When I first saw the title of Chris Tuff’s recent book: The Millennial Whisperer, I was suspect.
Is this a real thing…a Millennial Whisperer? What does Chris know about millennials that millennials don’t know about themselves? My interest was piqued as I thumbed through the book and scanned a few paragraphs which is any millennial’s sniff test on whether or not we’re going to read a whole book.
I flipped to page 32.
The paragraphs’s title: Autonomy Within Structure. Hey, that sounds common sense and practical so I read on.
“‘Build them a hall way, not railroad tracks’ was the next sentence followed by: ‘Millennials exhibit a high level of responsibility when they are given the freedom to creatively discover solutions for issues the company may be facing. They thrive under “loose structure.'”
All the good stuff was likely in the first part of the book so I thumbed to page 142.
The title of the paragraph is Answering ‘Let’s’ with ‘By When.’
This is millennial whispering blocking and tacking at its best. The concept Chris explains revolves around putting a firm date on anytime someone say “Let’s.” It’s a brilliant tactic because who isn’t excited about “doing stuff” in the future. I know experience-craved millennials are including myself. Weekly I’ll find myself saying ‘Let’s catch up’ or ‘Let’s get lunch’ or ‘Let’s get coffee.’ All of these need ‘by when’ next to them. This paragraph alone immediately helped me self-reflect on those phrases and also helps me positively apply pressure to folks who suggest “we” do something in the future.
I was sold on taking a few hours to read the book and am glad I did. Chris’ intuition on leading and managing millennials is spot on — particularly around finding one’s purpose and values. Any manager, millennial or not, who is leading a team of millennials should read this book. Practical advice on ways to build relationships with your team and motivate them to perform better is sprinkled throughout and summarized neatly at the end of each chapter.
Content I would like to see more of in the book would be stories and scripts around how to handle specific conversations for motivation, relationship building, and of course the tougher ones for poor performance. He scratches the surface on these topics but I get a feeling that Chris’ experience and true love for leading millennials goes even deeper.
Maybe book two.