have to figure out how to produce and distribute content that’s beyond the black and white printed page. We might not be reading books, but we’re watching YouTube, reading blogs, listening to podcasts, reading Facebook posts and sharing our own content online.
2. Educators who succeed will no longer be guardians of knowledge since anyone with a phone can now access the all the human knowledge base in seconds. The new educators will help students think, reason and make sense of the available information. Teaching facts is no longer the role of the teacher.
3.Pastors and speakers will connect with this generation by helping them understand the great timeline of faith and how their own stories fit within God’s plan of redemption. They’ll begin spiritual conversations instead of preaching didactic sermons on what not to do. They’ll create environments for Biblical discovery instead of legislating spirituality.
4.Employers will have to understand that this generation is not lazy, but that they live life full and in the moment and that relationships, causes and even pleasure will not be postponed for the sake of a career and “getting ahead.” Quality of life is the new currency superseding the almighty dollar.
5.Parents must instill a strong moral and ethical code within their children from birth. There are not enough Internet filters and tv channel blockers to protect our children from the culture’s information dump being pushed at them at the speed of light. If we can’t shelter them from life as we know it, we must get to their hearts and minds before the rest of the planet does.
What other areas do you see a need in a different communication approach?
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