While I tend to stick to subjects having to do with brands, marketing and customer and human behavior I am also keenly interested in human behavior. The world is a fast changing place and human behavior in the industrialized world has had more alterations in the past 150 plus years than ever before. I thought of this while doing business with people that are younger than the age of my oldest child.
That a fifty-something person would interact and do business with a twenty-something is not at all unusual. But with people living and working longer and longer the idea of having a seventy-something person that is doing business with a twenty-something becomes more possible and more common every day. It’s safe to say that there are still substantial age prejudices that go far beyond ‘kids today just don’t understand the value of hard work’ and ‘old people are just dinosaurs’. Yet daily professional interactions between people fifty or more years apart in age are increasing and will continue to increase.
I think that increased inter-generational communication is a great thing and has the potential to foster more understanding between non-relatives of vastly disparate ages. It’s important to remove the family or blood relative aspect since the way you feel about relatives will by nature be different than non-relatives. As septenagarians and yes octogenarians continue working they will become even less technophobic and the younger twenty-something people might take away two things – 1)‘Old people actually have a lot to offer and I am less afraid of what it will be like when I am seventy-five, and maybe 2) I sure hope I don’t have to work too hard when I am seventy-five.
If you were to ask me, the former is a more likely outcome than the latter.
I am one to always say that I hope to be doing productive things in my seventies, eighties and hopefully beyond. Sure the older I get, the more I hope to be able to make choices to do things that truly interest me. The more I interact professionally with people in their seventies and beyond the more I realize there’s still a great deal for them to offer and that their take on things is decidedly different than mine and even more decidedly different than a twenty-two year old.
It’s better understanding through diverse interactions. Agree or disagree? What problems do you see and/or encounter?