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December 16, 2010 / W. Stanton Smith

Say no to coddling gen y. Great , what are we saying yes to?

It’s one thing to just say no to coddling gen y and it’s quite another to answer the question what kind of management behavior are we saying “yes” to.

What if most of this tough talk about making business a “no coddling zone” is not what it appears to be…all clear eyed,sober realty? What if much of it is really a rationalization for lack of empathy for others and a self-centered focus which we would rather others didn’t realize about us? In short is no coddling  just a  socially acceptable excusing for our reluctance to adopt behaviors which are proven to enhance retention and development of talent…which don’t fit the definition of coddling at all?

A more complete discussion of this topic may be found in Chapter 8 of my newest book Decoding Generational Differences: Changing your mindset…Without losing your mind. To give you a taste of this discussion here is an example. The rationalization is followed by a decoding of what’s really behind our apparent “toughness”, at least given my experience.

Rationalization: If I devote all this effort to managing an employee and he/she still doesn’t get it, we both look foolish and we’ve wasted  time.

Decoded rationalization: I ‘m not very good at giving instructions and I really don’t care to spend the time improving. So I choose to believe that my subordinates are always wrong. Conveniently that makes me the righteously aggrieved party who is busy with the highest of callings, i.e., client/customer service. I can’t help it if the recruiters can’t hire mind readers who are the only people who can succeed working for me.

Does this seem harsh and overdone or just about right? We’ll continue to seek the answer to the statement, Say no to coddling gen y. Great, what are we saying yes to?

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