The Life of Generation Z

When you first think of Generation Z what comes to mind? Lazy, distracted, uncaring individuals that will never own a home and rent their whole lives? Teenagers so absorbed in their phones they forget to look up? A generation that couldn’t care less about their future?  These are all common answers when asking people what they think of when talking about Generation Z. However, these are misconceptions about the generation.

photo for bp               Generation Z is most commonly categorized as people born after the year 1995. They grew up seeing their parents struggle from the job market crumbling and the world of technology has shaped the way they think, comprehend, react, and respond to everyday interactions. They are the most recent generation and coming with that is the unknown about them. People not understanding the generation leads them to fall back on these misconceptions so that they have a sense of knowledge about the generation.

look_a_distraction_design_by_eecomics1               People in Generation Z are not lazy, distracted, or uncaring. If something is not interesting to them they will look somewhere else. On the surface this comes off as having a short attention span and being lazy, but this is just because Generation Z has become extremely efficient in the way they use their time with the advances in technology. If they aren’t going to benefit from something they are looking at then why waste their time? Therefore, social media, blog posts, YouTube, and other internet resources have grown in the market. Also, people in Generation Z care more about their future than most other generations. After watching their parents struggle they put a large priority on paying off student debts, putting their degrees to work, and saving for the future. They also have a high participation in volunteer opportunities and organizations that will better the future. This YouTube Video express the way that Generation Z thinks and acts today.

With the new, unexplored way that Generation Z thinks and behaves, the world will be a very different place as they reach adulthood. Things will start to be expressed in shorter periods of time and most things will be internet based. People will also most likely be in a better financial situation because of their hope and work for a better future. Hopefully this has changed your view or at least cleared up some of the unknown and warped the misconceptions that torment Generation Zed.

Generation X – Bridging the Gap in Leadership

There is no clear decision when “Generation X” begins or ends, it is typically said that is starts in the early 1960s and ends in the early 1980s. Generation X follows the baby boomer generation and are often referred to as “Gen Xers”. “Gen Xers have been called everything from slackers to disloyal, from dumb to just plain bad” (O’Bannon, 2001). It seems that this could not be any farther from the truth.

Gen Xers come from a time when the divorce rate in America was skyrocketing. “Between 1965 and 1977, the divorce rate in America doubled. Over 40% of Xers come from broken families, and 12% of elementary school children grew up as “latchkey kids,” responsible for their own welfare after school until their parents returned from work” (Zill & Robinson, 1995). Although no one realized it at the time, this taught the Gen Xers how to be self-sufficient. It also taught them how to handle difficult situations.

Gen Xers are looked at as being responsible for bridging the gap between the baby boomers and millennials. Carolyn Wiethoff states, “Gen Xers grew up in the information age, and they are quite comfortable with technology. Politically, they grew up as America’s global power was declining. In the business world, Generation X saw a record number of corporate bankruptcies, Wall Street scandals, and massive corporate downsizing.” They have shown they are capable of being tech savvy, such as millennials, and exhibit leadership skills shown by the baby boomers.

Gen Xers were forced to be responsible and handle adversity at a young age. This valuable skill translated to the workplace and created great leaders. In a study published by DDI, it looked at more than 25,000 leaders spanning 54 countries and 26 major industries. They found Generation X accounts for 51 percent of leadership roles globally (Neal & Wellins, 2018). Their ability to be responsible and handle adversity has showcased their leadership skills.

Gen Xers are viewed as loyal employees, but also value time spent with their families. This can be directly related to how Gen Xers were raised. They take pride in spending time with their families because it was something that was taken from them at a young age. They understand the value of family and what it can mean to their spouses and children.

Their life experiences have impacted the way they communicate, act, and react to the world around them. Their experiences have given them the tools to communicate to both younger and older generations. They have risen to leadership levels without sacrificing the value the of family. This can be directly related to their upbringing. They were shown family and financial instability. In turn, they have made it a priority not to repeat history.

Sources:

Neal, S., & Wellins, R. “Generation X-not millennials-is changing the nature of work.” 11 April 2018, https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/11/generation-x–not-millennials–is-changing-the-nature-of-work.html

O’Bannon, G. (2001). Managing our future: The Generation X factor. Public personnel Management, 30, 95-106.

Wiethoff, Carolyn. (2004). Management Basics: Managing Generation X . Indiana libraries, 23(2), 53-55. https://scholarworks.iupui.edu/bitstream/handle/1805/1343/Management%20Basics.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

Zill, N., & Robinson, J. (1995). The Generation X difference. American Demographics, 17, 29-32.

By: Tyler Houchin, General Studies Major – IUPUC

Frame of Reference

How does your frame of reference affect how well you are able to complete the task at hand? This is a question I find myself asking when preparing this blog. There are many times I have overlooked the importance of this. Over the last year I have learned from personal experience on how my frame of reference can affect how I approach problems in the workplace.

The first step to understanding the role of your frame of reference is to know what the frame consists of. This can vary by your location and the activity you are currently participating in. My frame of reference at work focuses on mainly cost and revenue generated. I am also from Generation Z. This has a larger effect on the technological side. I see the advantage of how technology can improve efficiency even if It cost more than standard equipment.

I reflect over the past experiences I had at work while thinking about my frame of reference. Many of these issues could have been resolved earlier if I would have stepped back from the situation to define how I am viewing the issue versus how the other person views the issue. Most business are trying to make as much profit as they can while keeping their customers happy. Working in the quoting department is just that. We try to maximize our profit. While I look at this my customer is trying to minimize their cost. It is best to approach this as if we were a partnership. We both need to agree to the price that satisfies both of us. While this process sounds simple it took us around 2 weeks to accomplish. If we would have started out at the point where we both were transparent with our needs this process could have taken only a few days.

In my short time in business I have found it best to take a few minutes before each meeting and analyze where my customer/coworker is coming from these meetings would have been more productive. We also would have been more efficient which frees us up in order to do other tasks. Going forward I plan on scheduling a few minutes into my calendar in order to my position to that of my opposition.

Why must we listen?

When you were young do you recall your parents telling you to LISTEN?  Perhaps you remember them saying ‘I know you hear me but are you LISTENING to me?’ At the time did you wonder ‘What is the difference?’ Let me try to explain what the difference is and why it is an important life skill.

Hearing is a physical activity that refers to the vibrations your ear receives then turns into sounds. On the other hand, listening is much more involved and can be a physical AND mental activity.

There are also different types of listening. For example, active listening involves not only the physical activity of listening to what is being said but also in watching the body language of the speaker. Effective listening requires focus, and concentration which requires both physical and mental activity. Both types are extremely important in our daily communications.

By being both an active and effective listener you can help in preventing miscommunication, misunderstandings, establish a connection with the speaker, and also improve the interpretation of what is being said.  I am sure we have all experienced a variation of miscommunication or misunderstanding. What if you had a simple misunderstanding while working on project and someone was hurt? Could a  miscommunication from a co-worker lead to clients losing their investment? Would you lose your job? Unfortunately, all of these things can and have happened.

Here are some ways you can improve your listening skills.

Maintain eye contact. By keeping eye contact with the speaker your mind will wander less and the distraction of those around you can be kept to a minimum.

Remain attentive. Once eye contact is established you can remain attentive and you are likely to absorb and retain more information.

Keep an open mind. Save your questions and judgements for the end of the speech simply because they may be answered at the speech progresses.

Listen to the words the speaker is saying and when you hear them in context and it will help in interpretation and limit misunderstandings.

Don’t interrupt. Of course this goes without saying however we often need reminded.

Employers are providing workshops and seminars to their employees simply because of they want to emphasize the importance of listening. Listening is a skill that is not only required but essential for the workplace, relationships, and everyday communication.  How well do you think you listen?

 

 

By Lindsay McIntosh,  Senior at IUPUC

 

 

More Like “Oh Brother”…

Have you ever had someone do something wrong, and then when you confront them for it, they get upset? Well, that is exactly what happens in an episode of Big Brother.

Big Brother is a television show where a group of people get put into a house together for a whole summer and they try to win $500,000. The houseguests are not allowed to leave the house or communicate with anyone outside of the house. Each week, the houseguests vote to evict someone out of the house. There is a jury at the end that gets to decide who wins the half a million-dollar prize.

For this blog post, I will be talking about a disagreement from season 19, which is the most recent season. This dispute was between Josh and Mark. They were in the backyard playing pool. There was a bet between the two, that whoever lost had to drink a cup of pickle juice and hot sauce. As the game was getting closer to the end, Josh would make noises whenever Mark was trying to hit the pool balls. Whenever it was Josh’s final turn, he was trying to hit in the eight-ball and scratched the ball, this means that he hit the ball twice. Because Josh hit the ball twice, he should have lost the game and should have had to drink the pickle juice and hot sauce. Josh got all worked up whenever all the other houseguests said that he scratched the eight-ball. So whenever Mark was supposed to drink the pickle juice and hot sauce, he threw it in Josh’s face. Josh got super upset that he did that and Mark said it was because he technically won, and not Josh. Josh then goes inside and gets some ketchup and mayonnaise to throw in Mark’s face. This causes a huge argument to break out between the two of them.

While all of that happens, production does not step in to do anything. There is a fight later on in the season that production does have to come onto the speakers and have them separate.

The communications problems that occurred with this disagreement was that the two guys were both yelling. Neither one of them were trying to sit down and have a conversation about it like adults would.

If there were two people, that worked in the same department as each other, that were yelling and screaming at each other, I would have them separate and take a moment to themselves. I would then have the two workers go meet with the human resource manager. The human resource manager would then need to find a different department for one of them to work in, so that the two weren’t working together anymore. If the two can’t get along, then work won’t be done as fast because they would be arguing the majority of the time.

 

Author: J.C. Ruble

Marketing with Video & How to Rise Above the Noise

Your average scroll through your social media feed will only confirm what we’ve known about the human species since… well, ever: visuals grab our attention. We know this so well that we sometimes have to remind ourselves not to fall for it (i.e. “don’t judge a book by its cover”). But with this natural pull in mind, it’s no surprise that video is increasingly becoming the go-to marketing method, particularly on social media.

So, how do you use video to your advantage? And how can you stand out from the crowd?

The truth is, you have to treat video content how you’d treat everything else (written content, photo content, etc.). It can be easy to only think of a video as a stand-alone piece of marketing – and complete videos with a full story (news stories, commercials, interviews, etc.) can be just that – but just like the right photo, passage, or tagline, video can also be implemented as part of a larger picture. For instance, many business websites have begun to implement video directly on their landing pages, either as background imagery or as featured sections of the site (think of testimonials). As a result, businesses are seeing better conversion rates, as well as other benefits. [For more ideas on how companies are using video, click here.]

I must admit, I purchased a piano keyboard precisely because of effective video (and I’m ashamed to say that I don’t use it often enough).

If you don’t have seven minutes to spare, I’ll sum up the content. A keyboard connoisseur, if you will, spends the entirety of the video discussing his collection, and eventually plays the Williams keyboard. Only around the 5:15 mark does the video actually address the product. It seems lengthy, but in reality the video creates a purposeful and strong build-up of credibility in the musician that leads to a trustworthy conclusion about the instrument. It’s a strong testimonial, and it does better to display the capabilities (and quality) of the instrument than any short demo could do.

Why did this work on me? Because it resonated. The video was of a high quality (which reflects back on the quality of the product), they knew their audience (customers who were unsure of the quality of the product for the price), and it was genuine. The musician’s delight of the quality of the instrument mirrored the company’s desire to share it with customers, and it made the purchase of the keyboard more of a buy-in to their passion for music as a whole.

Viewers want to know that you care about whatever product, idea, etc. you’re trying to sell them, and that needs to be evidenced by the production quality of your video content. Does your video need to be able to win a short film fest? No. Do viewers need to be able to clearly hear dialogue of an interviewee (for example) rather than a blaring backing track? I’d wager so. (Will I continue to use lots of questions? Probably. Please bear with me.)

Now that we know what makes video content worth watching, surely the next question is how to stand out when everyone will inevitably be pushing video content. Some experts suggest keeping up with trends and tailoring your message, but I personally wouldn’t focus on trends (especially if that feels untrue to your brand). Chasing trends can lead you astray from your brand – or at least lead to eye rolls (or worse) from the very audience you are trying to attract. (Surely a quick search can provide examples of Twitter hashtags gone wrong.)

The honest answer is that if it resonates, people will spread it. If a viewer takes the time to watch something and ends up feeling it wasn’t worth their time, they won’t be checking out the next one. However, quality content that is engaging and satisfying will lead to its spread. If viewers connect with it, they are likely to share it with friends. After all, what’s better: reaching a wide audience for a short time with one topical post, or building a reputation amongst friend groups, peer groups, communities, etc.?

Finally, in a world of click-bait, don’t be that guy (or girl). If you have quality content that stands alone, give it the headline/title/caption it deserves.

If any of this is starting to sound applicable to social media in general, that’s because it is. While video is rising in popularity and setting competitors apart from those who aren’t up to speed, the audience is the same. We’re still visual creatures. The same rules apply.

And we can still see through disingenuous crap.

 

By Amber Schadenfroh, Business Major – IUPUC

As a part-time student, Amber is aiming to graduate with dual concentrations in Marketing and Management. While most creative fields garner her interest, she most aspires to someday work in the film industry.

 

Actions speak louder than words

A famous proverb reads “actions speak louder than words” but what exactly does that mean? The proverb is referring to nonverbal communication specifically. Research has proven that we are communicating more and more through nonverbal means.  However what even is nonverbal communication? Nonverbal communication is the act of conveying a thought, feeling, or idea through Gestures, Posture, facial expressions, and eye contact. An example of nonverbal communication dealing with gestures is waving, pointing, and using fingers to indicate numeric amounts. Gestures are commonly used in courtrooms by lawyers in order to sway juror opinions. Posture is also another common way we communicate nonverbally an example of this is  Arm/ leg crossing. Posture can indicate feelings and attitudes. Another way we communicate nonverbally is through facial expressions. So much information can be gathered about a person when looking at their facial expression. This is the first thing we notice about a person even before they speak. You can tell a persons mood by the look their face. For example if they are happy they will probably be smiling and if they are angry they will be frowning. The good thing about nonverbal communication through facial expression is throughout the world facial expression relatively mean the same thing.  Finally eye contact is another way that we communicate nonverbally. Examples of this include eye glazing over and rolling of the eyes. Everyone takes nonverbal communication in differently so that is what we need to be aware of when doing it.

We use nonverbal communication in conjunction with verbal communication to repeat, emphasize, support, or contradict the verbal message that was stated. One way it can be used to our advantage is complementing a verbal message by adding to its meaning.  Another way nonverbal communication can be used is to help people who are mentally or physically impaired.  Nonverbal communication specifically helps out deaf people through the movement of hands, fingers, eyes. Finally nonverbal communication can be used to our advantage by reducing wastage of time. Non verbal communication message can reach the receiver very fast.

While there are some advantages of nonverbal communication there are also some disadvantages. One disadvantage is nonverbal communication can sometimes be vague. Since no words are used which can clarify the meaning it can be difficult to figure out what someone meant by their non verbal communication. No dictionary can accurately describe someone means of non verbal communication. Another disadvantage is it is multi-channeled. For example if you are watching someones eyes you may miss a significant hand gesture, which may make it confusing  to try to keep up with everything.   Another disadvantage of Nonverbal communication is it is cultural bound. An example of this is thumbs up which means good job here in the United States, however in other culture this is seen as obscene gesture. Finally distortion of information is a disadvantage of Nonverbal communication. People commonly misinterpret peoples body language for example.

Nonverbal communication can be an excellent way to communicate with others if used correctly. However in order to be a more successful communicator we need both equal amounts of non verbal and verbal communication.

Closing the Age Gap

If I had a dollar every time my grandparents asked me how to use Facebook, fix their phone, or even how to send a text with a picture attached, I’d be rich. In today’s society of ever-evolving technology, the baby boomers seem to have a much steeper learning curve than the millennials.

The communication style between these two generations is drastically different for many reasons. One of which being that the technology that is available today is very different than the technology that was available in the 1970s/1980s. Many millennials have grown up communicating through texts and snapchats instead of through outdated letters and phone calls. Baby boomers would not be able to figure out snapchat and can barely figure out how to text. Most of them would much rather call if they need to talk or reach someone. Although these two styles of communication are much different, the same idea is behind each form of communication and the same goal is achieved, just in a different way.

Another big difference between baby boomers and millennials is cell phone usage. Today, it is becoming more and more acceptable to carry a conversation through text, while also carrying a conversation in person. If you have ever tried to even send just one text while talking to a baby boomer, you most likely received a dirty look, or a snarky remark about your phone. To them, the act of even just checking your phone while carrying a casual conversation can come across as extremely disrespectful.

Even though at times the communication styles between these two age groups seems to be drastically different, the one thing we all have in common is all generations have a need for human interaction. No matter the form.

 

Emma Sanders

Psychology Major at IUPUC

Bernie Sanders

One’s upbringing has a significant impact on how you view the world and what you think is morally right and wrong.  Bernie Sanders is the epitome of this.  Bernie was born September 8th, 1941 in Brooklyn, NYC.  His father was a Polish immigrant and his mother’s parents were also Polish immigrants.  Both sides of his family were Jewish, so he was raised as such.  Bernie’s older brother stated that during their childhood, they never went without food or clothing, but bigger purchases, such as a curtain or a rug, were difficult to afford.  Bernie was also raised witnessing the horrors of WW2.

After growing up during WW2, having parents who were Polish immigrants, being raised Jewish, and growing up in the lower middle class all created Bernie’s frame of reference.  He learned from an early age to empathize with minorities and the lesser privileged.  This is highlighted when you look at Bernie’s political stances.  He aims for equality for all.  He is also very passionate when it comes to immigration laws.  Bernie experienced childhood differently than most children.  He was exposed to situations that most people aren’t even aware of and from that, drives his passion when it comes to his political ideals.

Jessica Wagers

Psychology Major @ IUPUC

 

Business Survival

 

Social media is what our world revolves around today. For some, it is the guide to survival, or the “easy” way out of a lot of things. Social media plays a reminder to some everyday lives, and even helps others get jobs, (as well as lose them). Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad things that come with social media, as well as good. Social media is the key to business survival. Think about it, what if one was to open a business and chose not to use social media versus someone who did the opposite. Who do you think would get a bigger crowd? How would the public know about this new company without ideal advertisement? Things like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linked In, Indeed, and many others are what helps a lot of people out. Take me for example, I am currently interviewing for a position that I located on Indeed, which is a website that posts several job openings for anyone to apply.

 

Personally, I think that Facebook is the most important for business, only because I know of some people who have grown into something very big and very well-known just by posting promotions, advertisements, and so on. Twitter is also a very helpful site for a lot of businesses. I personally do contests on there sometimes that other companies are hosting. The only downfall about Twitter is that you are limited to how many characters you can post at one time.

 

Instagram is my favorite, only because I feel like it is very easy to track what a company is all about through their pictures and updates.

 

In conclusion, I personally find these websites helpful. They all give businesses an idea of what a person is like before they bring them into their company. They also help promote and help businesses grow. Everyone is big into technology now, so it truly is a key factor to be a technology-friendly business in today’s world.

 

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