by Judi Sciple
Delaware Technical Community College
It’s hard to believe this first leg of my trip has reached its halfway mark as I sit poolside in the late afternoon to write this entry. (Did I mention there is a beautiful breeze and not a cloud in the sky? But back to the conference!) The first day of the District 6 conference in Carlsbad, California was full of sunshine, amazing speakers, salsa lessons and a sunset over the Pacific.
The day began with warm, motivating remarks by MiraCosta College president, Dr. Francisco Rodriguez. It is clear he is extremely proud of his marketing and public relations team at the college, and he reminded the group about the importance of our profession, especially in today’s difficult economic times.
Next was keynote speaker Dr. Jean Twenge, Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University and author of Generation Me and The Narcissism Epidemic. Her discussion was fascinating, focusing on years of studies to determine the values of the millennials and what is of importance to them. The verdict is that they are focused on themselves, more so than any other generation in history, and when it comes to their jobs the two things that are meaningful to them are making lots of money and getting lots of vacation time.
The presentation included how to motivate this generation in the workplace, and Dr. Twenge suggested the following: spend time with them discussing their career goals, give lots of praise, make sure they feel like you care about them, and if you have a problem with a millennial, get a GenX employee to reach out, they are the ones most likely to connect with this group. As I write this, I’m thinking that employing these tactics should be second nature for us – this nurturing mannerism is the trademark of community colleges and what we do with our students every day!
Over dessert Dr. Twenge shared with me that she recently finished taping a segment for the Dr. Phil show which is scheduled to air October 9. If you get a chance to watch, I think you’ll enjoy the blunt, quick-witted way she shares her research findings on the millennial generation. Kudos to conference chair, Cheryl Broom from MiraCosta College, for securing such a dynamic, renowned speaker to kick things off!
The opening evening made the most of the gorgeous weather as we gathered for a social hour, salsa lessons and dinner at one of the resort’s outdoor patios. During dinner, we were treated to live music from the MiraCosta College Latin Jazz Ensemble. The members from District 6 used the time to connect, both personally and professionally, as photos of children and grandchildren were shared and workplace situations discussed. I enjoyed myself immensely, met new people and caught up with some of the veteran members during this segment of the conference.
Stay tuned for my entry about day two of the NCMPR District 6 conference in Carlsbad!