Communication Challenges in Leadership Essay

878 Words 4 Pages
I can be counted among those people who believe that age/generation do influence, contribute and decidedly impact how a leader communicates. Obviously, a good leader will learn how to transcend those influences but they are still a part of who he is and how he relates/communicates with his team. During a conversation with my uncle who has made his fortune in coaching and consulting with companies, he used the sender-receiver model discussed in the Module 6 reading (Lussier & Achua, 2010, par. 4) to illustrate how communication can be affected by gender and age and values. His example was that he’s an older male, recently retired, Vietnam Veteran communicating with a younger, female, business owner and feedback is necessary to ensure …show more content…
Since I was born in 1962, I see myself as being on the cusp of being both a Baby Boomer (which ends at 1960) and Generation X (beginning at 1960). (Duke University, n.d.) As a Baby Boomer, I share the characteristics of being optimistic, team-oriented and enjoying personal growth. I also have the Gen X characteristics of being techno-literate and self-reliant. (Duke University, n.d.) I was fascinated to hear my son’s conclusions on this topic. He sits on the cusp of Gen X and Gen Y but is also very well-versed in Baby Boomer communication, given that he served for years in the U.S. Marine Corps and had to adapt to many different leadership styles. He said he was absolutely certain there are differences in how leaders communicate based on age/generation. One of his observations was that the older generation tends to have and use a more advanced vocabulary. He believes the younger generation talk more than is needed to make their point. (K. Barbour, personal communication, April 12, 2011) An article in the New York Times during the 2008 presidential election helps to illustrate how being a member of the Traditionalists generation appeared to be a liability to the younger generations in this era of high-tech. “There will always be people who take great delight in the powerful betraying cluelessness over technology…Some mocked President Bush, too, when he referred to his using “the Google” and “the
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