Knowledge and information equal power. Solving problems or finding answers usually creates action and action generates results. When a traditional or baby boomer gets stuck where do they go or who do they turn to for answers? Depending on the scenario they may seek to find someone they believe has the answer, they make a call, consult a book, or decide they’ll think about it for a while.
Millennials and GenZ (Generation 9/11, iGen) will probably consult their mobile phone or other portable device. They won’t think to ask an elder; they won’t wonder about the hours of the library, they’ll Google for answers.
In the true (sometimes undesirable) spirit of a generational discussion, these actions may represent our differences, but the question we should be asking is, what do the generations have in common about this scenario? The answer is easy; they are searching for information that will lead to a positive action, result, or resolution.
What did you do the last time you were stuck? Did you ask someone or search? Many people tend to just ask or call someone they know. They consult an expert, which is good, but can we find the answer on our own?
We are now deeply rooted in an information age, the answers that we seek can often be found through an on-line search. You may have to change your thinking from asking to searching, but Google, YouTube, Bing, or many other search platforms can help turn a challenging situation into one that leaves us feeling happy and confident.
Do we care that there is a segment of the GenZ population that does not understand how to use an index in a book? Do we care that there is a segment of the baby boomer population that doesn’t know how to use a search engine? Does it really matter, or are we just pointing out our differences?
Reminds me of a story, “Teach a man to fish…” (Don’t know that one? Google it.)
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), 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 DennisEGilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.