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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Communicating with Different Generations

Understanding multi-generation customers

Each generation has communication preferences, so learning how to communicate with each will improve the results you get from your written documents. Here are some quick tips to help you choose the right words for each generation.

Traditionals: Born before 1943-46. This groups prefers formality and courtesy. No slang, no contractions, no first names. Avoid emotional appeals and rely on your track record. Recognize loyalty.

Baby Boomers: Born between 1943-46 and 1964. This is a more easy-going generation than the Traditionals, but start out more formal until they tell you to relax. Boomers want to build a relationship with you, so find ways to speak in person or on the phone. Do not treat older Boomers as "seniors" or use the term. They are influenced by referrals from their colleagues and friends.

Gen X: Born between 1964 and 1980. This is a hard generation whose members are skeptical of everyone and everything. Be honest, straightforward and realistic. As with Traditionals, avoid emotional appeals and rely on facts and case studies. More casual address is fine. Respect their time and boundaries. It's their way or the highway.

Gen Y: Born between 1980 and 2000: Everything and everyone needs to be fun and fast. Email, text messages, infographics, instagrams--all things visual and interesting appeal to this generation. They expect 24/7, real-time access to information and options. They also like to know someone is there to help them. Never patronize them!

There's a lot more to working effectively with different generations and serving multi-generation customers. Check out my ebook Leading 4 Generationsfor real-world strategies and techniques you can use to produce immediate results.

Action: Identify the generation most of your clients/customers come from and decide how you can better serve them.


I help organizations and entrepreneurs achieve bottom-line results by improving time management and organization skills. Contact me for information about my productivity improvement onsite workshops for organizations and visit my website for a free e-book 10 Tips for Getting Things Done Better, Faster, Easier. Watch for Entrepreneur Academy coming in January.

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