Lost in Translation? A great phrase. It means that words, once translated, can lose the original intent of their meaning. Or for those who loved the movie, it is the name of the insightful and curiosity-piquing film by Sofia Coppola released over a decade ago. Either way, people, we have something to talk about. We’re missing something in our communication.
In the movie, Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson play mismatched souls who keep running into each other then begin a fledgling relationship. Two different generations reach across the great communication divide to create meaning. YES! Oh, but wait, must it only happen in the movies? NO! Lest we get too excited, we must realize we do have issues when the generational communication wall is scaled.
It’s like we are talking in tongues thinking another generation understands our point of view. We’re losing meaning in our communication because we don’t have the same meanings to start with! Meaning is established by shared experience. And, duh, we don’t share the same experiences, growing up in very different times. End game? Concepts are getting lost in translation. We need to gen up (gather as much as information as we can) about the generations.
Lost in Translation Between Generations. Read the rest of Sherri’s blog on ManagingAmericans.
Sherri Petro, President and Chief Strategy Officer of VPI Strategies, represents VPI Strategies on the Expert Panel for Managing Americans. ManagingAmericans.com is a management blog with more than 300,000 monthly readers. Sherri contributes monthly to the Workplace Communication Skills Blog and is one of the most highly read columnists.