6 typical Millennials statements and what they really mean

Anyone who ever works with Millennials and does not belong to the same generation will sometimes wonder what they really want to say. If you start paying attention, you will hear that they often speak in code, which is not always easy to understand. Some common statements unveiled.

Like Comment

Anyone who talks to Millennials regularly may wonder what they really mean by their vague statements.

They speak the language of quick success and the Internet, and they value authenticity, openness and experiences.

What do they mean?

Anyone who ever works with these Millennials and does not belong to the same generation will sometimes wonder what they really want to say. If you start paying attention, you will hear that they often speak in code, which is not always easy to understand.

Some common statements unveiled:

1. 'That might work...'
This basically means, 'I don't think this will really work at all, but I don't want to be rude and tell you this is a bad idea.' Millennials have a collaborative personality. If you approach them with an idea or task they haven't been a part of, they're not going to just nod, smile and say 'okay,' especially if they don't agree with the proposal.

So this tactful response is a way for them to open the conversation to alternatives and discuss them so that agreement can still be found.

2. 'I appreciate feedback'
Here they are not asking for a false compliment like 'well done' or 'that's perfect'. Though they certainly don't want to be completely ripped off either. They want you to explain to them specifically what they did right (appreciation) and where they can grow and improve themselves (evolution).

They ask you to pay attention to their career. They ask for coaching and guidance, something they've been getting all their lives. They expect it. They don't see this coaching as a sign of weakness, but rather as their path to greater things, their way to achieve more and make the most of their potential. Therefore, give them the feedback they want (in the way they want it) so they can even exceed your expectations.

3. 'Maybe we should try it like this.'
This is another disguised way of saying 'I actually don't like your idea at all, but I don't want to hurt your feelings, so I'm just going to suggest an alternative.'

4. 'Sure'
A short one- or half-word response, meaning something like 'I'll do it, but I'm not really excited about it.'

Millennials would prefer to do only meaningful work. If they are assigned a task that doesn't really challenge them, they find it hard to hide their true feelings about it. They therefore keep communication about it to a minimum.

5. 'Why are we doing this again?'
This can be translated into 'Help me understand the bigger picture, because I don't quite see how this is a good use of my time.' When you have been coached and mentored all your life, things are often explained in a way that also demonstrates how these things contribute to your personal success.

If a Millennial doesn't immediately see how a task will ultimately contribute to personal success or career development, they will want help to be able to see that anyway. Getting them to understand how important a task is to the success of the organization, and how that in turn contributes to how their performance will be evaluated, can help motivate them for a task. They will be more enthusiastic about doing what is asked of them if they see the bigger picture.

6. '(That's) interesting'
Or their way of ending a conversation. What they're really saying? 'Actually, this isn't interesting at all and I really don't want to go into this in depth.' Maybe it helps to expand on the topic and, again, show them the bigger picture.

They may not always start to see the underlying connection, so they won't understand why you're so excited about what you're talking about, but they don't want to come across as ignorant. If you give them more context, they may be more inclined to engage in further discussion or continue the conversation.

If you learn to decode the hidden messages of Millennials, you will better understand their motivations and thus be able to improve your interactions and use them to your advantage.

Martien De Bruijn

2 Contributions
4 Followers
3 Following