Claire Madden joined Tom Williams and Sally Obermeder on Channel 7’s The Daily Edition to talk about Generation Z and how to bridge some of the gaps between generations.
It can seem like the generations are speaking different languages. And we’re not just talking about the Gen Z words and acronyms they use, but the digital platforms they are constantly connected to, which have shaped the dialect of their generation.
Gen Zs are digital linguists, who are fluid in communicating and relating through digital technologies. However as Matt, born in 2000, reflected, a number of Gen Zs sense that they are losing the ability to have a conversation face to face.
Every relationship is built on two way communication. It depends on both parties putting in the effort, being intentional and willing to learn. For older generations, engaging with Gen Zs can be as simple as taking an interest in their lives, and realising that we can learn from them. In turn, this will open up a context where it is possible to build great relationships across generations.
Despite what you might have heard, research suggests Post-Millennials really do value family time. Research from Mission Australia shows that 81% of young people say family relationships are extremely or very important to them. As Oliver, a Gen Z born in 2002 pointed out, family members “provide emotional stability, and anything that’s going wrong I can just talk to them about.”
With all this in mind, here are some tips for family members wanting to engage better with their Gen Zs:
- Model contentment, not comparison
- Take an interest in their world
- Learn something new from them
- Model consistent values and behaviour
- Express positive communication
- Create shared experiences and maximise quality time.
Hello Gen Z
Hello Gen Z is Australia’s first qualitative generational study on people born between 1995 and 2009, and is based on exhaustive interviews with more than 100 of its members.
The study reveals how Generation Z – immersed in a world of technology and global connectivity – will change how Australia approaches education, family and employment.