What Millennials Are Really Saying

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Firstly, let me say this is written for the Gen Xers and the Baby Boomers…if you are reading! Reading between the lines is always an important part of communication; people don’t say everything in words! However, it has never been MORE important than with the Gen Y or Millennials in the workplace. Gen Y are now the largest fraction of the U.S. workforce. As a Gen X’er, a business owner working in the tech field with a staff build made up of around 70% millennials, I have come to appreciate this over the years.

There is no consensus over the exact birth dates that define Gen Y, also known by some as millennials. But the broadest definition generally includes those born 1977 to 2002. Generation X was born roughly 1965 to 1976. Narrower definitions put Gen Yers or millennials as those born from 1978 to 1989.

One thing that’s important to know about millennials. You know those annoying brown-nosers who suck up to the boss, secretly hoping that their time will come to have all the power? Well that’s NOT what millennials are about.

According to Psychology Today, millennials are more genuine. They respect those with experience and knowledge rather than power or positions of authority. Millennials are also a generation who have been raised in a way that they try to avoid conflict, more so at work. Thus, usually they keep it short when they are saying something but there are a whole lot of things behind their short communication. Here’s a guide to understanding what millennials actually mean and why. Happy dealing with them!!

1. “We can try it this way.”

This translates into the fact that they think their idea is better than yours! They won’t usually state that to your face but they think that you should give equal importance to their point of view on the way they are saying things should be done. Millennials expect collaboration. It is generally a good idea to try and see things from their perspective because millennials usually have a fresh take on things as compared to previous generations.

2. “I would like your input on this one.”

Take them seriously when they say this. Don’t respond to this with a simple compliment. If a millennial asks for your input it is because they value your experience and expertise and genuinely want your feedback. Take this as a compliment! What’s more, they will listen to the feedback you give both positive and negative and use it to constantly better themselves.

3. “Sure, I will do it.”

When a millennial says this, it means he will follow your direction but they are not really crazy about it. This also suggests that they don’t want to communicate their true feelings to you. This usually happens when a millennial doesn’t have much choice and doesn’t want to be rude.

4. “That’s interesting.”

This simply means that they don’t find it very interesting at all and don’t want to be rude to you by saying that clearly. If you really want to go on from there, try to make them understand your point by putting it another way. Millennials usually find things more meaningful when they can see it in the bigger picture, “what’s happening next” is their mantra.

5. “I think it will work.”

This usually means that they don’t think it will work. This can be a result of their lack of involvement in the development of the idea. The best way to deal with this is either to get them more involved or present your ideas in such a way that they can relate to them better.

6. “I think it’s good.”

This usually means a millennial isn’t too joyful about your idea. This is a polite way of saying that it could be done in a better way. Try to look for any signs in their body language so that you can gauge their true feelings.

7. “I think I can do this.”

Although this means that they will do it, it also suggests that they will appreciate more guidance or input from your end. This generation is not ashamed of receiving advice, since they were raised by parents who gave them a lot of attention. Try to read well into this sentence and give them further instructions, clarity and help with regard to the task on hand.

8. “We can give it a try.”

What this really means is that they will go ahead with it if you tell them to but they think you should still search for a better option. And guess what, they are usually right about it. So don’t stop your search for a better way of tackling whatever the issue is and you will ultimately get a more suitable option.

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