Check out the analysis of research on millennials that debunks a lot of the stereotypes. I considered not sharing because attention to an issue is reinforcing and I want to see the near obsession with millennials become extinct. But during the last few months five different people have asked my opinion of this group. Having taught a couple of thousand of them over 11 years and then keeping track of hundreds since, I speak with a certain knowledge.
What I think is this:
- some millennials are super-great, super-stars
- some millennials are total losers and a pain in the neck
- most are pretty average, trying to get by and get better
Just like practically every other human trait and ability, those possessed by millennials are normally distributed in the population.
I remember all the different stereotypes from my teaching days – students from this demographic group are great students, kids from another group are terrible students, that group cheats, those are entitled, these are like that, and on and on.
Guess what? For every stereotype, I can name dozens of exceptions.
One of the people who asked my opinion of the millennial problem related bad experiences their company has had with millennial employees. To me, it sounds like the problem is with their selection and performance management process.
Are millennials different from previous generations? Are millennials special? Yes.
Was my generation different from previous generations? Was my generation special? Yes.
Let’s let go of the kerfuffle surrounding these kids.
In closing, here’s a stereotype to think about – people who stereotype are lazy. For them, it’s easier to label a person based on ______ (age, race, generation, ethnicity, religion, etc.) rather than take the time to get to know someone.
Would love to know what you think of this. Please comment below.
My goal is to write 30 blog posts in 30 days the month of September.