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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2011
Ms Liotta's book made me realize that I was targeting the wrong generation for my new business. What an eye opener!! I thought I was unquestionably of one generation and now I know why I've never felt like I belonged. Her fun examples and writing style makes this a no-brainer must-read for anyone - business leader, teacher, people manager, etc. I can pick up and turn to any section and get something new every time. This book will be a go-to reference within easy reach that I will be able to use with my own consulting clients. A gem!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2011
I find the information in this book fascinating! Anna Liotta explained the differences in the generations expectations and communication styles in an easily understandable and entertaining manner and gives you ways to immediately apply what you have learned. She really knows her stuff! She answered questions that I totally needed answers to but didn't even know how to ask. I highly recommend this book for anyone doing business or interacting with anyone from another generation. This is information that WE ALL need to have to move forward successfully in today's rapidly changing world. Great book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2012
A review from Blog Critics Magazine, first published online February 22, 2012

Early in "Unlocking Generational CODES," Anna Liotta tells a story of her ninety-plus mother washing and saving a piece of tinfoil so it can be reused again. It's a simple story but one I could instantly relate to as I thought of my own grandmother who would reuse paper plates and whom I used to remind, "Grandma, the Great Depression is over." Most of us recognize the thrift of that generation as a generational mark--its members experienced or feared want and were going to ensure they were not in that situation again.

But Anna Liotta takes the generational differences so much further than just what many view as certain generations' idiosyncrasies. As the eighteenth of nineteen children, herself a Gen Xer with Baby Boomer siblings and Traditionalist parents, and now Millenialist and Nexter nephews and nieces, Liotta knows what it is like to be surrounded by multiple generations and have to communicate effectively with all of them. And she has conveyed her own experiences and used them as the touchstone for a multitude of research on the generations and how they function. I had no idea until I read this book how the perspectives of different generations contrasted so much--how Baby Boomers butted heads with Traditionalist bosses when they entered the workplace, why Millenialists seem to expect constant praise and guidance in their work, or even that I truly was the product of my own generation--Generation X.

As I read "Unlocking Generational CODES," I reflected back on my own experiences as a teacher, an employee, and a manager, and suddenly, light bulbs went off in my head explaining why my students, bosses, and employees had behaved the way they had--they were not always difficult, crazy, or lazy--they were acting according to the CODES by which they had been raised. As a result, I came to understand the mantra of this book, "It's not personal--it's generational."

Liotta uses the term CODES as an acronym for Communication, Orientation, Discipline, Environment, and Success. After laying the groundwork for the book by giving us definitions and snapshots of each generation, she explores how each generation functions within these categories. The generational snapshots were especially helpful and illustrative since they provided charts listing key events, people, places, anchor points, social moods, and several other "Natural Realities" of each generation's experiences. For example, the Baby Boomer generation was born from 1946-1963 and some of the people and events that influenced its members' viewpoints include JFK, the Beatles, the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, and Woodstock. Liotta places each generation within the context of the environment that influenced it, and then she illustrates how that background shaped that generation's individuals. She makes room for "Cusp babies" those born on the fringes of generational cut-off years who may share attributes of both generations, and she points out the influence of the generation parents or siblings belong to upon the individual as well.

I felt enlightened by "Unlocking Generational CODES." While I had heard the term Gen Xer to describe members of my generation, I had not really been aware of the attributes defining its members. I was amazed by how much I am a product of my generation, not only in my tastes, but in my work ethic, and my expectations of others. Liotta perfectly describes how my generation was raised with working parents, often were children of divorce, how we entered a workforce that had little room for us, and why so many of us have come to distrust corporations and seek self-employment, as well as why we have such difficulty working with the Millenial generation that has followed us because we tend to be self-starters who do not need the constant approval and reinforcement that Millenials were raised to expect from their Baby Boomer parents.

Liotta's primary purpose is to provide all this information so people can communicate better in the workplace; for the first time in American history, four generations are working side-by-side and that can lead to generational conflicts that people mistakenly take personally. Simple examples include how Baby Boomers want to meet in person over lunch and get to know prospective clients, while Gen Xers might want to do business through a quick phone call or email and get straight down to business. Millenialists prefer to multi-task and have their social networking tools available as they work, while Baby Boomers can find technology frustrating and Gen Xers may find social networking an interruption to their work and not appropriate for the workplace.

By understanding the different generations, readers will be better able to function in their workplace, to get along better with employees, bosses, and colleagues, and ultimately, to understand what makes the different generations tick, and what ticks them off. While "Unlocking Generational CODES" is geared toward the workplace, since reading it I have found that it makes me understand people in all avenues of life. Whenever I meet people now, I have a tendency to assess what generation they belong to so I can understand where they are coming from, what their expectations are, how they prefer to communicate, and how I can better communicate with them. Not only will workplaces be more productive and better able to function after people read this book, but readers will discover ways to have stronger, more enjoyable relationships.

"Unlocking Generational CODES" may well be the most important book you read this year. It will change your way of thinking, how you perceive people, and will open up communication channels that otherwise might have remained closed. I strongly encourage everyone of every generation to read this book.

-- Tyler R. Tichelaar, Ph.D. and author of the award-winning "Narrow Lives"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2013
I read this book in the hard copy version and couldn't wait for the Kindle version to come out so that I can keep it with me on my travels. It is an easy to read ready reference to the generations. As a "boomer" I certainly had my opinions about those "other" generations....mostly wrong or at least somewhat misguided. This book unlocks understanding that can be critical in leadership situations and helpful in business situations. Even with the internet and everything electronic (sorry Kindle) we can't get away from the personal people-to-people reality of daily living. And remember its a two-way street. It's not just on the "older" generation to learn and understand, the younger up and comers will find what's in this book critical to their success.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2013
Her vast knowledge and detail surrounding the generational differences and communication styles between generations is amazing. I have put to work many of her tips based on the knowldge from this book and it has made a huge impact not only in by business (millenials selling to and interacting with gen-xers and boomers) but my personal life as well! I highly rcommend this book, especially for ANY business leader or owner who is stuck trying to figure out why sales are declining, cutomers are not returning; for any employee wondering why they are being passed for promotions; and for parents who cannot understand why they cannot communicate to their adult children!
Thank you Anna!
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on November 18, 2015
The book is not simply for the business world or for us to become socially savvy. It is also is something that every perplexed grandparent should read. A premise is made that the lack of communication with the younger generations is due to their placement on life's continuum and our own. It is not necessarily because younger generations do not seem to care the way we think they should, but because they view the world through a different lens than we of an older generation. We are who we are, with regard to values and attitudes and how we communicate, largely due to the period in time in which we were born coupled with life's experiences.

Another life area that could benefit would be the church. To have the younger generations understand the relevancy of the church, the language that the church and congregation lives and speaks should show an awareness of each generational frame of reference. If there comes intrinsic awareness, then true, two-way communication may begin. There will no longer be the "old faction" and the Kids, with a bunch in the middle.

I might say that a hard copy of the book might be better than a Kindle version. Being one who likes to flip around, write in margins, and copy graphs, a hard-copy would be more expedient for me at least. This is not to say that I don't love my Kindle.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2013
If you are A Baby Boomer you need to pick this one up and read cover to cover, things won't get easier but at least you will come to understand them better.
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on May 29, 2013
Anna Liotta's "Unlocking Generational Codes" is a well-researched, accessible and relevant introduction to generational dynamics. Connecting and working with others from a generational perspective pays big dividends, and this book suggests a framework for effective action in work settings and interpersonal relationships. The author is a well-known consultant and speaker who has worked with Fortune 50 companies, non-profits and government agencies. Recommended.
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on May 24, 2013
In an age of innovation, lightning speed change, and mass collaboration, Unlocking GENERATIONAL CODES is a must read for personal and organizational success in the new economy. If you are a baby boomer trying to understand Gen X. and the Millennials (or the other way around), Anna Liotta explains how to bridge the gap to drive your company forward.

Martin Fox, CEO with the Center for Global Leadership.
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on August 23, 2015
This book is a must-read for leaders who want to position their companies or teams to win. Anna Liotta offers a personal and interesting look into the multi-generational issues that are disrupting business. I'm especially a fan of the charts in the back that give quick tips for how to master communication with different generations. A big thanks to Anna!
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