Letters from a “Millennial” (Part 2): Finding Common Ground
The first part of this series focused on helping supervisors realize there is no cookie cutter solution for reviewing their younger associates. The blog focuses on the supervisor's point of view and how to communicate effectively with millennials. From here on I will addressing millennials directly.
In my first blog covering this topic I spoke to supervisors who are trying to give effective performance reviews for their millennial employees. You may agree with me, no one should be treated a certain way just because of the year they were born. However this idea is a two way street, members of our generation often judge our supervisors based on their generation. These judgments are natural barriers to effect communication, the only way to get past them is to find common ground.
If your supervisor is one of those generation Y members who is confused by our generation and is reading articles on how to manager millennials don't take it the wrong way. The fact that supervisors everywhere are doing this is a good sign, now it's our turn to put in some work as well. Articles everywhere describe millennials are immature people who have some sort of entitlement. Some of you might like this idea of being coddled and for you I'll say "see'ya" there's nothing for you in this blog. For those of you who would rather be treated like adult professionals please pull up a seat.
Your best weapon against your boss's preconceived notions of millennials is communication. Having a regular interactions with your boss where you show that you break the cookie cutter idea of millennials. This will help rewrite those preconceived notions. Now I know conversing with your boss can sometimes be stressful and honestly a bit terrifying and finding common ground can be difficult.
To start, try finding a common ground try and change your outward appearance to make everyone more comfortable. Now I know what you're thinking, it sounds like I'm trying to suppress who you are and how you show it, and I guess I am, but that's not always a bad thing.
Part of finding common ground is conforming to what others are used to. Everyone feels more comfortable when they are surrounded by people who look and act like them, it's why friends are often similar. If your company doesn't have a strict dress code and you often wear jeans or t-shirts and your boss wears suits, try some slacks and a button up shirt.
Your boss will notice that you are clean and dressed well and will have an easier time communicating. Practice your small talk and schmoozing so when you talk to your boss he/she knows they can relax a little.
Being comfortable while communicating is extremely important and can really define the outcome of an exchange. Next week we will continue our quest of finding the best way to communicate with your boss.
As always leave a comment or contact me on LinkedIn.