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

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Chapter 12Include the Details: Ambiguity Is Their Kryptonite

Directing the Unfocused

They can be challenging. They definitely need to be guided and kept focused. My job is to keep them focused and keep them on task.

—A dentist

There are things that I don't feel like I should have to repeat. But I learned that if I want them to get it, I have to tell them over and over.

—A police lieutenant

We want clear direction, and then get out of our way.

—A Millennial

Millennials are super-like. Not unlike the man who wears the big red S on his chest, they too have their kryptonite—it is called ambiguity. They hate ambiguity more than being micromanaged. With insufficient direction, they often exhibit a lack of focus, indecisiveness, and insecurity. (See Table 12.1.)

Table 12.1 Directing the Unfocused

Directing (Include the Details) Unfocused
The ability to clearly communicate what is expected. It entails avoiding ambiguity and not assuming you have been understood. It requires both questioning and listening to ascertain the employee's readiness level for a task or goal. Millennials, as a cohort, are recognized for their intellectual ability but are often perceived to struggle with a lack of attention to detail. They have a hard time staying focused on tasks for which they have no interest.

The Millennial Intrinsic Value: Multitasking

Millennials are aware that management perceives them as unfocused. They blame the perception on their ability to multitask. They truly believe ...

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