Millennials & social skills

This public radio story from Spokane County, Washington describes a police academy exercise intended to help recruits improve their skills at talking to strangers. Some observers think that recruits raised on social media have less experience interacting with other people face-to-face.



6 Responses to “Millennials & social skills”

  1. Gunther Says:

    Seems to me that many people in their 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and even in their 90s lack social skills not only to talk to strangers but also to their own employees as well as their own family members long before the Internet came into existence and this includes cops since we all know that cops have one of the highest rates of domestic violence and divorces since many of them never learn how to communicate with people despite the fact that they talk to people every day in their jobs.

  2. Gunther Says:

    “Dworak says when he was growing up, “if you had problems with your friend, you discussed it in the alley.”

    Sounds to me like he and his friend had to resort to fist cuffs in order to resolve their problems. That doesn’t sound like proper communications to me

  3. Gary Cordner Says:

    I think there is always some tendency for old-timers to find the younger generation lacking in some ways, fueled by a tendency to remember the good parts of the old days and conveniently forget the bad parts. On this issue of social skills, I’m not aware that anyone has carefully measured it among police recruits and then compared it to some baseline from years ago. But you do hear a lot of police trainers and police executives (and college professors) talking about it. It’s probably not a total change — as you say, plenty of cops lacked social skills in the old days. It could be (just making up numbers) that 20-30 years ago 25% of recruits had weak social skills, and now it’s 50%. Would be nice to have data rather than just theorize, though.

    • Gunther Says:

      There is also problem is that no one has bothered to collect data on his/her own initiative on what you have been saying. Or asks what kind of information we need to be collecting when this situation comes up or what if that situation come up.

      It seems that when something does comes up, you have politicians and the head department bosses asking their government employees for information are informed that no such information exists because no one had bothered to set up a system to capture and retain the data plus you would have to justify to the politicians and your head boss why you need to collect it in order in order to get the money to set up the system and the manpower to maintain it. Otherwise, you are kind of like an intelligence agency where all you do is collect data but never really bother to analyze it and take appropriate action on it.

  4. Gunther Says:

    Another problem with people having no good communication skills is that too many of us have been told to keep our mouths shuts by our parents, business leaders, religious leaders, political leaders, bullies, police officers, and even within our peer group (age, gender, ethnic, racial, etc). In addition, our top political and business leaders have been poor role models for the last 47 years when it comes to talking with their employees and even among themselves. It is a winner take all/take no prisoners/my way or the highway/I’m the boss attitude. You also have extreme right wingers who can’t or won’t talk to the other side anymore or talk with moderates within their own group.

  5. Gunther Says:

    Another problem is that no one wants to listen to what the other person has to say. Even if they listen to you, their mind is already made up and no amount of logic will change their mind. Another problem is too many people don’t think before they speak and are too blunt when talking to you and in many cases can’t control their emotions particularly when it comes to being angry when talking to someone. No one wants to use diplomacy anymore.

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