Baby Boomer Communication Style (1946 - 1964)
Shortly after WWII, the United States military men came back from war and families began to bloom everywhere. This was before women had the opportunity to join the armed forces. Between 1946 and 1964, there were 76.4 million births in the United States, making the Baby Boomers 40% of the nation’s population during this time. Boomers experienced many political and historical including the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, the 1963 March on Washington led by Martin Luther King, and the 1969 first moon landing. When communicating with this audience, you need to be open to creative ideas, as well as implementation. Be a team player with a Boomer, and you’ll build by inspiration. Amy Lynch, stated in her keynote presentation at the 4GenNow Summit in November 2017 that when speaking with members of a different generation, it’s important to “start the conversation using words and an approach so they can hear you.”
For example, for Boomers: “Let’s do the right thing” is a bedrock expression that will resonate. Speak with Boomers about the importance of values, empowering the individual, as well as respecting the individual’s uniqueness. By doing so, you’ll be aligning language with Boomers’ entrepreneurial strengths.
Generation X Communication Style (1965 - 1980)
Gen Xers are known to be a very conservative age group because of their experiences watching their parents live through the days of double-digit inflation from 1979-1981. Unlike Baby Boomers who have been able to take advantage of Social Security as well as 401K plans and pensions, Gen Xers tend to favor self-reliance and entrepreneurship. According to Lynch, key phrases and characteristics that resonate with Gen Xers include: “This works, it gets results and do this your way,” while being mindful of Gen X entrepreneurial strengths including: ‘fast reactions when things change’ and leadership perspective that recognizes results and competence. In order to communicate with a Gen Xer, be willing to work on implementing an organized plan.