Millennials… F#@&!… They Can Be…
Soooo Fawesome! (translation: F#*^ing Awesome) We Boomers and X’ers need to quit whining about Millennials not working like we do. Sure they got participation trophies as they grew up and we didn’t. Us Boomers and X-ers, we had to actually win 1st place. Yeah, yeah…
Hey BoomXers, could we please get over ourselves! We sound like Boo-hoo-Boomers.
Here’s how the conversation goes:
BoomXers, “I’ve worked hard to get were I am, I’ve earned it and I deserve it!”
Millennials, “I want meaningful work, I want to be coached, I want to be part of a great team and I deserve it.
BoomXers, “you have to work hard and move your way up into meaning and value — that’s why it’s called work.”
Millennials, (silent) (with head down looking at phone)
Millennials, “I want a flexible work schedule too.” (head still down looking at phone)
This sound familiar to you?
What we have here is an Entitlement Impasse
Both sides claim they deserve something based on their self-perceived merits. One says I deserve special treatment because I’ve worked hard for myself. The other side says I deserve special treatment because, well, because that’s what I’ve always gotten and I’ve been told I’m special.
Newsflash: BoomXers, you’re a bit selfish, generally- not the greatest team players, and you created Millennial’s. Yep, they’re your kids. Oh, and you don’t deserve special treatment.
Newsflash: Millennials, you’re really nothing special and you don’t get kudos for your mediocre work. This will surprise you in the work world. And… you don’t deserve special treatment either.
So let’s drop the entitlement stuff on both sides. It’s really annoying. How about we accept the fact that we’re in this together, and we’ve got to make the best of it together. You know, go far, go together.
Time to Bridge the Chasm
BoomXers, learn some empathy, learn to coach, and learn how to show and convey meaning and belonging. Because, “I give you a paycheck,” isn't meaning. You raised the millennials to value what they value, and, to be who they are. You want them to be better and different, change your own attitude first. And please, quit your whining! If I have to choose between BoomXer whining and Millennial whining, I’ll side with Millennial’s. I think they paint a much better picture.
BoomXer world: I work hard, I earned.
Millennial world: I want to be coached, I want to be part of a great team.
Which sounds better to you?
Personally, I used to be really annoyed at the entitlement attitude of the Millennials. (Ok, maybe sometimes I still am, and that’s my problem.) Then, I worked with some really hard-working ones, which forced me to reevaluate my stupid biases. And, I can say without a doubt they’re some of the best team players, and hardest working individuals I’ve ever worked with. They also make for some really fun banter and teasing between our generations.
Years ago, one of my favorite millennial’s and I were teasing each other. I played the age card saying, “man, whatever, you’re just getting out of diapers. Hehehe…” He responded with, “yeah well, you’re just going back into them…” I had to surrender in complete laughter. I had the wonderful privilege of working with him for 12 years.
We are different. Have fun with it. Get positive and work together, use some empathy and you’ll find that together, your complimentary strengths will drive your organization forward at a much faster rate.
Think of it as making things better instead of bitter. Stop being Boo-hoo-Boomers! You’re getting what you give.
If you have a fun and positive Millennial story, please share. I’d love to hear it.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. If you’d like to improve your people’s abilities to work together across their generations, connect with me. Paul.
Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com.