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Managing the Millennials, 2nd Edition by Mick Ukleja, Chip Espinoza

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Chapter 8Build a Relationship: First Them, Then You

Engaging the Self-Absorbed

When I was coming up through the ranks, I reached out to my boss. I didn't expect my boss to reach out to me.

—Engineering firm manager

If I wanted to be a camp counselor, I would have gone to work for the Y.

—Syndicated news program manager

If they took the time to get to know us, I think they would like us.

—A Millennial

You have heard the story about two people having a conversation at a cocktail party … Mike asks Jim how he's been lately. Jim goes on and on about his new promotion, his golf game, his kids' recent achievements, and his health. Finally, Jim says, “We have been talking about me all night. Let's talk about you. So Mike, what do you think about me?” There are a lot of managers out there that feel like Mike.

The Millennial Intrinsic Value: Attention

Similar to the Baby Boomers, the Millennials' sheer numbers demand an audience. Millennials are used to getting a lot of positive attention, and they like it. Not only do they like the attention, they expect it. When they enter work life, they anticipate the same consideration they have enjoyed at home, in school, and on the playing field. They want managers who will tend to their career development and act as an advocate for them. When faced with an adult who they perceive is not for them, they don't know what to do. That is why in many cases they turn to mom and dad for help with professors and managers. (See Table 8.1.)

Table 8.1 ...

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