Jackie Kellso

Archive for the ‘generations at work’ Category

The Inconvenience of Accepting Others

In accepting others, age discrimination, ages in the workforce, aggression, anger management, arguments, avoiding arguments, being different at work, building rapport, bullies at work, business relationships, career-related problems, communication, communication skills, communications between generations, conflict resolution, connecting with people, dealing with a difficult coworker, diplomacy and tact, disagree agreeably, diversity, empathic listening, feeling accepted, feeling safe at work, female discrimination, generations at work, generations in the workforce, inclusion, Liked by coworkers, manage stress at work, managing conflict, managing emotions at work, negativity at work, person to person dynamics, professional women, Respect, respect by coworkers, Uncategorized on March 29, 2018 at 2:29 pm

Who gets on your nerves most at work? Whom do you avoid? What conflict keeps you up at night? How well are you functioning with others who clearly don’t like you? Who’s disrespecting you? How do you deal with these issues?

If you can find yourself in these questions, whether as the antagonist or the victim, I ask, is this what you’d hoped to create? Of course not!

It’s the norm to be uncomfortable accepting the fact that we have no control over others’ behaviors, tastes or perspectives. The part of our brains that demand certainty and comfort will go to battle to protect us against this threat, which is why we seek and approve of colleagues who demonstrate mutual understanding and familiarity.

It’s easier for a corporate culture to maintain the status quo, where judgment, prejudice, jealousy, and even hatred thrive, than to create a welcoming environment for all.

This is an important lesson that comes with having a career. How long are we going to provoke negativity and/or get sucked into it? It’s our responsibility to accept diversity and to include others who are different. The lack of this, where bias and exclusion are the norm, is destroying employee retention, morale, productivity and people’s lives! By allowing yourself to contribute, you are also getting held back; and I mean, not rising to your potential as a person.

The more we focus on what we don’t like, what we don’t control and how awful it is, the more it is going to weaken our resolve to be effective. On the flip side, for the people who are being isolated or excluded by us, it causes a huge amount of stress and shuts down the ability to think clearly, problem-solve and make decisions. Hence, they are losing traction to be most effective. Both sides lose.

Here are some steps that, albeit inconvenient, can turn things around to make positive impact:

  1. Focus on the real issue; not your emotional trigger. So instead of thinking, What a jerk he is to tell the client we don’t have the resources to fix the problem; think, Although I don’t like his response, I don’t have all the facts to understand why he said that.
  2. Give the other person the benefit of the doubt. In using the instance above, instead of telling your co-worker he’s wrong, the goal is to avoid an argument. You might say, “I heard you tell the client we can’t fix the problem, which you must have analyzed. I’d like to understand your position–can you share with me how you came to that conclusion? We may have differing reports.”
  3. Analyze the value of diversity. There’s an old saying: If two people are of the same opinion, one of them isn’t necessary. Why fight the fact that your reality includes people who aren’t like you? How would this shift impact you as a person, let alone as a professional?

The truth is we can’t be eclipsed by another — that’s a myth that ambition and competitiveness, mixed with fear, fosters. Our contributions matter, so we don’t lose ourselves by allowing for others’ differences. Be inconvenienced and be a model for others. With hope, you will ensure that everyone you work with is treated with respect.

Respectfully,

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Entitlement isn’t the Problem You are Having with Millennials

In ages in the workforce, baby boomers, breakdown in communication, business relationships, communication, communications between generations, entitlement, generation x, generations, generations at work, generations in the workforce, GenXers, improve communication, managing conflict, millennials, professional behavior, professionals over 50, respect by coworkers, Uncategorized on June 6, 2017 at 3:50 pm

You came into the workforce in the 1970s or 80s or 90s. Guess what? The Veteran population (born before 1946) thought you were little know-it-alls just waiting to take their jobs. And you did. There is nothing new about the inconveniences brought about by new generations entering the workforce.

Truly, can we blame Millennials for feeling entitled? Millennials have an entrepreneurial spirit and don’t tend to view corporate life as one big climb up the ladder in a vertical formula. This makes sense: their heroes are themselves Millennials! We didn’t have billionaire, entrepreneurial heroes. (Lee Iacocca wasn’t my hero when I entered the workforce as a secretary in 1982!)

Millennials had more opportunity to learn a wider range of things in college than we even had names for. Millennials do tend to get bored and want to jump ship if they don’t feel challenged. They feel freer to communicate with higher-ups and want to have a voice. They are a loud crowd!

GenXers rose up and flattened out hierarchy, feeling entitled to change reporting structures. This felt like anarchy to Baby Boomers who feel entitled to be respected for their experience and knowledge of how to successfully run a business.

See? Who doesn’t feel entitled to something? What’s wrong here is the fear and bias we are having with the differences in our ages and our cultures. You want to be a role-model for Millennials? Then start remembering what it means to shift your self-image from being a student to becoming a professional. Realize the hardships you had to face and the ways in which humility smacked the feeling of entitlement right out of you. And if this never happened to you, then ask yourself if people would describe you as arrogant and obstinate. Millennials just need time to grow-up; to run up against power threats and failures, and disappoint higher-ups, just like you had to. Meanwhile, stop blaming them for everything that’s making you uncomfortable with the changes that you don’t like.

I coach people of all ages on how to communicate and build interpersonal skills, and the most frequent complaint I hear is dealing with the other generations in the workplace. The answer is really simple. Use the discomfort to learn about your own unconscious biases, the need for confirmation bias (listening for those things you already believe vs. being open to new ideas) and your fears of not being in control. Then, apply TOLERANCE, the desire to UNDERSTAND, to INCLUDE, and to VALUE people who are not replicas of you.

After all, you’re entitled to be at peace.

Humbly yours,

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Fish Rots from the Head Down

In ages in the workforce, avoiding arguments, baby boomers, bad boss, career challenges, communication skills, communications between generations, conflict resolution, coping with pressure at work, diplomacy and tact, effective communicating, employee engagement, engagement, executives, generation x, generations, generations at work, GenXers, leadership, managing, managing conflict, managing emotions at work, Millenials, people skills, personal development, personal growth, professional behavior, stinkin' thinkin', team-player, work-related problems on May 8, 2015 at 10:27 pm

Phrase of the day: Employee Engagement.  My metaphor: The Fish Rots from the Head Down. If you, a Baby Boomer (1946-1964), at the senior leader to C-level, have stinkin’ thinkin’, the rest of your organization will rot from under you.

Many high-level Baby Boomers think of the younger set of GenXers (born late 70s – early 80s) and Millenials (1982-2000) like this: “These entitled, spoiled kids who graduated with honors think they’re going to be VP right out of the gate!” I had to work my way up the ladder and prove myself, and they have to bite the bullet and do the same.”

Research now tells us of many reasons employees leave their companies.  Some of these include:  a lack of belief in senior leadership, lack of enthusiasm or clarity about the company’s mission and poor communication with direct managers. So leaders cannot risk leading with the mindset of ‘pain leads to gain.’

In fact, GenXers and Millenials don’t appreciate the sentiment. Whether empowered from early on by us, their Baby Boomer parents, or that there is significance to being born at the start of the Age of Aquarius, they are impatient to get to the top, to make a stamp on the world. Why? Because they grew up watching a young generation of talented grads become techie multimillionaires and they have been preparing to make their mark too. We Baby Boomers didn’t have those types of super-hero young, role models. Our role models were ‘The Establishment’. We’d never seen anything like what’s happening in the last two decades. We were ambitious, but we believed we had to work our way up in a linear, long-road haul to the top, as our Veteran parents and bosses (pre-1945) did.

My not-so-humble opinion on the matter: Stop rotting. If you haven’t moved beyond the 1980s work ethic and are holding young employees to these old standards, you are creating dysfunction in your company.

As challenging as this may be, it’s about becoming flexible. Here’s how to stop your head from spoiling the rest of the company:

  1. Encourage employees to spend a small percentage of their time – on your watch – creating projects they feel passionate about. Give them ownership of something meaningful to them, as long as it is in line with your company’s mission. Hey, it could open up possibilities for your business you had never anticipated!
  2. Don’t embarrass young employees for trying to bring new ideas to you. You’ll make them feel important if they feel heard.  This can encourage commitment and loyalty.
  3. Set boundaries, just make sure they are fair to all. Never play favorites.
  4. Keep cultivating your own skills. And although we can never evolve certain parts of the brain, parts that want what’s comfortable, we can build new neural pathways that can open-up our thinking and beliefs to embrace the NOW.
  5. Do what you can to learn about GenXers and Millenials. Understand their socioeconomic, psychological and cultural experiences. Become interested and make their life experiences matter to you.
  6. Be compassionate towards yourself. Everyone talks about managing others through change, but who manages you through this change (at this third quadrant of your career)? Fortunately, or unfortunately, you have to do it. (You can always hire a coach.:))

With Empathy,

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.