Session M: Intergenerational Communication Preferences

Jill Clutter, Ph.D

Jill Clutter, Ph.D

Georgianna Sergakis, Ph.D & Jill Clutter, Ph.D, The Ohio State University

As part of the breakout sessions offered at the IHA Health Literacy Conference, Dr. Georgianna Sergakis and Dr. Jill Clutter of The Ohio State University College of Medicine facilitated a session entitled, “Intergenerational Communication Preferences.”   The session was filled with high energy; utilizing effective visuals to describe the importance of breaking down the barriers and building bridges between all individuals (regardless of differences) in order to achieve success in the workplace.

The session focused on the exploration of generational differences in the workplace, charting the foundations of generation-specific behaviors, and the creating strategies to use to optimize intergenerational interactions in the workplace of the healthcare industry.

Georgianna Sergakis, Ph.D

Georgianna Sergakis, Ph.D

Dr. Sergakis and Dr. Clutter explained how the current – and future healthcare system is now dominated by four generations of individuals:

  • The Veterans / Traditionalists (born 1922 – 1945)
  • Baby Boomers (Born 1946 – 1964)
  • Generation X (Born 1964 – 1982)
  • Millenials (Born 1982 – 2000)

The generation categories were described in brief detail, showing how each generation contributes to the shaping of “shared” history, beliefs, and behaviors.  It was also discussed how the unique experiences from one generation to another has influenced intergenerational interactions and communication preferences.

It is important that in order to have effective intergenerational communication, individual focus must be placed on the “value” that each generation brings to the table in order to create a positive and productive environment.  Intergeneration communication involves finding a “common ground” while respecting one another’s differences when working together.   Simply put, effective intergenerational communication will create “synergy” among everyone.