For some people, dealing with millennials can be like learning a new language.
Guess what…? Millennials are having babies now!!!
Yep… Do you feel as old as I do hearing that?
Generation Alpha is upon us. I like to call them our ‘accidental digital experiment’, or the ‘Bluetooth babies’ of the world. These are children born from 2010 to 2025 — two of these being my very own Lacey and Leo. Kids that have never known a world without the internet, iPhones or paywave; where paying for something AFTER you get it, is the norm.
They are the first generation entirely born within the 21st century.They are also known as the iGeneration. They are the children of the millennials.
Aside from my fear that autocorrect will guarantee they are terrible spellers, and that reality TV is now a part of life — they will most likely never post a letter or get their pen license in grade 3.
Will the current age of entitlement be replaced by pure expectation?
Or even more scary… assumption?
Let’s be honest, you cannot truly appreciate something you genuinely believe you are entitled too. Take WiFi for example.
In a world where their dictionary goes by the name of Google, and their GPS will soon drive itself; their inability to communicate and think without machines, comes with it a mental load and brain noise we will never understand. They will go to bed each evening looking at their phones, and wake up every morning to check it again. Most of us guilty of this already.
It got me thinking about what the practitioners of the future will look like, and more recently, the new ones about to graduate. If we are to remain respected as leaders amongst our profession, we need to understand how the we can best inspire them [without asking Siri].
The reason ‘burnout’ is a common term now, [I believe] is because the new generation of practitioners have not experienced life off the grid. They carry everything with them in the palm of their hand. They have no idea how to switch-off the mental patient load from the day. They have never been taught how to ‘disconnect’ from anything they do, which means they are always ‘on’.
How mentally exhausting is that?
It would be enough to burn me out!
As an older generation, we lack empathy for this because we assume ‘burnout’ in the physical sense — seeing 50+… 100+ patients a week depending on the modality. If they feel ‘burnt out’ by treating 20 patients a week, we see it as a cop-out. The real reason we are scratching our head when the concept of burnout is raised, is because we wrongly associate it with long hours and hard labor. For them, it is mental, caused by an inability to simply ‘un-plug’ from life.
We are not of their generation. We will NEVER understand, we don’t have to. As good leaders, bosses and friends, we simply need to appreciate that it exists. This is why culture, purpose and meaning are more important than ever. We have raised them with the notion that they can [and should] change the world. We can’t exactly blame them when they put so much pressure on themselves to do so. That includes feeling deflated when they are not changing patient’s lives by ‘fixing’ them. We need to remind them that our job is primarily to ‘help’ people, not to cure them.
‘Find it, fix it, leave it alone’ ~ A.T.Still (Founder of Osteopathy)
Or should it be? ‘Find it, help them, maintain and support health’.
After all, isn’t that what we are all about… HELPING people?!
The era of proactive health, rather than reactive management is upon us.
Make time for personal and professional development amongst your teams. Instead of our first reaction, to say ‘suck it up’— as the future leaders, mentors and managers of the ‘digital experiment’ WE created, from technology WE funded; let’s instead offer empathy first. Open up the lines of communication WITHOUT assumption or judgement. I promise you will get a better result.
‘Step up, show up, and they will too’.
THAT is GrowthRx.
In growth and gratitude,
Jade Scott xx