Category Archives: Gen Y

Finding Mr. Miyagi

Believe it or not, the movie The Karate Kid has influenced what most of us expect from mentoring relationships.

Mr. Miyagi takes young Daniel LaRusso, the underweight outsider bullied in his new school, under his wing. With patience and commitment, Mr. Miyagi teaches Daniel about succeeding in martial arts and life.

Wax on. Wax off.

By the end of the movie, Daniel’s life has been transformed.

In the real world, mentoring takes many forms and it doesn’t always conform to popular preconceptions. The current landscape of our profession requires us to stay on our toes. Knowledge sharing enriches us all. Developing mentoring relationships can be a rewarding experience for the protégé (I hate the word “mentee”) as well as the mentor.

Mentoring is simply when someone helps someone else learn something. The image many of us have of seasoned pros forming lifelong bonds with fresh-faced college graduates, helping them navigate the peaks and valleys of their careers is a limited view of what mentoring has to offer. A mentor is also not responsible for helping a protégé find a new job.

In the real world, mutually beneficial relationships can develop between peers, or around a specific topic or issue that one professional faces in his or her career. Throughout your career, expect your mentoring needs to change.

At the April luncheon, the PRSA Houston chapter will offer a different type of program and provide a venue for informal mentoring.

Rather than our typical speaker presentation, we will facilitate conversations at the luncheon tables with several of Houston’s PR sages. This format provides a unique opportunity for attendees to tap into the minds of some of Houston best-known PR professionals — leaders of their fields in a variety of industries.

Around the table, PRSA Houston members and guests will also have opportunities to exchange ideas and information around shared interests that will undoubtedly promote peer-to-peer mentoring and help expand professional networks like few other events could.

While the idea of finding your Mr. Miyagi may seem as unrealistic as mastering the “crane kick,” open your mind to the many possibilities mentoring has to offer and you’re sure to reap the benefits.

Stephanie Dedeaux, APR is an independent public relations consultant and 2010 PRSA Houston chapter president.

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Filed under Gen X, Gen Y, Mentoring, Professional Development, Public Relations, Uncategorized

Generational Diversity: The good, the bad, and the ugly

“Serenity now!” This quote from Frank Costanza on “Seinfeld” is increasingly becoming my favorite mantra for the workplace.  When my uber-generation-Y colleague communicates in 20 e-mails what she could easily say to my face  – serenity now! When I’m treated like “the little sister” because I’m numerically the youngest in my group – serenity now!  When a peer calls me a suck up because I respect my boss – serenity now!

Don’t get me wrong, being a generational mutt has its perks.  I’m a Generation Y-er by birth, a Gen X-er by nature, and I was raised by boomers. So I get it! I get that my boomer boss may occasionally turn to me for help in resolving some techno glitch, and I’ve learned not to take it personally when a Gen Y-er colleague throws an occasional hissy fit.

Yes, generational differences can create conflict and miscommunication in the workplace, but they also drive our ability to effectively communicate with diverse audiences – and as PR professionals, that’s what we do.

On Wednesday, October 7, we’ll be discussing generational diversity at the PR Day New Pros Roundtable. Join me and three other panelists as we discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly of working in a generationally diverse team.  From budding professionals to seasoned pros, the panelists will answer everything you’ve wanted to know about different generations but were too afraid to ask.

In the meantime, to quote Pat Benatar, “Hit me with your best shot.”  What are some of your workplace horror stories? Did diverse generational perspectives help your communications team lead a successful project? We’d love to hear your stories.  Post your comments to this blog or to the PRSA Houston page on Facebook.

Click here for more information about PR Day 2009 or to register.

Contributed by Ariana Montelongo, public relations and minority outreach coordinator for LifeGift Organ Donation Center.

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Filed under Gen X, Gen Y, Multi--generational Communication, PR Day 2009, Public Relations