I am supposed to be an expert on working with millennials. But this week, I feel as if I am swimming upstream and far from feeling like a pro.
Although I have tried approaching topics by several different avenues, I am finding that this age group does not take advice well. Instead, they deflect with the wiliness of super heroes and seem to not want to hear, yet alone take advice by mentors.
Chris Abel wrote an article called: 5 Ways
to Give Good Advice. I am hoping to glean some insight as I continue to mentor and try to enlighten without rebuffs.
His suggestions are:
1) Check Your Motives
2) Understand Your Relationship
3) Ask Questions
4) Earn It
5) Love Unconditionally
Okay. This sound easy enough.
So, my motives are for the good of the clients we serve, so that one’s a check.
I am trying to understand my relationship, which I take to be in a mentor category. I am simply not sure if I am being heard or that it isn’t taken as an outsider.
My job description is specifically to mentor this group; guide and nurture. I could probably do more of this if what I said was actually acknowledged or heard and not used for sword fighting.
I ask questions often to try and plant the seeds, whether they are heard will eventually show in changed behavior but I haven’t seen that yet.
Earning it means that I must, somehow, find the small steps to reach out and eventually find success. Right now, I find it exhausting, but I am a life time learner, I can figure this out.
Love unconditionally, seems like rhetoric today. I really am trying to. I am trying to be empathetic.
Look, I know advice is often hard to take. But I also know if someone is not living the words of the place or organization they serve, there needs to be intervention.
Waiting for millennials to “come around” is okay sometimes but when does one step in when an entire group will be negatively affected?
Whatever happened to: Respect for wisdom and experience? Understanding mentors are there to guide not boss around? Respect…oh yeah, I said that already.
Have we allowed for too many choices for children so that eventually they become young adults whose entitlement makes them talkers and not listeners? Have we taught our young kids that the choice is up to them and it is always the right choice? Do we allow for students to “discover” the right path at the expense of others along the way?
I have spent my last 5 years trying to figure out what makes this adolescence (14-24) age group tick. I spent 30 years before that working with all kids. I often err on the side of common sense and realistic outcomes.
But I think I might be in the minority these days.
Thanks for listening.