Over the weekend we did a VERY INFORMAL survey. It is not scientific, but just a way to verify / contradict some other perceptions we have been following over time at Generation Bridge. Essentially we saw very similar patterns in our survey. Couple of notes - data collection was online through social media through our social channels and through reaching out to friends and colleagues. As such it is "under-represented" on people younger than 35. But nothing "surprising" really popped out and it will help inform a piece on Ageism that we're working on.
So here's the link to the data if you'd like to look it up: https://data.surveygizmo.com/r/635855_5f2381ef46bf64.82535382
Essentially there are some things that people feel younger / older people are more likely to experience or represent. In the chart below, the lower the average, the more likely people are to feel younger people have a higher likelihood to XYZ...If the average is higher, then the it represents that older people would have more likelihood.
So on the right you can see that people responding to the survey generally felt being older would help people be more likely to be at peace, make better decisions, find fulfillment or be isolated. Younger individuals however would be more likely to adapt to new situations, build new relationships, learn new skills and use technology.
These are common perceptions in our society as a whole and of course some of these perceived skews have justifications that are valid. But what we need to do in our own situations is recognize when we might have these perceptions in our heads but give ourselves the reminder to let the individual prove those perceptions right or wrong.
I'll be looking into these perceptions over the next couple of weeks to identify other more scientific sources that confirm or deny these perceptions and then look for instances that might "surprise" us. I also think it's important to note that a few people told me they liked the exercise and felt it was hard to evaluate since so many of these items really are possible for all...so that was a good thing. The fact that many were right around a "4" meaning that it was perceived as fairly "equal" is a good thing, but we need to assert that even those that we associate with a skew of older / younger, can certainly have relevant and numerous examples of the perception being "false".
To get a better idea of where we'll be going with this - here's some sales stats that organizations should consider when looking at sales talent. Many new systems are certainly skewing younger for lead generation / business development, but if some of the stats in this article are correct, relationship building and phone skills are still really important. But certainly there are other elements that require some new skills being added into an experienced sales rep's repetoire. https://blog.thebrevetgroup.com/21-mind-blowing-sales-stats. So for example, I would challenge the perception in our survey that younger people have the advantage in building new relationships - the word "new" may have skewed it, but we are constantly meeting new people and building new relationships throughout our lives, careers, and friends networks. I don't think it ever stops, but I think we often don't realize it.
Here's a 2016 article in the Harvard Business Review that looked at 10,000 people and saw that some of the differences were much smaller than were previously thought. For example, people are consistently investing in learning / training throughout their lives, and energy is often more focused as people get older and perhaps don't have as many competing elements that would require their time (i.e., kids are out of the house). Heres a link to that article https://hbr.org/2016/11/our-assumptions-about-old-and-young-workers-are-wrong