Thursday, December 31, 2015

"These kids today"

Every generation seems to have its time to complain about the younger generation. They have too many things. They don't have to deal with the problems the older generation had to deal with. They don't respect the older generation. They don't work as hard as the older generation. And on and on. I guess this is only natural. But it can also be unsettling to the younger generation and allows the older generation to miss things they aren't paying attention to. The latest one I've been hearing is that the kids starting to work now don't take correction well. They get too upset when they are told they are wrong. If they are reprimanded, they just shut down or quit. Or worse, they go to their parents to get them to "make it all right."

Let me tell you - this has been going on forever. No one likes to be told they are wrong. No one likes to be humiliated in front of other people. No one likes to be made a fool of. It is always (and has always been) a matter of how the correction is communicated.

If I walk up to someone and yell in their face that they are doing it wrong, they react negatively. If I walk up to someone and explain the problem and how the way they are doing it could be changed for the better, I get a better reaction. Even better, if I listen to their explanation of why they are doing it the way they are doing it, I may learn something. Maybe they are seeing a circumstance I hadn't considered. Maybe I am looking at the "result" in the wrong way and it isn't the result I thought. If you are a supervisor and you think your job is to toughen up your workers, then you are wrong. Your job is to make the company more productive and to help your workers do a better job. Leave the toughening up to the Marines.

If we really are seeing more young people shut down or quit, maybe it's because the older generation has forgotten how to give guidance. Perhaps the older generation has forgotten the good training they received when they were first starting out. I had both good and bad supervision as I was growing up and learning to work. I chose to emulate the good supervisors and not behave like the bad supervisors. You are doing wrong when you say, "I had to deal with bad bosses when I started out and these kids need to learn to deal with that, too." No they don't. They need to be shown the right way to do things. Period.

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