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Generational Networking Preferences

Posted by Joanne on November 11, 2010 Comments Off

A Gen Y professional writes that she went to a face-to-face networking event and she found it “quaint.” She said that the face-to-face networking event seemed like an excruciatingly slow way to network when she could connect in minutes to thousands of people on-line.  

Do you prefer the “quaint” networking event or do you prefer on-line networking? If you have a preference, you might be talking about your generation!

In Canada, Gen Y is typically thought of as being born between 1976 and 1999 and Boomers between 1946 to 1962 (Wikipedia). Gen Ys preference for communicating and networking on-line is understandable considering that they were brought up during the “digital age” where they interacted much more than previous generations through on-line channels. Boomers who currently hold the bulk of “management” positions prefer face-to-face interaction.

These preferences are evident in a poll of 315 small to medium business owners, that found that 48% were disappointed with the communication skills of Gen Y employees (SME Opinion Leaders Poll). On the other hand, because of growing up in the “digital age” many Gen Y are very comfortable with technology and on-line applications.

So do we point fingers or do we stand in another’s generational shoes and learn from each other? Social media can connect people and get the word out quickly, but face-to-face interaction is important for building deeper relationships.

The Gen Y professional who is a pro at networking on line, might become a mentor to help others use this tool to expand their own network and knowledge,  and the Boomer might mentor the Gen Y professional on effectively communicating face-to-face during the ”quaint” network event.

Can you be an “effective communicator” building enhanced relationships on line without face-to-face interaction?  Share your comments below.   

And if you are concerned about poor communication skills or generational conflict at work, what are you doing about it?

Book your Effective Communications and Generations at Work training sessions now.

Best regards,  Joanne

Past blogs that might be of interest.

Generational Communication Preferences

Generations at Work – Valuing our Differences

Effective Listening Skills  5 part series

Meeting Personal & Practical Needs for Effective Communication 2 part series

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 Joanne Royce

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