Gen Z, Millennials, Baby Boomers, or Others: Do we need to learn different things differently?

My husband and I, both, are in the field of training, learning and development. I am a  millennial and he is a baby boomer. However, I would vouch that he has traits “of a millennial” than I do. So, we often have some really fun and interesting conversations regarding personal development, lifelong learning, skills enhancement and training (Yes, we have some fireworks too ;0). It is believed that each demographic cohort, engages and learns in different ways, however, I beg to differ. I recently reviewed literature for my doctoral program on learning preferences and styles. My study also revealed that since individuals as such are unique, they do learn in their own unique ways. Perhaps the demographic classification doesn’t aid in any better training/teaching or even learning. However, there are key indicators which suggest learning can be made interesting and meaningful for all cohorts, with just a little bit of MAGEC (see below).


Oh, before, I head on to the MAGEC terms, I would urge you to check out the I’d written an article for TD magazine, regarding what millennials want and yes they do want to learn. I’d highlighted the ways in which millennials want to learn, evolve and grow, personally and professionally. We often

wonder if demographic cohort affects our learning or personal development, which is why this blog…

Borrowing from my personal life and even observing others I’ve realized that we all love to learn. Reminds me of the quote, which I am not sure, who said, “I was born intelligent, education ruined me.” Even though demographically we might be different, we still need MAGEC for personal improvement and our skills enhancement. This is what it means:

  1. Motivation: Motivation is intrinsic and extrinsic. Motivation is aligned towards a person and how an individual gets energized, directed towards set goals, and engaged through behavioral inputs. Motivation is the driving force which directs learning to continuously keep occurring. Each individual finds motivation through either personal goals management, external or internal rewards to stimulate learning.
  2. Aptitude: It is believed that we have different aptitudes for different contexts. Nevertheless, the aptitude to learn is for everyone, regardless of the demographic cohort. Of course, the personal preferences and situations play a major role in shaping our aptitude for either self-paced learning or formal or informal training.
  3. Growth mindset: Besides motivation and our aptitude we need a growth mindset, which comes from affirmations, sustainable emotional and intellectual quotient. continuously learning and development. It drives success for any individual despite demographic cohorts.
  4. Emotions: Often many communities, people, and professionals under-value emotions. I wonder why. It is the biggest driving factor in learning and training effectively, yet, most forget to effectively associate it with training and learning. When learning and any kind of instruction are associated with emotions, it yields the best results.
  5. Connection: Finally, it is vital to make a connection with everything you learn and do. When connections are made with learning, learners, regardless of which background or chohort they belogn to, it works wonders not only in retention of information but also but also in the way you recall knowledge. And always remember, Leonardo Da Vinci said, “Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything on else.

Do the above bullets resonate with you? Perhaps you have a different point of view? Or maybe you agree with me… I want to read your thoughts in the comments below.


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Copyright, 2017.

2 thoughts on “Gen Z, Millennials, Baby Boomers, or Others: Do we need to learn different things differently?

    1. Thanks for your comment😊. This area of work is really close to my heart. We are all driven by different kinds of emotions – fun, anxiety, sadness, enthusiasm etc. Why not utilize it, right? Yes emotions at work or in life are considered such a hush hush thing as though it is a taboo to show them and use them in learning. Most cultures struggle with this.

      Liked by 1 person

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