Being a Millennial

One of the original purposes of this blog was to learn about myself and so far it has served that purpose well.  Deep down, another purpose was a place to write ideas down first, so I could talk about them second – to build relationships in the real world.  The millennial generation is a product of many factors, but one that I would like to see change, especially in myself, is the ability to build meaningful relationships.  I struggle to listen to how someone’s day is going, or what’s happening in their life and I do not really elaborate on my day when someone asks me how it was.  I become so fixated on the end goal, the business portion of the encounter, that it leads to dry interactions now and in the future.

The other day, I had to make a phone call to a client following up on a proposal I sent him for traffic engineering services.  I had made the connection with him through an interaction at my neighborhood committee meeting a few days before and I was pretty excited as this would be my first independent win for the company.  I pulled in a higher-up for the phone call who had already formed a relationship with this person on the land development side of civil engineering.  The client answered the phone and we discussed his needs and ultimately, he agreed to let me know by the end of the week about the traffic work.  As soon as we hung up the phone, the higher-up said, “Hey, slow it down.  You went straight into business and completely missed that he asked you how it was going.  If you get the work, you get the work, but it’s more about building the relationship from the very beginning that will lead to continued work.”

Wow, I thought to myself, this has always been something that I have wanted to work on and he immediately picked up on it.  Is this because I prefer other mediums to communicate like text messaging?  I can write a well-thought out email, but seem to miss some points when talking on the phone and usual send a text message to them right after the conversation ends.  Obviously, this is poor form in the business world and being able to have a phone conversation is important.

A good friend of mine sent me a video that led to the inspiration for this blog post.  He insisted multiple times that I watch it, and I finally gave in.  You can find it here if you have not seen it on social media yet: Simon Sinek on Millennials in the Workplace.  It talks about how we can become addicted to social media and Likes create a dopamine rush just like drug usage and alcoholism.  While I may not be addicted to drugs or alcohol, I am hooked on Instagram.  I find myself looking back at old Instagram posts, analyzing what generated more likes than other.  I even did it the other day by posting a picture that included me in it to so I could compare how many likes it got versus a picture that did not have me in it.  The video also talks about patience, which I struggle with too.  The millennial generation wants instant gratification and I experience that more times than not.  I tend to want the world and usually it’s right now.  To paraphrase the video: they can see the summit, but they cannot see the mountain it takes to get there.  Some things take work and cannot just happen at a snap of the fingers.

So here’s how I would like to work on this matter: while I appreciate likes and comments on this post, I would rather have a conversation over the phone.  My number is 979-216-7383 and I am typically available to talk on weeknights after 6:30pm or random times during the weekends.  I am currently road tripping to Colorado with lots of time on the road today, Saturday after 4pm or all day Sunday.  Give me a call or send me a text message and we’ll get this conversation thing underway.  Help us help each other, Millennials.


Follow along on Instagram and Twitter! @EscapingTraffic or give me a call at 979-216-7383.


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