I don’t know what’s wrong with these kids today!
Who can understand anything they say?
They a disobedient, disrespectful oafs!
Noisy, crazy, dirty, lazy, loafers!
While we’re on the subject:
You can talk and talk till your face is blue!
But they still just do what they want to do!
Why can’t they be like we were,
Perfect in every way?
What’s the matter with kids today?
Those are the lyrics from the song “Kids,” from the Broadway play Bye Bye Birdie, written by Lee Adams. And while you may think they were written about today’s generation of kids, the song was written in 1959 – more than 50 years ago. In 1959 there was no computers, cell phones, Internet, Super Mario, cable TV, or fax machines – and of course no iPods.
Most companies have multi-generational salespeople and multi-generational customers. The more experienced salespeople and sales managers are always criticizing or blaming youth for what they are not, what they don’t bring to the table, what’s wrong with them, and why they’re not more like “us.”
It’s referred to as a “generation gap.” And for the most part it’s self-imposed. Self-imposed generational gaps are caused by a failure to understand, embrace, and communicate. An easier way to describe it is: “It’s not like what we do, therefore it’s wrong.” And that statement can be made from one group to another and vice-versa.
These days, people over 40 have tried to segment kids by category. Gen-this or gen-that. How about “gen-smart” or “they’re a generation smarter than we are”?
How about “gen-impatient” or “they’re a generation with no patience for anyone (including employers – maybe even including you) who doesn’t get it”?
How about “gen-Facebook”? Many older people, like fools, are trying to block it or control it. Good luck! Take a lesson from recent history – the government of Egypt tried to do the same thing – the kids won. Same with Twitter. (Have you tweeted yet?)
AHA – MAJOR AHA! Instead of concentrating on what kids don’t do, and what they are not, why don’t you try to find out what’s RIGHT with them?
As you’re looking, you may want to start with your attitude, because it’s likely you’re beginning your search with blame rather than acceptance. If you want to blame somebody, just look in the mirror, buddy. You may want to start with exercise and diet.
Instead of giving me a laundry list of what’s wrong with kids today, why don’t you embrace the new generation as…[READ MORE].