You would think after all of this time, we’d stop banging heads with other generations and how they cope with life. Especially when it comes to work. But, that’s not the case. The latest barrage that Gen Y gets to deal with is the assertion that they can’t be leaders.
Why? Because Gen Y can’t deal with ambiguity.
According to “Why we’ll miss ambiguity,” Gen Y can only handle structure:
Younger generations are growing up less able to cope with uncertainty and ambiguity than older ones. This isn’t a knock on Gen Y, it’s a universal truth…
Our increasingly test-based educational system often explicitly eliminates uncertainty from classrooms. Structured, facilitated play activities eliminate ambiguity from children’s interactions. Religious and political voices restrict our choices through legal and moral pressure. Where uncertainty has not yet been eliminated directly, society has created such a vast network of teachers, specialists, therapists and over-involved parents that for many, ambiguity is no longer seen as a problem to be solved by me, it’s feedback that someone else didn’t fully do their job … and a sign that I need outside help. That’s a problem.
The author then goes on to list ten corporation-ending problems should “our unwillingness to handle ambiguity and uncertainty increase further.”
As with all assertions like this…
Instead of bashing the generations, how about we have deeply engaging conversations with our manager and team about the work we do, how we do the work, and what success will look like when we’re done? Then we can work better together to achieve the goals for the business — and be much more engaged when we’re doing it.
We might even learn something that will make our lives better from a different generation than our own.