The psychological gap between the Facebook generation of young employees and their baby booming boss is widening in the age of electronics, says Australian body language guru Allan Pease, who has co-authored 15 bestsellers with wife Barbara. “What happens is most of the Generation Y employees at workplaces are under 32. They are the techno-savvy Facebook generation who know more than their parents. Their bosses are baby boomers - 45 and above. That has created different perceptions of the world between the older generation and young workers,” Pease told IANS in the capital. The body language honcho, whose best-sellers like “The Definitive Book of Body Language”, “Why Men Want Sex and Women Need Love” and “Why Men Lie and Women Cry” have sold 25 million copies in 51 languages, was in the capital to address a select group on the importance of body language, lifestyle trends and his books, which are distributed in India by Manjul Publishing House. Pease and his wife Barbara, who work out of UK and Australia, appear on the global media regularly and their work has been made into a television series. Exploring the workplace psyche of older bosses, Pease said, “They perceive that the employee will work hard, remain loyal, tell the truth and will remain with the company till he retires.” “Generation Y thinks that is stupid stuff and wants to change job every three years.” The body language of the two generations of professionals is also a world apart, the he said. “At the coffee shop of the hotel where I was staying (in Delhi), I saw six people on the table besides mine - four were in their 20s and two in their 40s, a man and his wife. They probably owned a company and the youngsters were employees armed with Blackberrys. The four young people were SMSing across the table to send messages to each other. The employees were not looking at each other while they were sending messages,” Pease, who is in his 60s, said. “The older couple was appalled that they were not attracting attention,” the body language instructor said. Pease said the cardinal body language rule at the work place is to “switch off the mobile phone while in a meeting or put it on the silent mode”.
“But my 28-year-old son does it (messages on his mobile phone) all the time, especially when his mother is talking to him. It is typical of the generation. When they talk to the baby boomers (45 plus), they can’t keep eye contact,” he said.
Pease observed that the “Generation Y brains are being rewired by the electronic media”.
“Most of them are most likely to get a job because they don’t have a body language (and they cannot talk). Body language makes 60 percent to 80 percent of impact between people, but electronics is cutting the younger ones away from their immediate surroundings,” Pease said.
The body language guru said “the dependence on electronic gadgets was a very alarming trend for youngsters which made meeting and recognising partners (mates) difficult and where they should stay away”.
“A woman in her 50s knows who is sending signals to her around in a room, but a 25-year-old (whose uses the mobile phone and SMS for communication) is less aware of it. We have never been good at body language,” he said.
Pease blames the disconnect with body language on satellite “television and Hollywood which will not allow countries like India and Russia to retain their traditional cultures”.
“I do not allow my children to watch cartoons that are faster than real time … or anything that has anger or grief...on television. Doctors warn that the re-wiring of the brain because of television does not allow them to relate to what is happening in real time,” Pease said.
He says physical proximity between parent and child develops body language among children.
“I have six children (and five grandchildren) and I touch (pet) my youngest son Brandon, who has just turned seven, all the time to stimulate his brain. Doctors say men have 10,000 touch senses in their body and women 25,000,” Pease said.