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  • Four Generations Walk into a Classroom

    Amy Lynch, Four Generations Walk into a Classroom

    Four Generations Walk into a Classroom . . .      

    Do you present to groups in your organization? Of course you do!Do those groups contain multiple generations? Naturally!

    If you grapple with making sure that groups of all ages get your message, BridgeBuilder training may be for you. In the meantime, use these ideas for reaching all generations!

    Traditionalists: Give people 65+ a heads-up if you can, with time to review summaries or written materials beforehand. Give them the big picture, then the details, and use real-world examples. Go easy on the funny anecdotes because they may detract from the progressive line of thought Trads expect from you. Be the expert. 

    Baby Boomers: Be friendly and collegial. Use interaction and dialog because, as a generation, Boomers have been know to have "authority issues." Boomers are competitive, so give them a chance to shine by asking questions about their experiences and what they already know. Finally, don't call Baby Boomers "Sir" or "Ma'am." Use our first names instead. I think you know why. Be the friendly expert. 

    Generation X: Delineate goals and outcomes for Xers, because time is a commodity they do NOT want to waste. Give them choices as to how and when they learn. Working alone may be the preference of independent Xers. Use humor. (Twisted is good. This is the generation that gave us The Simpsons). Use bulletpoints and highly visual materials; and make EVERYTHING relevant. Xers learn so they can get things done. Prepare to say, "I don't know. Let's find out."  Be the guide, not the expert. 

    Millennials: Set up learning so that Millennials do actual work collaboratively and using technology of all kinds. Pose interesting problems that drive them to create the solutions you want them to learn. Then debrief. Listen to every idea and use those ideas as coaching moments. Be a collaborative guide. 

More Articles From Amy Lynch » GEN Z Is a Lot Like Their Great-Grands
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