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8 Development Mistakes Millennials Can Correct In The Workplace

8 Development Mistakes Millennials Can Correct In The Workplace

Developing millennial employees is a growing need for nearly every business. Every size of business, small or big, needs to develop millennials. The future of business is dependent on millennial development within the workplace. However, not all businesses are addressing this issue.

Millennials want to be coached, but each business varies their own level of development and training. Millennials cannot control how their place of work trains or coaches, but they do have control over their development.

Are you one of those millennials who wants more coaching and developing, but your workplace is not providing sufficient training? Here is my encouragement, if so: do not wait on your workplace to provide training. Take action on your own personal development. You will skyrocket past the rest waiting to be developed. Do not leave it in anyone else’s hands; take action with your development.

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With that said though, I see some common mistakes millennials make with development and this development is about more than just training and coaching. Below are 8 mistakes millennials make and how they can overcome them in regards to development.

1. Millennials waiting for their employer to assign them a mentor.

Being appointed a mentor is much different than obtaining a mentor. Do not wait for your assigned mentor. Actively pursue the right mentor to further your development. Mentorship is such a powerful ingredient to development that you should not wait for your work to assign you a mentor. You don’t want a poor mentor so be active and choose your own.

2. Millennials needing validation before they continue.

A weakness among millennials is the need for validation. While some validation is necessary, take control of your need for total validation. Most daily tasks do not need validation or recognition before moving on to the next task. Finish a task and keep moving. If you wait for validation, you will slow down you development and depend on others to validate your growth. Learn to give yourself praise and validation to keep moving forward. The less dependent you are on validation, the more opportunity you will have to grow.

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3. Millennials relying on others to spark their motivation.

There is a reason most job openings seek self-motivated individuals. Self-motivation is not job specific, but a general need for all employees. Take ownership of your motivation and feed the motivation to keep you pressing all day long. If you rely on outside sources for motivation and inspiration, you will be seen as a burden rather than as a productive professional making things happen. Motivate yourself daily and crush it!

4. Millennials assuming their managers are against them.

In opposition to the media’s catchy headlines, conspiracy theories are not common. Do not see anyone leading you as your enemy. People above you want you to succeed more than they want you to fail. If someone leading you is against you, there are probably many ways to rectify that relationship and get back on the same page. When you have a boss in your corner, your development will grow leaps and bounds. Put time into building the relationship with your manager or leader. The return on investment will grow you, your department, and your workplace. Make it a win-win.

5. Millennials expecting training in all areas they lack knowledge in.

Do not expect to know everything. If you are not skilled in one area, ask for help. However, do not expect to be trained on all areas you might be inexperienced or unskilled in. There are many skills you can learn on your own through time and dedication. Embrace the training you do get and work to improve on the other areas you need to improve on.

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6. Millennials rejecting unhelpful advice.

Not all advice is beneficial, but all advice is helpful. When others help you or give you advice, receive the information no matter the value. Sometimes building a relationship is more important for your development than just the knowledgeable advice. Creating a healthy relationship with others could be the key to your development. Those rejecting advice will be seen as a know-it-all and will get a bad rap in the workplace. Don’t be that person.

7. Millennials opposing the developmental strategies laid out by their place of work.

You might not agree with everything your company does with development, but commit to it. Development usually has less to do with the strategy or system than it does the person. Your amount of buy-in will dictate the success of the development, rather than the strategy. You might have a better way, but do not worry about that right now. Just commit and give it your all. You will see the reward in the end.

8. Millennials allowing their development to be dependent on their employer.

Now step outside of your business. Your development will strengthened by accessing resources that go beyond just the options available within your company. Being dependent on a business to develop you into a successful young professional will set yourself up for a fall. Diversify your development and leverage many other outside sources to develop your growth. The odds are set against you staying at the same company for the remainder of your career. So get developing outside of your current place of work.

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Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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Jared Buckley

Millennial Skills Coach - Talent Development Consultant

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Published on January 7, 2021

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

Some people see the trees for the forest, and some see only the forest, meaning they lack strong attention to detail. But even if you’re one of the people who take a macro rather than a micro view, true professionalism requires balancing both.

If focusing on the fine points is not your forte, you will benefit from training yourself to pay attention to details. You will profit by saving yourself time, effort, money, and credibility.

Why Training Yourself in Attention to Details Pays Off

You add value to your organization when you make the effort to ensure that you performed your work thoroughly and effectively. This is why job postings often list “attention to details” among the required skills.

When you present your supervisor or client with well-completed, high-quality work the first time, it maximizes your value and minimizes wasted time. Detail-oriented people are also more adept at catching mistakes that could lead to costly blunders.

Moreover, attention to detail is an indicator of possessing other in-demand employee qualities, such as organization, thoroughness, and focus. In some professions, such as accounting, engineering, medical research, and more, you can only excel if you have trained yourself to pay attention to details.

In other professions, possessing strong attention to detail is the very quality that will get you promoted to a position where you will be asked to consider the big picture.

Finally, if you are the “go-to” details person, everyone else on the team can relax a bit. They know the project is in good hands and will likely throw you more projects as a reward. This will ultimately lead to your advancement.

3 Important Aspects of Becoming More Detail-Oriented

Here are the 3 important things you need to learn if you want to remedy your lack of attention to detail:

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  1. Respect deadlines
  2. Understand the work-flow plan
  3. Build in time to mess up

1. Respect Deadlines

Deadlines lend all projects a finish line. One smart idea is to take the given deadline and work backward from it, calculating when your piece of the project is due. Then, if you stick to the proscribed schedule for completing the mini-projects that you have, you will never miss a deadline.

One important note on this: It is smarter to stick to the deadline and turn in work that merits a “B+” than to blow the deadline with “A” work. Chances are, through revision and suggested changes from others on the team, you can bring up your B+ work to an A later. But if you disregard deadlines, you will lose the respect of your boss and fellow teammates.

2. Understand the Work-Flow Plan

Your team is developing work in conjunction with other teams who have projects and deadlines of their own. When you grasp the whole work-flow plan, you may be able to either add insight to the greater project or to your own smaller piece of it that others at the firm will consider valuable.

3. Build in Time to Mess Up

You can expect that “what can go wrong will go wrong.” Don’t overpromise on deadlines. Something likely will mess up, but when it does if you built in the time to fix it, those around you won’t freak out.

Chances are, you already give your attention to several details. Take heart. You can do this! You can overcome your lack of attention to detail and become more detail-oriented.

For starters, consider this: Most people take the time and put in extra effort into the activities or undertakings that matter to them most. Training yourself to become more detail-oriented can mean adopting a similar pattern of behavior.

Apply the same attention you give to your appearance. Are you a meticulous dresser? Do you pay attention to how you pair patterns and colors, and how you accessorize a particular outfit?

This is the same system to use when you lack attention to detail with your work. Give every item careful consideration so that each one contributes to the perfectly pieced-together whole.

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Assemble the ingredients the way you do when you cook. Cooking and baking from scratch require close attention to details as you measure and add each ingredient in sequence, and you time everything so that the meal comes together at the same time.

Similarly, your work product requires you to gauge whether all the ingredients have been added and that your final product is delivered on time.

Organize your business network like you do your social contacts. If you follow a broad base of friends and acquaintances on social media, you can apply similar skills to stay up-to-date on details associated with business acquaintances.

When you meet somebody who could be influential to your career or a resource for improving your skills, follow that person on social media. Respond to their posts to keep the lines of communication flowing.

12 Tips to Help You if You Lack Attention to Detail

Teaching yourself to take note of important details involves sharpening your perceptions and thinking ahead. The following tips will help you adopt these practices. Master these habits when training yourself to become detail-oriented.

1. Learn to Listen Well

You will pick up relevant information and needed nuance when you apply the skills of active listening. In conversations, train yourself to make eye contact, give your undivided attention to the speaker, and ask pertinent follow-up questions.

Training yourself to pay better attention to details in conversations includes learning to fully concentrate on what others have to say. If you find it hard, there’s no harm in taking notes on what they say.

2. Pay Attention to Social Cues

Make a point of noticing body language and facial expressions that provide insights into how others perceive a situation. Social cues offer details that give you an understanding of how words and actions impact others. The infamous character Michael Scott of the television show “The Office” epitomizes the consequences of not paying attention to others’ body language.[1]

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3. Follow Rules

Rules and protocols usually come about from lessons learned and are put in place to avoid further mishaps—whether from a safety or efficiency standpoint. If you’re given step-by-step procedures to follow, check them off as you go. Also, return to the rules at the project’s end just to make sure you adhered to them all.

4. Take Notes

Note-taking is a way to boost your retention and gives you something to refer back to when you need to keep track of pertinent details. You will also heighten your focus as you listen for relevant information. Review your notes shortly after the meeting or conversation and highlight the content that you intend to apply.

5. Prioritize What Needs Your Attention Now

When you have a full slate of work that demands your attention, take a few moments to sort assignments from most to least urgent. Keep a calendar, spreadsheet, or project planning software up-to-date with schedules and deadlines to help you stay organized.

As you tackle each urgent assignment, give it your full attention so no details are missed. Give yourself ample time—especially if you tend to be someone who waits until the last minute—as rushing can make you overlook important details.

6. Have a Detail-Oriented Assistant Check Your Work

If you lack attention to detail, then it makes sense to seek help from someone detail-oriented. If you have this option, take advantage of it. Two sets of eyes are better than one. Just be sure to credit your assistant for their help once the project is completed.

7. Learn the Rules of Writing Well

English is a difficult language, and grammar, punctuation, and spelling can all sabotage you unless you pay attention to detail. When in doubt, look it up. Free to use website services such as Grammarly can help.

8. Proofread Before You Hit Send

Nothing is perfect in its first draft. If you lack attention to detail, then put in the extra effort before submitting things. Before you send off any written work, check carefully not only for misspellings and incomplete sentences but also for improper tone, inappropriate colloquialisms, and inconsistent formatting. When your written communications are error-free, they will have their intended impact.

9. Minimize Distractions

It is impossible to stay focused when colleagues carry on conversations nearby or your mobile notifications ding you throughout the day. Do your best to limit distractions.

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If you are working where there is a lot of noise or side activity, try wearing noise-canceling headphones or seeking out a quiet corner. Disable your notifications when you need to focus, and resolve to only check them after you have completed your assignment.

10. Take Breaks

It may sound counter-intuitive to stop and take a walk, but it’s necessary. Walk away from the screen. Moving from one task to the next across the span of your workday is a recipe for brain fatigue. Give your brain a recess time when you come to a natural stopping place or after you complete one project and before you start the next. These short pauses are necessary for sorting through all the details needed for coming up with successful solutions.

11. Make Time for Reflection

At the end of a workday, take a few minutes to go over the day’s events in your mind. What was said or relayed in conversations? What is the status of the projects you worked on? What else occurred that you should pay attention to? Could there have been any details you might have missed that you should address tomorrow?

12. Keep a Detailed To-Do List

This simple organizational tool is your best ally for getting your work done on time and for paying attention to the details. If you are pressed for time (and who isn’t?), write your list to coordinate with dayparts.

Allot a certain number of hours to complete each task, do it, and then check it off. Nothing feels more rewarding than completing all the tasks on your list. But if you can’t finish them, then carry them over to the following day.

Final Thoughts

Details may seem small, but they can become a lot larger when they are overlooked. If you know you lack attention to detail, commit to training yourself to embrace the many facets that can help you consistently excel in the tasks you set out to accomplish.

When you begin to catch your mistakes in advance or apply the tidbits of information you gathered from paying close attention, you will know that you have trained yourself in the fundamentals of becoming detail-oriented. After that, you should start hearing the phrase “Great job!” more often.

More Tips on Boosting Your Attention to Detail

Featured photo credit: Cristina Gottardi via unsplash.com

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