You’re a millennial, ambitious and ready to take your company by storm. Your manager is a Gen Xer and from day one you've experienced miscommunication gaps with your conversations. You don’t know when it is appropriate to add lol to your messages. Your boss likes to stick to proper protocol. What to do? You want to be approachable, but don’t know how.
You are not alone. According to a recent study by PWC, 38% of millennials are saying that senior management does not relate to younger workers. This communication gap is prevalent in every workplace. The problem is that both parties want the company to succeed in the workplace, but no one is communicating how they can create a sustainable relationship. This creates a negative feedback loop for the company and creates disengagement for all.
What is a millennial to do? Quit or create a text chain between other co-workers about how their boss is inconsiderate? Often times Millennials do both. Here’s the challenging thing for millennials to understand, in order to make a difference in the workplace we have to work well with all generations. Here are 3 tips for millennial to engage with their managers:
1. Look for strengths
Chances are you and your boss have a lot of similarities. Take yourself out of the equation and ask yourself, what made your boss rise up the ranks? What makes him or her successful? Are they great at sending emails, public speaking, or communicating with others?
Think about what their strengths are. If they have a skill that you wish to gain, you should ask for advice on how to develop that skill. For example, if your manager has an ability to work well with others, you should ask for advice on how to develop skills in working effectively as part of a multi-disciplinary team.
2. Create a paper trail for communication
Write down good interactions between you and your boss. In a recent article, by Harvard Business Review, they stated that great managers “identify a person’s strengths, first and second they ask, “What was the best day at work you’ve had in the past three months?”
Put yourself in the manager's shoes and find out what was the best day at work that you and your boss had. Email that to them and tell them how you appreciate their leadership.
3. Ask your manager how you can help the company
Simple, but hard at the same time. Problem solving with your manager shows leadership skills. It allows your manager to understand how you can contribute and fit into the company’s overall objective. Creating a constant feedback loop with bosses creates sustainability. It might take some time, but in the long run, you’ll benefit.
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