Imagine. During times of less bustle and more deep thinking, come many creative ideas. How can you look at something in a novel way? You don’t have to be a scientist, artist or inventor. Simply encourage your natural curiosity when solving a dilemma. How can you envision something in a new light? Can you learn from Berry Gordy’s leadership and creativity as a visionary? Can he spur something in you, like he did in me: to look at and examine his thought process, his why for inclusion, and his deep calling to see people’s potential as his way to give and succeed. You can be a visionary and a leader. It’s all up to you. You can take his lessons and interpret them for you and your team. Or your creativity can be motivated by his. How are you going to take that next step?
Conflicts and disagreements were quick to happen with some younger professionals I’ve worked with, not through their wanting to be rude, but in their attempts to jump to connect dots. They wanted to move quickly; on to the next thing and press ahead. In doing that, however, they weren’t realizing they were missing full conversations with people. Instead of waiting, listening and asking questions, they were making assumptions around a conversation. Wanting things to move quickly, they were cutting people off from fully expressing their views. A satisfying conversation never actually happened then. How we worked through this? And, a tip from Tom Hanks.
How do you get ahead in your job? Managing down and managing up. Many professionals have said that working with their team is often fairly straightforward and rewarding. It’s the managing of their boss and other senior executives, that is more challenging. For more junior staff, the guidelines for managing up can be even more slippery and the concept completely new. How do you earn the trust of your boss and become valuable to them so you receive the rewards you treasure?
Working with people from different backgrounds, histories, experiences and ages, I promote communication, conversation and connection. When I hear, “those Millennials” or “Okay, Boomer”, I cringe recognizing them as the biases they are: ageism. Whether ageism is used as a bias in rewarding/punishing or communicating, it’s not helpful to anybody and only creates friction, more bad behavior and animosity within your team and your organization. There is no us versus them, there is only us.
It’s worth it to make an effort to learn about and appreciate each person you work with. You want the best for and from them, and they will only show you that best if they know someone cares enough to see it. Furthermore, their dedication and engagement in work comes from being happy and being seen as full individuals. You could be responsible for the individuals on your team being encouraged or discouraged. When people are dissatisfied, they leave their bosses not their jobs.
Everyone has their “safe zone”. Millennials have tighter zones than other generations for many reasons. If you allow the young talent in your projects, staff and organization to stretch beyond that space, you’ll be rewarded by their increased participation, productivity and personal growth.
Does this sound at all familiar? I remember being a young professional in the marketing field being spoken to as if I knew nothing. I had completed a lengthy and high-level education with solid job experience. Didn’t I deserve credit for that? And, was this the best way for me to learn?