W.I.N. Wednesday: Stop the Bashing
I received an e-mail recently from someone who was frustrated by their co-worker always bashing the “new generation” and looking for my thoughts. I share their frustration as I hear the same comments around North America. In my leadership seminars I address the Millennial bashing issue and challenge people to look for the strengths of every generation, including Millennials and seek to build on those strength.
I remind people that bashing the new generation is nothing new. There are quotes that go back 2,000 years complaining about “the new generation”. I also remind people that regardless of when they started in their organization, people were complaining about them.
The Millennials bring a variety of strengths to the workplace. According to the literature they are:
- The most service oriented generation in history.
- The most tolerant generation in history. (Tolerant of other races, religions, genders, sexual orientation, etc)
- The most entrepreneurial generation in history.
- They are not fiercely loyal to organizations but, they are fiercely loyal to good supervisors and peers.
- They want to be part of something bigger than themselves.
The willingness of countless Millennials to step up following the attacks of September 11, 2001, join our militaries in a time of war and serve heroically, many on numerous tours, is one of the reasons the literature and some highly decorated military vets refer to them as “The Next Greatest Generation”.
The best explanation of the generational gap I have heard comes from retired Marine Corps Colonel Paul Callan. Paul says we perceive the gap between generations because we look at the other generation from the perspective of where we are in our lives. Meaning that when I look at a 25 year old Millennial from the perspective of a 60 year old Baby Boomer there is a big gap, as there should be. But, when I roll back the clock and compare the 25 year old version of me to the 25 year old version of them there are way more similarities than differences.
Lets stop bashing the new generation, embrace their strengths and find a way to communicate and connect with them.
Here are links to an article and a blog post I wrote on the issue.
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