How to Respond to the “Why Generation”

why generation

“’Why do you do it that way?’  Is a great question to streamline anything.” Jeannette Seibly

 

Two-thirds of today’s working population is made up of Millennials and GenZs, a.k.a. the “Why Generation.” They are asking questions to understand:

  • “Why were these policies and systems designed this way?”
  • “How does this procedure help people access products and services easier and faster?”
  • “What are the reasons for this decision?”

When digital natives ask “why,” it is not to be rebellious, disrespectful or rude. Instead, they want to offer their technology skills to makes a way of making a positive contribution.

Traditionally, the fear of asking bosses “why,” is that it was seen as challenging their authority. The truth was, bosses often didn’t know the answer or have the power to change a system or procedure. As a result, employees were wary of offering new ideas. They feared speaking up would hurt their promotion, pay increase and/or continued employment.

In today’s workplace, leaders must set aside their egos and encourage curiosity. “Why” is a great question to ask when building a win-win outcome with any project, team and/or system. It requires each person to be vulnerable and say, “I don’t know. But, let’s find out the answer together.” It’s how and why innovation and disruption get created, saving time and money while engaging top talent.

7 Ways to Engage the “Why Generation”

  1. Why are policies and systems that way?” It’s one of the first questions many ask. Embrace this question. It’s a great opportunity to review and update policies, systems, and procedures.
  1. Educate employees about the impact they have. Train them on “how” and “why” their tasks (or lack of effort to do them well) impact the work done by others. Cross-training within the department and throughout the company will broaden everyone’s POV.
  1. Be available to answer “why” in a way others will understand. Some employees learn in a methodical manner (show and tell me). Others learn best by sharing the concept. Then, through trial and error, they will learn the details of how-to-do-it (tell me and let me figure it out). Using scientifically validated job fit assessments will reveal how employees best learn and help you be a better boss and coach.
  1. Learn how to listen and talk with one another. Listening is a two-way street. Asking and answering “why” creates new opportunities and expands old ones. To build win-win outcomes, training must include communication, critical thinking, cultural sensitivity, decision making, and other soft skills. These can and do impact the creation of improved products and systems.
  1. Sharing history will prevent a repeat of history’s errors. If you don’t know the “why,” find out the facts. Also, be open to having an inquiry with your employees: “Why do you believe it was done that way?”
  1. Be curious and ask open-ended questions in team meetings (e.g., who, what, when, where, why and how).
  • “Why do you believe this system or procedure needs to be changed?”
  • “How and when would your idea improve it?”
  • “Who have you talked with that is affected by this change?”
  1. Evaluate changes before implementing them. While change may look good on paper, in reality, it may not work for your company. Don’t forget to share your findings of why it will or won’t work.

As a boss and leader, it’s important to remember “why” the “Why Generation” is asking so many questions. The answer: to offer new ideas and make a positive contribution to everyone.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

Jeannette Seibly has been recognized as a catalyst and leadership expert for the past 26 years. As an executive coach, speaker, and author, she provides straight talk with dynamic results. It takes courage to ask and answer “why.” Help your employees and bosses learn how to do it with ease. Contact Jeannette for a preliminary confidential conversation. And, do it now.

26 Years … WoW!

Celebrating-26-YearsI still remember October 7, 1992. On that fateful day, I was sitting in my newly created home office in Livonia, Michigan. I asked myself, what do I need to do to become successful? Because of the tough challenges I experienced in corporate America, I had learned a lot. But, how does that help me as a new business owner?

At that moment, I made a commitment: Success will be measured my ability to use what I’ve learned and help others succeed!

The results from the past 26 years? I’m an award winning executive coach, speaker, author and Authorized PXT Select Partner.

We All Have Dreams and Goals

Today, I’m sitting in my office in the metro Denver area smiling. 15 years ago I pursued one of my long-time dreams of moving to Colorado. My goal: enjoy the sun, drier climate and Rocky Mountains. Earlier this summer, a long-time mentor, Leslie Charles, interviewed me about my journey to fulfill this dream. Her “groundbreaking” book on how to fulfill your dreams will be released in Fall, 2019.

So what’s next? I want to travel, speak, coach and write more, buy a home and adopt a dog (I’ve always adopted cats). And, I’d like to become a bestselling author. Thanks to the guidance from Judith Briles and other authors this could become a reality in the future. In Judith’s newest book, I’m featured in Chapter 3, “How to Create a $1,000,000 Speech”.

Many of you have dreams and goals too. Some are in hot pursuit. Some of you have given up after experiencing setbacks and uncertainties.

And, many of you are waiting until the “right time.” Some of you are making decisions based on your feelings or gut reactions. While some believe their situation is the best it can ever be. And, many of you have given up on believing in yourself and your abilities!

My Journey is No Different than Yours

We all have successes. And, we all have failures. Lamenting about the past doesn’t move anyone forward into the future or allow you to create new possibilities.

I, like many of you, have experienced failures. I’ve learned how to learn from them and move forward. You can too.

The secret is to hire a coach … but beware, it’s critical that the coach you hire is the right coach for you.

Here’s What I Know … Achieving Your Dreams Requires Hiring a Coach and Doing the Work

This is what doing the work looks like: Recently I worked with a young man who had a goal of getting any job. After our first coaching call, he committed himself to a true goal. He wanted to become an executive director for a not-for-profit. First step, we took the time required to understand his strengths and weaknesses for that job. Then, he created his brags. He believed he was ready to network to uncover opportunities. The problem was after several weeks, he still wasn’t winning the interviews or job offers. Next, we uncovered several facts. When sharing his experiences, he failed to share his numbers. In his interviews, he didn’t talk about the organization’s mission and goals. He failed mention his ability to build a quality team. In just one targeted coaching session, he recommitted to his goal and completed the additional work required to achieve his goal. The result? He’s contemplating which executive director position to accept.

My Biggest Brag This Year!

The amazing results attendees gained from my “Get Your Brag On!” presentations. These interactive workshops touched my heart when participants shared their “brags!” They awakened their ability to speak up with confidence, “I did this …” “I achieved this …” “I matter.” In Jim Pawlak’s syndicated column, BizBooks, he was written a review of my book. Grab your copy of the book at It’s Time to Brag! Business Edition.

My Philosophy Remains the Same

I’m committed to the success of every person I work with.

My trademark is being a catalyst and leadership expert. I have an uncanny ability to help business owners, executives and entrepreneurs identify hidden roadblocks. I help them blast through their barriers and leverage their achievements. They become winners and great communicators, team members, bosses and leaders!

So, What’s Next for You and Me?

The simple answer is, achieve our dreams and goals for Q4 and 2019. If you’re committed like I am, let’s get started now!

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018