It’s a Small World After All by Robin Trimingham
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” Mahatma Gandhi
As some of you may be aware, Bill Storie and I have just returned from a trip to Austin Texas where we attended the North American Regional Conference of Career Partners International.
It was a great opportunity for us to network with other business owners and share ideas for best practices, and hear from thought leaderships in the field of career management and leadership development. One of the topics that came up repeatedly in conversation was the challenges that older people encounter when interacting with millennials.
Like every generation before them, millennials seem to have acquired something of a reputation with older generations for being self-absorbed, impatient, unfocused, and to some degree, “high maintenance”. While they are definitely the most tech-savvy beings to walk this earth, and coordinate their lives on their cell phones with remarkable dexterity, I wonder how different millennials really are from the twenty-somethings of my own generation, or any other generation for that matter.
After all, is it not the curse of youth to arrive at adulthood bursting with enthusiasm to conquer the world and rise to the top of one’s profession with meteoric speed, only to discover that the road to success is paved with hard work, patience, and years of practice?
Is there anything remarkable then in a certain number of these same millennials leaving employers (or disconnecting with family members) who fail to recognize their talents and provide the attention and increases in responsibility they desperately crave?
I would suggest not.
So how do you forge a lasting win-win relationship with this younger generation?
Perhaps it is as simple as remembering what it was like to be young yourself and how fondly you recall your first mentors – how much time they made for you when you craved attention, recognition, guidance and most importantly, someone to listen to your ideas.
Then, put aside your own insecurities for a moment, and allow the millennial in your life to teach you something. Show them that you too are an avid learner who welcomes guidance and the opportunity to acquire new skills. Show them that their knowledge is valuable and that it is possible for you to work together toward a common goal.
By showing them that you have the confidence to display a touch of vulnerability, not only will you inspire their own self-confidence, you might just learn how to use that smart phone that has been taking up space in your purse for more than making phone calls.
By Robin Trimingham