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INTRODUCTION

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

Aristotle

Chapter Objectives

Understand how personality plays a role in passing/receiving information.

Describe the four components of the VARK approach.

Understand how being an introvert or extrovert might influence your perception.

Recognize the effect different intelligences might play on passing/receiving information.

Describe the difference among knowledge, wisdom, and insight.

Explore one method for finding common ground.

For those individuals who are part of Generations X and Y, the receiving of knowledge—particularly from members of previous generations—may be anything but an appreciative or inviting experience. The younger generations may feel, for example, that the knowledge being shared is a specific demand or command that must be carried out in a specific manner as opposed to recognizing the knowledge as a collection of valuable information and data gleaned over time and experience from the individuals handing off the knowledge. Individuals from the silent or baby boomer generation might feel as if the younger generations do not appreciate their experience or that the younger generations do not listen even though they are in their own ways. Many times these perceptions are a result of generational differences and, notably, the differences in the various generations’ communication styles. All generations need to find common ground and work together to hand off knowledge in a way that facilitates and promotes growth and development for everyone.

An important step in this process is to understand that there is an art and science to handing off and receiving knowledge. Some information and skills can be handed off through a formalized set of principles and guidelines one might find in a set of policies or articles. Other information may be less formalized and often intuitive and ambiguous as the receiver is not sure of the applicability yet (which is what makes it knowledge as opposed to information, as we will discuss later in this chapter). To further complicate the issue, information for one generation is often used in different ways than it was used in prior generations. Technology is valued and used differently across generations, so it is important to consider these implications for handing off knowledge between younger or older generations. Most of the issues between generations, in our opinion, are due more to lack of understanding personality and communication styles than the year in which the individuals were born.

This chapter provide guidelines for handing off knowledge to different generations, makes suggestions for seeking out and receiving knowledge from older generations, and offers strategies on how to share knowledge through avenues that capitalize on every generation’s perspectives.

THE DESIRE FOR KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER

People have a desire to connect. One way to connect to others is through passing knowledge to another person. The urge to pass along knowledge—that which ...

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