747-Don’t Shut Down the Why
Episode Name: Don’t Shut Down the Why
When young people today ask “why”, are they just trying to get out of the task, or is there something else going on? Let’s talk about it, next on The Perna Syndicate.
Ep 747 show:
This is The Perna Syndicate—hello and welcome!
Generation Z, who we’re talking about this week, has a lot of nicknames…and not all of them are complimentary! I have my own nickname for our youngest generation, and I believe it cuts right to the heart of what makes them unique.
I call young people today the Why Generation (W-H-Y Generation). Because frankly, they need an answer to that question for everything they do.
You’ve experienced this. When you ask a young person in your sphere of influence to do something, and they look back at you and say, “Why should I do it this way?,” most of us take that as a smart-aleck response. So we give the all-American answer in return: because I said so.
Here’s the ah-ha. Most young people don’t mean it as a smart-aleck response.
You know what most of them are probably saying? “Hey, why do we do it this way—because I’m unique, I’m intelligent, I’m resourceful, I know how to use technology. Why do we do it this way? Because there has to be a better way.” They want to know why because they want to add their unique stamp to the task at hand.
Next time a young person asks you “why?”, don’t shut them down. Listen to what they’re really asking—and give them a real answer. You’ll get a better result, and so will they. It changes everything when we understand the why behind their why.
Tomorrow on The Perna Syndicate: what is the one thing that Gen Z must have? Here’s a hint: it’s not their phone. In fact, it’s the opposite. See you next time for that conversation!