Generational Differences 7: Talking Across the Divide

Rick Mattson Church Leave a Comment

Why is the following diagram so important?

(You may not have time or inclination or keen enough eye-sight to pick through it. So I summarize it below.)

It’s called the Entry Posture Diagram,* and it’s used in cross-cultural missions training.
To my thinking it nails the issues of how the generations can and should talk with each other.
Essentially, it says this: When you enter into cross-cultural interaction, your initial attitude (posture) will determine your eventual success (or lack).
Premises determine conclusions 🙂
If you begin with openness, trust, adaptability, you’re likely to conclude with understanding and a deepened relationship with that “other-generational” person in your life. 
Naturally, the opposite is true as well. Starting off with suspicion, fear and prejudice will create a serious wall of separation when differences arise. The relationship will crash and burn.
Example: Conscientious parent, extremely concerned about 17-year old child’s $100/month media subscription fees, decides to act decisively.
Parent thinks like this: “I grew up fine without all these high-tech gadgets. . . MY parents would never have allowed . . .  What does GOD say about stewardship of time/money? . . . 24/7 tech is killing young people . . . SOMEONE needs to stand up for what’s right . . . I’m not running a popularity contest here . . . “
But of course this approach — this posture —  is doomed before the first word is uttered.
It may even appear to work in the short run. But a new wedge of mistrust will enter the relationship.  And something way bigger than $100/mo will be in jeapordy.
Darn, I’m out of space. More next week. . . 
*EPD: Google it for more info, new diagrams, updates.

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