What’s Your Workplace MO?

What’s Your Workplace MO? header image 1

Workplace MO Blog

March 7, 2020

Welcome to my blog. It's all about understanding what drives your co-workers and creating harmony in the workplace.

Blog #1

An introduction to Color Code

Did your New Year’s resolutions include a desire to improve your relationships? Whether that’s with your co-workers or your family members.  It’s all about people and understanding why they do what they do.  I’m here to tell you it’s all about understanding someone’s core motive.  That’s what Color Code* does.  It tells you what that person’s MO is, or what drives their behavior. 

Welcome to an introduction to Color Code, a personality assessment tool, based on your driving core motive. I am a certified Color Code trainer and have been teaching it for more than 10 years at organizations big and small.

Why I like Color Code

I’m a sucker for a good personality quiz.  And there are lots of them out there, right? Myers-Briggs, DISC, Strength Finders, etc., but Color Code is different. Developed by Dr. Taylor Hartman, a psychologist, Color Code goes beyond what most of the tests are designed to do which is to examine behaviors– in other words, “The What.” Color Code digs deep into “The Why,” the motive for doing what we do.

  • My co-worker always has to be right.
  • She’s so sensitive. I’m afraid of saying something wrong.
  • He’s so quiet. I don’t know what he’s thinking.
  • He’s so flighty. I can’t count on him.

There’s a reason why people behave they way they do. Read on.

What do Color Code and Lady Gaga have in common?

Why do we act the way we do? It’s not to bother you. As Lady Gaga said “Baby, I was born this way.” It’s in our DNA.

Color Code breaks down the core motive of each Color and helps you remember them through an easy system to remember. Red, Blue, White and Yellow.

Our core motive drives our behavior; not the other way around. I often describe the core motive as your reason for getting up in the morning.

Want to know what your core motive is?  Hop on over to www.colorcode.com and take the online basic assessment. 

What are the benefits of Color Code?

  1. Help you as a leader or manager: If you lead a team at work or manage a large or small staff – it doesn’t matter—Color Code can help you understand how to work with people.  By understanding what drives them, you’ll understand how to talk to them in the most effective way.  It will also help you to form effective teams that utilize the strengths of each color and balance limitations.
  2. Help you deal with conflict: Conflict exists in any workplace or within any relationship.  Some Colors confront it and some avoid it at all costs.  By understanding what drives a person and their level “conflict tolerance level,” you can better address it.
  3. Help you show up the most effectively: Each color has a language preference. Whether it’s by email, by bullet points, by laying out the pros and cons of issues, by telling a story or through visual information.  For instance, you aren’t going to get anywhere sharing your story about your allergies with a Red or Yellow.  Reds will be thinking “How long is this going to take?”  Yellows will be thinking “What does this have to do with me?”
  4. Help you understand yourself and improve relationships: The first step in improving relationships is understanding yourself. How can you expect to understand someone else’s motive without understanding your own.  I promise, when you take the Color Code assessment online at colorcode.com, you’ll be on the first step of your self-awareness journey. Improving your relationships will evolve with that self-awareness and by taking 100 percent responsibility for the quality of your relationships with others.

 

Let’s do this. The code behind the colors.

So let's get into the colors. Remember there is no significance to the colors themselves.  It’s just a system, a code if you will, to easily remember the core motives.

Reds: We’ll start with Reds because they always have to go first. Reds are motivated by power. Now most people immediately go to, Oh, they're control freaks.”  While they do like to control things, power is about getting things done.  They're super productive and they enjoy ticking off their to do lists. They want challenging adventure. They're attracted to leadership positions because that's where the action happens. Being a leader is who you get stuff done.

Blues: Blues are motivated by intimacy. Not sex like the Reds think.  Intimacy for a blue is about deeply connecting with people and doing meaningful, important work. That's what drives a blue. They need to be understood and often need validation and acknowledgement.  They are detail oriented and excel at execution.  They can be moody and jealous but are a loyal friend and co-worker.

Whites: Whites are motivated by peace. They want peace within themselves and their external world. If something is out of sync in either world, you better watch out because their productivity will drop and they are not happy. They need to be accepted for their individuality and they like an informal work environment.  They can be hard to read since they show very little emotion or wear their heart on their sleeve like the blues do.

Yellows: Yellows are motivated by fun. It doesn't mean that they always want to party, although they usually know where a good one is at. They can be productive but they want to do their work in a fun environment. They process the relationships and work through the lens of fun. They are charismatic and love being adored.  They can be disorganized and easily distracted though.

There you go. That’s a quick overview of the colors. Just with that short overview, you may already see some of the people in your life or work setting who match up with those traits. So if you're interested in knowing what your primary color is, head on over to www.colorcode.com and take a free personality assessment that will tell you what your primary color is.

I teach 3 hour workshops that go in to much more detail about each of the colors, their motives, strengths and liitations, secondary colors, how to speak to each of the colors, team building with the colors, and much more.  Contact me at [email protected] if you are interested in hiring me to conduct a Color Code workshop. Until next time.

Cheers,

 

Megan 

 

 

Blog #2

Managing a blue martyr

Do you work with some blue personalities? I bet you love their creativity and their loyal, solid work ethic. But do they also make your crazy. Do you manage some blues on your team? Read on for some thoughts on how to address their less than desirable trait of “martyrdom” when they are under stress.

Blue Judgement

I told you I’m a Blue - actually a Blue purist (anyone with 67 percent or higher in their primary color). We are not the easiest people to live and work with. In fact, my friend and mentor who is a certified Color Code trainer, jokes with me that “It must be really hard to be a Blue.” Well, it is because we are hard on ourselves and other people. I call it the “moral high ground.” Blues want to do good and be good and we expect others to care about the same things we do. It’s always a bit shocking to me when I discover that other people don’t follow politics or world events. You mean you don’t want to hear about global-warming or you think it’s too depressing to listen to the news? Well, it is but it’s our moral responsibility to know what’s going on in the world. 

A little judgey, right? You’re right but that what makes a Blue tick. Along with that moral judgement, Blues are often called overly sensitive. Boy I hate that one but I have come to accept it in myself. I judge – myself and others. I take things personally. When they say It’s not personal. It’s just business. Well it is very personal to me. Business and all of it. Because if I’m “in;” it’s personal. Blues invest their time, skills and energy in to what they are passionate about. There is no one who works harder or is more loyal than a Blue. Give them a job and they will get it done and done really well! You can count on them. They will not let them down. 

I know I can say as a Blue purist, if I don’t care about something, I will not work hard on it. I have to care about the work, the project, the people, the organization. If I don’t respect you or the project, I’m not going to work hard for you. It’s that simple. My husband always says “Details matter, Megan.” Well they do if I care about them but if it’s about the logistics on what we need to pack to go on a trip, a grocery list for the week or where he stored my password online, I’m not going to take up space in my brain with these mundane details. 

Details about which celebrity is married to this celebrity? I deem this interesting and worthy of imprinting in my limited memory. The steps to President Trump’s impeachment? You bet I follow it and I don’t understand people who don’t. Become part of the democratic process. Be a responsible citizen everyone. See what I mean. Blues care about the things they care about PASSIONATELY!

How to identify and address Martyr behavior:

So what happens when a Blue gets overly-judgey and convinced they know what is right and are the only one doing the right thing? They become a martyr. This is a definite limitation for a blue and it’s easy to fall in to the trap of acting like a martyr. How does that look in the workplace? 

1. I’m the only one working hard. 

Under stress or crunch time at work, Blues love to look around and judge who is working hard and who in their minds, are people not towing the line. Remember Blues under stress will often worry and become obsessed with the work that needs to be done. They are openly expressive of their worries; concerns, stresses. Other people may be working as hard as them but they aren’t telling you about it or they are able to compartmentalize work schedules and their life outside of the work. Blues have trouble doing this. They worry and obsess about the deadlines or what they consider “laziness” or “mismanagement.” They go to bed thinking about it and they wake up thinking about it. Of course, they translate this 24/7 worry in to thinking that is work; but it doesn’t. 100 percent worry does not translate in to 100 percent productivity.  

Help a stressed out Blue who is expressing that they don’t feel others are working as hard as them understand this. Help them see that other people on the team (who are different Colors from them) handle stress differently. They are being productive but they do it quietly, or they do it in bite size pieces, or they prioritize and effectively silo the work. No one’s approach is better but it is their approach.  

2. No one understands me

Blues need to be heard. That means taking the time to sit down with them to hear what they have to say. That means listening to the stories, the venting, the frustrations, the moral indignation. It takes time and patience. It also takes the ability to not jump in to solve the problem. It takes feeling uncomfortable as the Blues express themselves and display emotion. 

This is so critical to working with a Blue though. Why? Because it builds trust. It builds that intimacy and connection that a Blue craves. They don’t want you to solve the problem; they want you to understand the problem. They don’t want you to necessarily feel the feelings they have but they want you to empathize with them. Be sincere. Don’t fake it. Work to understand their perceptions and perspectives. Once you do, tell them you understand it. 

3. They are not here for the right reasons

No, its not a line from the Bachelor but it is how Blues start to feel when they are stressed out. They start perceiving others as phony or inauthentic. “I’ve put my heart and soul in to this but I don’t flaunt it. That person wants all the credit.” 

Understand that this Blue who starts using this language wants acknowledgement for the work they do. It needs to be sincere and it needs to be acknowledged in a thoughtful manner. It’s not “Hey Megan, thanks for coming in on the weekend.” It’s “Hey Megan, I want you to know I recognize that you came in on the weekend when I know your daughter was in town to develop the outline for the proposal for Client X. That is going the extra mile and is going to help us start off the proposal development on the right foot. I really appreciate your effort.” 

Do you think you are a blue? Or maybe the person you work with? Hop on over to www.colorcode.com and take the free basic personality profile to find out. Or talk to me at [email protected] to learn how you can hold a Color Code workshop for your work team. 

 

Cheers!

 

Megan 

 

Blog 3: What's your MO?

MO stands for modus operandi. Why do you do what you do? That’s what I am building my brand on because it’s so relevant to working with people. If you understand what motivates people, you have the awareness and power to take 100 percent responsibility for the quality of your teams, your work and your relationships. 

I’m all about understanding peoples’ motives. Remember, lots of personality profiles examine your behavior but Color Code digs in to what your motive or MO is. Why you do what you do. 

As a strong blue, what drives me is developing intimate relationships with people. That doesn’t mean sex like the Reds personalities think. Intimacy, for a Blue, is about building deep, meaningful relationships with a small circle of people you connect with and trust. 

Your MO is not something sinister or the thing the police detective dissects to find the murderer. It’s a force of human nature. We are all born with an innate MO. It’s a fact that we all have different motives. Color Code breaks it down in to four motives that we are all driven by. Reds who are motivated by Power; Blues motivated by Intimacy; Whites motivated by Peace; and Yellows motivated by Fun. 

The MO’s of each color

Reds’ MO is power

Blues’ MO is intimacy

Whites’ MO is peace

Yellows’ MO is fun

In my Color Code workshops, I reveal the strengths and limitations of the four Colors and their motives, along with how to speak most effectively with the different Colors. Once you have the awareness of what someone’s motive is, you can use the tools to best speak to and motivate that person. Isn’t that amazing? That you can tailor your behavior to improve the quality of your relationships with people you’ve never been able to understand.

Color Code as a tool

So that’s one of the things I love about Color Code. It equips you with the tools to take power of your own behavior to work well with others. However, there is one thing I love even more about Color Code! That’s the gift of self-awareness! 

Before you can understand other people, you have to understand yourself. Why do I take things so personally? Why am I so hard on myself? Why do I reveal so much about myself at the beginning of a relationship? Why do I freak people out when I share my insecurities or wear my heart on my sleeve? Because I am a BLUE! That’s what we do. 

Sure, it’s a label and some will resist being labelled. Labels, however, are a way to organize our world, and manage a lot of information we deal with every day. Sure, Color Code is a label but I have nothing against it because it’s so helpful. It’s a tool to understand ourselves and others. 

My journey of self-awareness

Through my blogs, I will share my journey of self-awareness, the good and the bad, including the joy of being a Blue motivated by intimacy and the pain a Blue personality feels because of our intense emotional being. I’ll share my secret longing to be a Yellow because their core driver “Fun” is so foreign to me. To wake up every morning motivated by making it a fun day is such a great thing! I would imagine! But I don’t think I’ve ever waken up thinking about how I could make it a fun day!! I wouldn’t even know where to begin. I’d have to come up with a plan for having fun! But for a yellow, it naturally happens. They don’t set out to do it; their natural spontaneity and desire for adventure and excitement innately draws them in to creating fun! What a gift!! 

My secondary color is White so I understand Whites’ motive to find peace and balance. My husband is a White personality with a Blue secondary. We totally get along. I get him and he gets me. The only rub we have is when I get emotional about things and he’s uncomfortable with those emotions or his logic based White brain doesn’t see what the emotions have to do with the situation. He wants to analyze the issue or problem based on the facts. I just want to emote and he wants to solve the issue or problem like it’s a puzzle. 

I totally get Reds. I only have a small percentage of Red in my personality profile but I’ve had to pull from the strengths of a Red many times in my life. Through traumas, through conflicts, through deadlines and hard jobs. I’ve managed to go on and built my resiliency by compartmentalizing and being productive. I’ve also worked with a number of Reds, particularly Red females. They used to really intimidate me and still do sometimes but I understand their desire to produce, to be right, to be considered the expert in their field, etc. Their arrogance and abrasiveness often come with the personality of being a mover and a shaker but you’ve got to admit it, they make things happen!

Understanding why someone is behaving the way they do does not need to be a mystery but you do need to go beyond just the behavior to understand their core motive. First start with yourself though. Once you understand your own MO and what drives you, you can begin to understand your partner, your co-worker, your boss, your sibling, even your children. Your world opens up and the light bulb goes off! Are you ready? 

Find out what your MO is. Take the free personality profile on the Color Code website at www.colorcode.com (© 2011 Color Code International) or email me if you are interested in learning about my Color Code workshops for groups and organizations at [email protected]

Cheers!

 

Megan

Blog #4: The power of a mentor

There’s something powerful about having a mentor. Someone who cares about you and wants you to succeed. Someone who teaches you what they know and empowers you to go after your dreams. That person for me is Dorcas Hirzel. Not only has she been my mentor, she is a great friend. I worked with her for more than 10 years in the healthcare field without ever fully understanding or appreciating what she did professionally. She was the director of Quality at the small hospital I work for until she retired in 2015. She got her nursing degree in the 1970s when nurses still wore white hats and hose and had to stand up when the doctor entered the room. She is a fierce Red personality motivated by power. She struggled with living the stereotype of the nurturing, passive nurse. That was just not her thing.

Dorcas is fiercely independent, opinionated, super sharp and does not suffer fools. She once told me, she had to be a Red to grow up as a tomboy in the 1950s upper middle-class suburbia of Bellevue, Washington with a name like Dorcas Diltz. (very German name) 

I love her because she has evolved in to an authentic woman through self-work and self-awareness. Much of that self-awareness came about because of her training in Color Code. She mentored me to become a certified Color Code trainer and I learned so much from her and Jeremy Daniels with Color Code.

There’s something powerful about having a mentor. Someone who cares about you and wants you to succeed. Someone who teaches you what they know and empowers you to go after your dreams. That person for me is Dorcas Hirzel. Not only has she been my mentor, she is a great friend. I worked with her for more than 10 years in the healthcare field without ever fully understanding or appreciating what she did professionally. She was the director of Quality at the small hospital I work for until she retired in 2015. She got her nursing degree in the 1970s when nurses still wore white hats and hose and had to stand up when the doctor entered the room. She is a fierce Red personality motivated by power. She struggled with living the stereotype of the nurturing, passive nurse. That was just not her thing.

Dorcas is fiercely independent, opinionated, super sharp and does not suffer fools. She once told me, she had to be a Red to grow up as a tomboy in the 1950s upper middle-class suburbia of Bellevue, Washington with a name like Dorcas Diltz. (very German name) 

I love her because she has evolved in to an authentic woman through self-work and self-awareness. Much of that self-awareness came about because of her training in Color Code. She mentored me to become a certified Color Code trainer and I learned so much from her and Jeremy Daniels with Color Code.

I remember going to Salt Lake City for Color Code training with Dorcas and being met by Jeremy. I was so excited that I was getting trained by the son-in-law of the founder of Color Code. Jeremy is a strong Yellow so he lived up to the Yellow motivation to have fun. He took us to his father in law’s beautiful home in the hills of Salt Lake with a view overlooking the city. We trained, we did the work, laughed and learned. Then he took us to Park City, Utah for lunch. After lunch we had the opportunity to tour the museum there. I was interested in learning about the area, the history and the connection Robert Redford had to Park City. I was enjoying reading and viewing the exhibits but after just 10 minutes,  Dorcas came up to me to announce she had finished and was done. I was shocked. Really? How could she possibly look at everything in 10 minutes? Should I be done now because she is? Do I need to hurry because she doesn’t want to wait? Is she really that inpatient? Well, the answer is yes. She is 94 percent Red. Reds are inpatient so a 94 percent Red is really inpatient. They do not need to spend a lot of time studying things in detail. They get the general idea, about 51 percent of the facts, and that’s enough. They are good!

Since that time in Utah with her in 2010 our friendship and mentoring relationship grew. We never formally entered in to a formal agreement of mentor and mentee but it evolved in to that and friendship grew as part of that relationship. Through her honesty and sharing of her strengths and limitations as a strong, professional woman working in healthcare, I learned from her stories and her life experiences. I shared my most personal stories, as a good Blue personality, does. I don’t think that was always easy for her to hear since highly emotional people are a bit of a challenge for her but she always listened. She knew when to ask if I wanted advice and did not try to solve problems. When she did speak, she was a straight shooter. She told me things I didn’t always like to hear but needed to hear. 

Now that she’s retired, I don’t see her every day but we always make time to get together a priority. She is still a straight-shooter but she is also very encouraging. Her logical and practical mind tempers my anxieties and concerns. I always walk away with a plan of action because she cuts through all the angst and suggests practical next steps when I share my goals and perceived barriers. I feel very fortunate to have someone who can coach me because she knows my MO is to create strong relationships. She thoughtfully listens but doesn’t let me get away with whining or feeling discouraged. 

I hope to one day be a mentor to a young woman starting out in her career, whatever that is. It takes time, commitment, patience and self-awareness but the rewards seem well worth the effort.

Do you have a Dorcas in your life? Id’ love to hear about a mentor who helped you in your career or in your life. What did you learn from them? Was it a formal mentor/mentee relationship or did it just happen? Send your comments to [email protected]

Cheers!

 

Megan

 

 

Blog 5: Why there are so many Blues in healthcare

I’ve worked in healthcare for more than 20 years. When I tell people that they always assume I’m a nurse. Just goes to show we still gravitate toward the stereotype of nurses are female. No one has ever asked me if I’m a doctor. 

Nevertheless, my career has been in healthcare marketing, primarily for hospitals but also for health insurance companies. You would not want me to be a nurse or a doctor. Although I am a strong blue personality motivated by intimacy and relationships, I’m not cut out to be a care giver or a clinician. 

For one thing, I suck at math and science. You want your nurse, pharmacist or physician to figure out calculations and the correct dosages to give you. You want your specialist to understand your anatomy and your biology and how it affects your health. You want them to understand pathology and how disease processes work. 

I respect the heck out of healthcare practitioners and clinicians because their left side brains are so big. Their analytical capabilities combined with their proclivity to see the world in a factual, black and white manner make for solid, smart diagnosticians. 

The colors of the healthcare profession 

In my 20 years in healthcare and more than 10 years teaching Color Code to healthcare workers, I’ve noticed the majority test out as Blue personalities. Is it possible to be a solid healthcare practitioner and still be motivated by relationships? You bet! Some professions within healthcare may be better suited for the strengths of a Blue though by virtue of their work. 

For instance, a nurse works directly with patients and their families. They can build relationships with people because they are there with you the most. They see you at your most vulnerable and treat you with dignity and compassion. They also see you at your worst, cleaning up your bodily fluids and taking you to the bathroom. Talk about intimacy. That’s some personal stuff! 

A lab technician may not be motivated by building strong relationships in their work. They may still be a Blue but they save the motivation to relate to people outside of work, through their families or friends. A Blue lab technician may be attracted to the steadiness and detail work required of their jobs. Healthcare in general may be appealing to Blues because they like to work in a field where they are making a difference in people’s lives and in the world. They are driven by what I call “the moral high ground.” What could be more virtuous then contributing to a profession that takes care of people? 

I for one want my nurse to be compassionate and my technicians to be detail oriented when it comes to my healthcare. 

Do you see many Blue surgeons? Not so much. In my observation, this specialty in medicine attracts Reds and Whites. Why? They are precise, factual, and technical. Bedside manner is not necessarily their forte. I remember once talking to my surgeon after a procedure that I had. It was a particularly tough recovery and I was looking for some sympathy upon my post-op visit. My mistake. His response was something to the effect of I did my job and I did it well. What more are you looking for? I’ve since realized that looking for sympathy from any Red or White personality, particularly a surgeon, is not going to end up with me being satisfied so I’ve adjusted my expectations. And when it comes right down to it, if I had to choose, I’d rather have a highly capable technical surgeon to fix or take out a body part than one with a bedside manner. 

What about emergency physicians and nurses? Well they are a special breed but again, in my observations, many are Red personalities. Why? Reds like excitement and the adrenaline risk that comes with crisis management. They thrive on not knowing what is coming through the door next and are very decisive and action oriented when they need to be. They demand a lot from others and know how to get things done. Isn’t that what you’d want in an emergency? 

What about working with children in healthcare? Blues and yellows are drawn to the pediatric population because of their desire to connect and let’s face it, many Yellows are big kids at heart. The only danger I can see as a trained Color Code coach and a Blue purist is that seeing kids suffer or God forbid, die, could be devastating to these colors.  Blues are highly emotional and may have trouble letting go of hard situations; Yellows are emotional too but they have a better ability to let bad stuff go because they don’t want to think about it. No matter your color, taking care of sick kids and adults for that matter can take a toll on your physical and mental health. For sensitive souls like Blues and Yellows, it can be especially tough. I’ve got to ask, wouldn’t you want the compassion of a Blue or the light heartedness of a Yellow to take care of your sick child? 

It’s not my intent to stereotype

Now, don’t get me wrong. These are my observations and opinions as someone who has worked in healthcare for a long time and is a Color Code trainer. You will find exceptions and it is not my intent to stereotype. Every color can do a job. Some better than others. 

I am not a provider or a clinician. As I said, you wouldn’t want me to be. Although I am a strong Blue, I am not a good care giver or scientifically inclined. Besides, I faint when I see blood. I’m a right brained, creative person who works in marketing. My calling has been to promote the great work and services talented hospital and healthcare workers provide. My calling is to tell stories about their work and of the patients who are grateful for their care. This is how I find my connection and my motivation to work in a field that changes lives forever. 

Cheers!

 

Megan

 

Blog #6: Confessions of a slightly cynical Gen Xer

 

A light hearted rant 

In addition to being a Blue purist, I’m a Gen Xer. You may have heard of us even though we’re called the Forgotten Generation. I was born in 1966 which puts me at the very beginning of the generation, right after one of the largest generations in history, the Baby Boomers. As a “Cusper,” born in 1966, my age group ushered in the Gen Xers, one of the most cynical, fiercely independent generations in history. 

Gen Xers were born between 1965-1979 and that puts us between 40-54 years old as of 2020. For the most part, we were raised by Traditionalists (born 1925-1945) and cusper Baby Boomers. We were influenced by our parents and older siblings and by the societal influences of our time.  Events like Watergate, moms working full-time, Music Television, Heavy Metal, big hair, computers, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman,” and classmates that “came out” as gay. 

Generation Xers, for the most part, are raising Gen Zs, while our predecessors (Baby Boomers) have raised the Millennial generation. 

Gen Xers may be the less glamorous generation – sandwiched in between the ambitious and rebellious Baby Boomers and the privileged, somewhat coddled Millennials – but we do have opinions. As a Generation Xer, I not only have opinions, I have confessions. Indulge me in this light-hearted, tongue in cheek rant. 

Confession #1

I have a love-hate relationship with social media

This whole concept of likes and follows. Really? It’s like being back in high school. I resent these numbers being a sign of validation; yet I’m secretly obsessed with it. I think it’s self-indulgent and presumptuous that everyone wants to see what you are doing or look like. People do and reward the presumption with a thumbs up. Wow – is there any other phenomena like it? I have reluctantly embraced it as a professional marketer in order to remain relevant in my field. Some of it is really fun and I love getting immediate feedback and data that supports a strategy rather than traditional marketing that is so hard to measure its effectiveness. It’s really quite powerful!

Confession #2

I want to be an “influencer.”

Who wouldn’t want to be one? I’d love to be paid to endorse a product or be part of an experiential marketing campaign. It really helps to be beautiful and privileged to have access to the glam squad and time to take a zillion selfies which I have none of but the influencers have mastered marketing themselves. Now don’t get me wrong. I do not want to be Kim Kardashian or her mother. I don’t like what they stand for but as someone who has worked in the field of communications and marketing for 25 years, I admit I am fascinated with how they have built their brand through relentless exposure. Everything’s out there for people to see. Things a Gex X was taught to cover up and keep to themselves, from big butts to family secrets.  Have we no shame? I guess not and as a Generation Xer, I have to admit I admire that as well. 

Confession #3

I don’t like my “self”ies. 

While liking yourself is a work in progress for me, I’ll never like myself in pictures. I grew up as someone who was influenced by “super models” and has spent her life avoiding the camera and taking pictures of everyone else, it’s a real mind-shift to willingly turn the camera on herself. Especially, close-up where you can see every imperfection, inherited double chin and nose hair. Selfies should have been around in the 1980s when I was in my twenties and had no wrinkles. 

Now when I see myself in a photo, I think “Who is that woman and when did she get so old?”

Confession #4

I like it when a man holds the door open for me.

It’s one of the last chivalrous acts a man can do for a woman and I always appreciate it when it happens to me. Men, please know this does not offend most women. It’s just a nice gesture. 

Confession #5

I’m happy the pendulum is swinging back to self-sufficiency and taking action to change the world. At least that’s what they say the new Gen Z group is growing up to do. They are rightly disillusioned. They’ve inherited a steadily warming planet and immoral leaders. We all should be angry but I get why young people really are. They and their children will be living with more extreme weather, more natural disasters and working until they are 70 years old to get health insurance. Early retirement. That ain’t happening for my kids. 

The Gen Xers and Millennials lost their way. For whatever reason. Whether it was living through bad economies and reality shows over the last 40 years, it’s been okay to focus only on yourself. We wrote off participating in democracy and put our faith in ourselves, not each other. We realized that the world is dangerous; but how did it get that way? Generation X and Baby Boomer generations need to examine the role they played in what we’ve come to accept as the new normal. 

Confession #6

As the mother of a two “Cuspers,” my oldest daughter on the tail end of the Millennial generation and my youngest at the very beginning of the Gen Z generation, I don’t always get the thinking of these generations. I won’t call it entitlements. I understand why Millennials don’t like that word associated with them.  Expectations sounds better but as an overgeneralization, Millennials have earned a reputation for expecting some things that are not always realistic. 

Take for example, the often-cited “Gap Year” after college. When did that become a thing? I did not have the luxury of taking a year off after graduating college to travel the world. If I had even mustered the nerve to tell my father I wanted to do that, he would have given me a stern look and sarcastically responded, “Well I’d like to travel the world too but you don’t always get what you want.” 

Another often cited expression I have heard Millenials and Gen Z members utter when they inevitably run in to life challenges is “Why is this happening to me?” For some reason, this one really rubs me the wrong way. I suppose it’s because I find it a very egocentric thought. Really? Do you think God or another higher power is singling you out for a piece of bad luck or placing a barrier in your path because you are special? Out of all the things that are going on in the world, are you really that special? Hope not. 

 

Cheers!

 

Megan