Connecting with Millennials

One of the best parts of teaching profession is that it keeps us young regardless of our age as per Aadhar, Birth certificate or other documents. Being with young blood for eight hours in a day, give us fresh perspective, new ideas, it motivates us to take good care of ourselves in terms of how we look or dress us. Their energy is rubbed off on us, if we go to take sessions in dull mood, we know that they won’t listen. Thus, we must make good use of our facial muscles, we laugh, interact, express because they are most important stakeholder and to do justice to our job, we must connect with them.

There is a huge challenge hidden in the paragraph that I have written above. On a superficial glace, it may look “cool” to be a faculty for various reasons, but our biggest necessity and challenge is one and same- to be able to connect with millennials. They think differently, they express differently, they communicate differently. Unless we understand who they are, what their language is, we will fail in establishing the connect that I wrote about. This challenge always keeps us on our toes.

I ordered CDs of GOT (Games of Thornes, in case you don’t know what GOT stands for) and watched all the seasons in my summer break, not because I was fascinated to this series rather because, my students talk about its characters all the time and I didn’t know these characters. Needless to mention, that “connect” was failing. I told myself that in order to be a good facilitator (I have intentionally not used the word “teacher” because I strongly feel this generation don’t need teachers. With the vast amount of information that they have at their disposal, they look for facilitators and not teachers), I must change my methodology. I must give examples that they relate with. We can’t be blind towards their world, what constitutes their world.

If you are trying to make them engaged, first get your hands on “PUBG” because that is what they are most engaged with. Unless we understand their world, we can’t drive our point. We need to talk about Netflix while teaching them concepts of Branding or Customer Engagement.

To understand their language is another big challenge, but the brighter side is if we accept this challenge, it will help us in staying relevant. When I first realized that this is another “must do”, in order to be an effective facilitator, what I did was- “SMH” (confused about what is meant by SMH!!). Well it means- shake my head. Yes, that’s the slang that millennial use. They don’t talk like us, they are obsessed with abbreviations, abbreviations that are beyond our comprehension. But as I say, it is their world and we must understand it so that they organically accept us as part of their world.

I have understood this fact and constantly trying to bridge the gap between our generation and theirs, HBU (How About You!!)

 

Blog by
Prof. Tausif Mistry
Asst. Professor, ISBS

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