Boomers to Millennials: Your Generation Sets Your Communication Style

Are you a Traditionalist? A Millennial? Or somewhere in between?  Chances are, your communication habits have been heavily shaped by the experiences and times you’ve grown up with. They’re also probably so ingrained into who you are that you may not even notice them.

I recently attended a networking luncheon featuring a communication skills consultant speaking on inter-generational communication differences. It was enlightening and entertaining while proving that these differences affect nearly everything that we do.

We’re in a unique age: your cubicle neighbor could belong to one of four generations.

Which generation do you belong to? Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X or Millennials (aka Gen Y)? Do you find yourself showing the tendencies subscribed to your generation? (If you’re not sure, check out the chart below.)

generation chart

The speaker actually put on outfits and changed her point of view to each generation as she discussed them, along with how they interacted. It was eye opening.

How many times have you had a negative experience with someone in a different generation and naturally wrote him off as out of touch, self-centered, etc.?

If we actually take a moment to understand where the other person is coming from and understand her experience, it’s amazing how much better we can all communicate — and get things done.

I actually discovered that I’m technically a Millennial while I’ve always associated myself with Gen X. I’m right on the border, so I’ve probably been influenced by the number of older kids and adults I grew up around, socialize with and have worked beside.

Each generation has its pros and cons, but I do tend to see myself reflecting the attributes linked to Generation X more so than Millennials. Watch the video clip below for a short trip into this fascinating presentation.

How about you? Which generation are you a member of?

Do you see the mindsets referenced above in yourself?

Or are you more aligned with another generation (especially a borderline one)?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on what makes your generation great, inter-generational communication and how we can all just get a long. (Or can we?)  🙂

A Gen Xer at heart,
Jaime

From the Bedroom to the Boardroom: Why You Should Listen to the Introverts in Your Life

I recently finished a book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain. Have you ever read a book that was written for you? Now I have.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

I’ve long known that I’m an introvert, and for just as long, thought it was a weakness, something that I needed to work on. Why? I figured out early on in life that those who made the most noise generally got what they wanted.

Our culture made a virtue of living only as extroverts. We discouraged the inner journey, the quest for a center. So we lost our center and have to find it again.
                                                         -Anais Nin

The book discusses how introverts struggle to be heard in a country that heavily promotes the Extrovert Ideal, which directly affects how we educate our children, position our workplaces and gauge success. There’s pros and cons to both personality types, so it makes sense to have a mix in your workplace and social circle. Why?


Bill Gates named “The Power of Introverts” as one of his all-time favorite TED Talks.

First, based upon studies, one third to one half of Americans are introverts, whether you realize it or not. “If you’re not an introvert yourself, you are surely raising, managing, married to, or coupled with one,” says Susan Cain. So it’s helpful to understand this personality type to have more harmonious relationships, manage employees more effectively and tap into the positives of an introvert’s personality to apply to your own life.

Second, research has shown that introverts and extroverts can make a great team. In fact, introverted leaders are generally a better match for proactive employees while extroverted leaders are better coupled with more passive workers. Depending on your industry, you can gauge how your workforce leans and what type of managers would be more effective. Remember that you likely have both introverts and extroverts represented, so it’s a good idea to seek feedback from all types of employees.

Buzz is JFK’s Camelot,  but it’s also the Kennedy Curse.

-Susan Cain

Interestingly enough, research has shown that effective CEOs, not necessarily the most well known, often have little or no charisma and have little use for it. While charismatic leaders may be effective, their charm may also be hiding the fact they’re not performing.

Face it: where would we be without some of these introverts?

  • Rosa Parks
  • Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist
  • Albert Einstein
  • Bill Gates
  • Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss
Theodor Geisel aka Dr. Seuss

Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, was an introvert despite his catchy rhymes and delightful writing.

As some of the aforementioned successful people know, you can stretch yourself to fit a certain situation, but only so far. For example, an introverted college professor can handle (and appear quite fluent) at delivering lively, enthusiastic lectures on a subject close to his heart. However, if he spends his entire day lecturing, socializing and networking, he won’t have any down time to recharge his batteries and will eventually burn out.

The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting. For some, it’s a Broadway spotlight; for others, a lamplit desk.

-Susan Cain

That’s why it’s so important to figure out what you love and do it as much as possible. You’ll be happy and ideally situated in the comfort of your personality. Yes, sometimes it’s necessary (and exciting) to step out of your comfort zone, but there’s a reason it’s your comfort zone. If you live outside of it, you can burn out quickly and affect those around you.

We all write our life stories as if we were novelists, with beginnings, conflicts, turning points and endings.

-Dan McAdams

Understand who you are, so you can write the best life story for you.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Does your life fit your personality or are you constantly stretching to be someone else? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Image credits: Quiet book cover, Theodor Geisel

An introvert (who’s finally comfortable in her own shoes),
Jaime

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My Life Expressed In Six Words

This post from the TED Blog captured my attention. Can you capture the essence of your life in only 6 words?

As an introvert, people often think I’m not participating in the world. But I am, in my own way. I’m also a nature lover, from my days growing up in a rural area, and a free spirit who loves life. Even as the quiet type, I love sky diving, paddle boarding, tubing, riding roller coasters and other thrill-seeking activities. My bucket list includes going in a shark cage and snorkeling with sharks.

Here are my takes at expressing my life in 6 words:

Introvert, introspective, smiling in the sunshine.
Living in my head, breathing fresh air.
Living out loud, in my way.

It’s a wonderful world, come in.
See the world through my eyes.
Born again, experiencing life first hand.

Free spirit awed by nature’s beauty.
Soaking in sunshine; my movie plays.
Starring in the movie of life.

Starting over, getting it right now.
Thinking, laughing, while the music plays.
Touched by nature, blessed by God.

Hello sunshine, come out and play.
In my head, living out loud.

What’s your favorite one?

Your turn! Express your life in just six words. Comment below or share on a social network…

In my head, living out loud–
Jaime

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TED Blog

larrysmith_ted_qa-1

In 2006, Larry Smith issued a challenge to his online community: encapsulate your life in a six-word memoir. It quickly became a phenomenon, with people all around the world chiming in. Smith is still fascinated by the short tales people tell about themselves — especially those told by kids. And so he conceptualized the TED Book Things Don’t Have to Be Complicated: Illustrated Six-Word Memoirs by Students Making Sense of the World. The twist? Students would draw as well as write their six-word manifestos.

Smith sat down yesterday for a live chat on TED conversations. Read the full conversation or check out highlights below.

First off, Larry Smith asked: Can you define your life in 6 words?

“So far, so good. What’s next?” —Alan Russell

“In the womb of Knowledge, Reborn.” — Paul Kirhagis

 “Making the most of every opportunity.” — Elizabeth Gu

“Born and dreaming myself awake…

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A Toast, ABSOLUT! Branding At Its Finest

What’s your favorite brand?

Seriously, take a moment to think about a brand that captures your attention with its story, connects with you and seems to invite you to try their product. For me, one of those brands is ABSOLUT VODKA.

ABSOLUT UNIQUE

One of a kind, millions of expressions…
ABSOLUT UNIQUE

Initially, I was intrigued by their advertising, especially their splashy, sophisticated print ads. They not only caught my eye, but drew me in to the ABSOLUT world. And that’s exactly what the ads conveyed to me: there was a pristine ABSOLUT world where sophisticated people engaged in intelligent discussion over glasses of pure vodka. A clean, organized world with ample white space and where everything had its place.

ABSOLUT TUNE

Sparkle & Spirit…
ABSOLUT TUNE

 

ABSOLUT had a personality, which breathed through its advertising straight into the product. Sophisticated,
intelligent, unique and fun. ABSOLUT stands out from other brands of vodka because of its stories. Each flavor — and
there are several — has a back story, just like the brand itself. You’re not just drinking ABSOLUT TUNE, you’re
drinking the perfect sparkling cocktail, which has been made for you.

 

 

That story is carried from the ads to the packaging to the product — complete cohesiveness. So many times brands miss the mark with their packaging, and along with it, a huge opportunity to promote their stories and establish emotional bonds. ABSOLUT does not. It’s iconic bottle and limited edition packaging is legendary. A few of my favorites…

ABSOLUT WARHOL

A creative collaboration…
ABSOLUT WARHOL

ABSOLUT ROCK

In an ABSOLUT world, you’re with the band.
ABSOLUT ROCK

What is your favorite brand?

What initially drew you to this brand? Its advertising? The product itself?

I’d love to hear about your favorite brands in the comments below or hit me up on social media.

Image credits: ABSOLUT

Bottoms up,
Jaime

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How Elvis Can Inspire Your Success

If you didn’t notice, Elvis Presley’s birthday was Tuesday (January 8th). He would have been 78 if he were still alive today. Man, that’s hard to believe. Despite his untimely death, Elvis achieved considerable fame and status as the King of Rock and Roll. How did he get there? God-given talent, a lot of hard work, a little luck and three other traits you may have missed.

elvis_wallhanging

  • Be Yourself — Elvis resonated with so many people because he was true to himself. OK, it helped that he had an amazing singing voice and was considered a sex symbol, but he didn’t try to be someone else. People recognize authenticity (especially today) and are drawn to it. Represent your true self (sexy singing voice or not), and you’re likely to be more successful than trying to be someone you’re not. 

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • Take Risks — Elvis didn’t invent rock and roll, but he became the central figure of a new music revolution being heard by the masses for the first time. Taking risks brings consequences, both positive and negative. While he was loved and idolized by legions of fans, others hated him for his shocking stage presence and delivering the devil’s music to impressionable teenagers. You normally have to take risks in order to taste success so remember that the next time you’re making an important decision.  
  • Embrace Versatility — Beyond the gyrating hips, Elvis became an icon due to his versatility. His silky smooth voice allowed him to become a cross-genre act before that was in, leaving an impression on country music, pop ballads, gospel and the blues. Hey, he isn’t the best selling solo artist in the history of popular music by accident. Throw in his trips to Hollywood, where he starred in movies and recorded soundtracks, and you can start to see a well-rounded individual. Be adventurous; expand your interests — and skills — so that you’re more of an asset. 

harum scarum

In summary

Be yourself, take risks and embrace versatility to increase your chances of success today. Clients, co-workers and business partners will be drawn to your genuine nature, appreciate your ability to try new things and take note of your interest in expanding your skills by branching out.

Hey, Elvis did and it worked pretty well for him. Talk about a brand! If you’re looking for help establishing or fine tuning your personal brand or company’s brand, I’d love to talk to you.

Are you a fan of Elvis? As always, I’d love to hear from you in the comments or via social networks.

Rockin’ those Blue Suede Shoes,

Jaime

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“Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”

Where’s your go-to place? That place you head to when you need to think, come up with brilliant ideas or just clear your mind. Maybe it’s physical or it could just be a place you’ve carved out in your head. (Belize, anyone?)

Regardless, we all need a place. My place is nature. I grew up in a rural area and will always be a nature lover. Pictured is the Mingo Trail at Sand Run Metro Park in West Akron, OH, a favorite place of mine — especially in the winter. Some people tend to hibernate when the temps turn frosty, so it’s a great time to find a little solace out on the trails.

In fact, I just went for a rejuvenating 2-hour hike before I wrote this blog post and updated the CCC Facebook page.

If you’ve connected with me via social media, you’ll see my love of nature. Whether it’s hiking trails, sunsets, water or wildflowers, I love to post pics of nature as I experience it.

I’d love to hear about and see your places you go! Leave a comment below or engage with me via social media. Let me see some pics!

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“So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you’ll move mountains.”  –Dr. Seuss, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”

Today is your day!
Jaime

Why I Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions

Did you make New Year’s resolutions for 2013? Apparently 50% of Americans do, yet 88% of those resolutions fail. I’ve never been a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. That’s not because I don’t want to improve myself; I just don’t see the point of waiting until New Year’s to do it.

incoming!

The most peace I’ve ever felt in my life —
               jumping out of a plane at 12,000 feet.

For example, I jumped off the proverbial cliff last April and started my own business. Sure, I had been planning it, but at some point, I had to make the leap. Others may operate differently, but if I hadn’t jumped, I would still be sitting here talking about it today. That’s just who I am.

How about you? Is there something that you’ve been eyeing? Something that would make you happier, reduce your stress, put a smile on your face? Then go for it. Sit down right now and start figuring out how to accomplish it.

Don’t wait for the perfect moment, because it might never come.

I’m not a motivational speaker. I was born with a healthy dose of sarcasm and realism, so my feet are tethered firmly to the ground (unless I’m skydiving). I’m just speaking from personal experience.

I can honestly say that my life has done a 180 in 9 short months. The day I left corporate America is the day I started to feel like myself again. I’m happier now than I have been in a long time. That’s not a knock on the company I worked for, corporate America itself or the industry I worked in. It just wasn’t for me. I’m a free spirit who loves a more flexible schedule, being my own boss and enjoying nature more (which I couldn’t do working 70+ hours per week).

So don’t worry if you don’t have a long list of New Year’s resolutions. Find that one thing that will make you happier and go for it. Don’t put it off or think that you can’t do it. Your time is truly now.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy, prosperous — and truly life-changing — 2013! Oh, and if you’re looking for marketing, writingevent planning or personal branding help, give me a call. Or tweet me.

Cheers,
Jaime

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