Generational Differences–Myth or Fact?

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Generational Differences–Myth or Fact?

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Everything from climate change to philanthropy many people seem to have an opinion about what each generation will do or how they will respond. We are flooded with information about jobs, advertising campaigns, and the financial behaviors of the various generations. Some argue that the generations are a myth, that it is all about age and as time moves forward so do your viewpoints on life, others disagree and place blame entirely on generational differences.

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Here are a couple of myths and facts to consider:

Myth: Everyone who is identified by birth year to be included in a specific generation will have the same values and beliefs as those of that same generation. This is a myth because other contributing factors exist such as those espoused by family or geographic variances such as rural versus urban living.

Fact: Generational frameworks are driven by changes in social economic conditions, technology, and war. Those having different life experiences in any of these three categories will likely see the world and their life differently.

Myth: Some generations know how to communicate better than other generations. Methods of communication vary and are changing; technology is driving much of this change. There is a tendency to combine communication methods with social norms, while related they are likely not inclusive.

Fact: Some values and beliefs will shift with age, top priorities and concerns for a 20 year old will be different from a 60 year old. This was true 50 years ago and will likely hold the same truth 50 years in the future.

Generational differences are a fact when you consider the drivers and segregation of commonly accepted generational frameworks, they are a myth when you place the emphasis on values and belief systems based on age.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker, and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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