Posted July 20, 2021 by Mark Perna
Episode Title: Meet Them Where They’re At
What does it mean to meet a young person where they’re at? Find out more, coming up next on The Perna Syndicate.
Ep 247 show:
Hello and welcome—you are now in The Perna Syndicate. This week, we’re focusing on how to connect with young people, be they your students, coworkers, or even your kids or grandkids. Yesterday we covered respect and how the younger generations want to feel respected from the very first interaction. Today, I want to talk about meeting them where they are and validating their circumstances.
It sounds good to “meet them where they’re at,” but what does that really mean? It means striking the right balance between the standards and expectations we have to meet as educators and employers, and the educational and maturity level that young people bring to that moment.
You won’t know where someone is at unless you are tuned in and listening to them. Asking questions is critical. This also helps them feel respected, that you believe they’re important enough to spend time hearing their perspective.
Then, when you’re hearing their responses, validate them. This doesn’t mean you have to agree with their view of things, but you do need to acknowledge that these feelings and issues are real for them. Don’t hit them with how things were tougher back in your day—you know, how you walked to school barefoot in the snow uphill both ways. It just doesn’t help.
It takes sensitivity, intelligence, and empathy to meet a young person where they’re at and validate everything that has shaped them into the person they are. But making this investment, meeting them where they’re at will help chart the course for how far they can go in their education and career journey.
Tomorrow, we’re going to examine what our boundaries and expectations are based on—a punitive system, or a payoff system. Tune in and we’ll see you then on The Perna Syndicate!