Working With Millennials – A Survival Guide

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I never did imagine that there would be something tougher than trying to see 10 feet ahead without my spectacles. Think of it, with short sight that requires me to use high index lenses that come with powers on the higher side of seven, it isn’t easy.

To be more precise, it is out of the question.

Different matter that someone else trying my specs could probably see Andromeda with ease. But this is not the crux of the matter. I realise there are situations tougher than this, in fact, much tougher…

Try working with millennials for instance. Quite an experience, I tell you. They are as predictable as the neighbourhood met department and often make you believe that you are right in the midst of the cyclone Ockchi. They take you by storm and can beat the daylight out off your sanity.

No no, don’t get me wrong here. I love them and cant imagine my life without them and the exuberance that they bring to your life. It is just that this exuberance at times, resembles the effervescent smog of dry ice.

Cold they can be, moody they are and yet brimming with the belief that the world is essentially euphoric. Good qualities, sound academics, much experience at their age and so full of learning that you often wonder, what you did with your life all these decades.

The language of the millennial is much like a stylised version of Samuel Morse’ lingua franca of the yesteryears.

Hence, preening of the ears is essential to catch the quiet undertone of dissent even in the “okay” that maybe thrown at you in acceptance. Don’t you dare get carried away by the “yes” either for it means nothing unless you have got wind of the true intonation with which it is uttered.

it is critical at this juncture to carefully study facial expression.

Indifference, scorn, and remorse must be recognised and differentiated. “Oh really” for instance, could mean “what rubbish” or vice-versa. Careful study of contortions, smiles, half smiles, guffaws and raising of the eyebrow, all come loaded with answers.

Don’t worry if you haven’t mastered this body language bit yet, for you will soon enough. Just takes some patience. Actually, quite a bit of patience.

And yes, there is no room for “no” and ‘we need to get this straightened out’ and such remarks. All this may be indulged in at a later stage; when you perceive, that there is complete acceptance of ‘all this rubbish’ mode switched on at their end.

Now that takes much practice, as most adventure sports require you to have. So just grin and bear it.

Once you have your basic academics in millennial understanding, it would be prudent to register for the next level at the earliest opportunity. This is an important part of the pursuit of excellence.

Oh yes, millennials will come and go much like forest fires. But don’t give up hope, for, if you master your management skills, they will make warm friends, who remain with you through thick and thin.

They may forget that you are who you are, possibly because of your depth of knowledge, the respect that you command or your ability to move ahead in the most trying circumstances. Despite what you may think or believe, they are in the know of all this.

But don’t let that go to your head. It is only for them to internalise and the ones who are serious about moving ahead, almost always realise, albeit the delay. Stay grounded, make a genuine effort to understand how their brains function and learn a few tricks of the trade from them.

They can for instance, be extremely friendly, warm and yet stay distant when they want to. Try that. You can be sure you will mess it up.

We have this unique ability to take everything far more seriously than what is required. Overthinking every nuance and gesture will be the ultimate faux pas you can make. They aren’t overawed by you. This isn’t the movies.

Get your act together buddy. This isn’t the old times. This is the era of the millennial. Learn to live with them or bring on the old fogey and spend your time discussing the perennial backache or constipation for that matter.

Am not sure about you, but I just love being with them. It’s much like an elixir for the fatigue of the complex world.

As for you, a mug of beer or a peaty single malt may come in handy.

Jaisurya Das

Jaisurya Das

The industry affectionately calls him a Marketing Maverick; Known to be brutally candid with his writing as much as everything else, Jd is a much respected media and brand commentator whose prolific writing sees no boundaries.

Jd also consults in Consumer Neuroscience and Neuromarketing, both of which are integral to his brand interventions.
Jaisurya Das