As a people-leader in the 21st century, ‘directing focus’ is a potent leadership communication skill, yet it’s often misunderstood and misapplied by those in leadership– especially with the Millennial generation (‘Millennials’).
Focusing ‘Millennial’ intelligence, talent and drive on your organization’s mission, vision and goals engages them and buys you their goodwill.
Here are 7 tips on developing focus and engaging ‘Millennials’ at work:
1. Differentiate. They’re not all the same.
All Millennials are not the same re: their ability to focus and engage. The layout: 60% hit or miss; 10% good; 10% great; 10% sub-par; and 10% mindless and disengaged. Engage the ‘low-hanging fruit’ (the top 30% of hit or miss) for immediate improvement. Incorporate the top 20% into your leadership communication campaign. Nix the bottom 20%.
2. They expect to be heard. Let them speak.
Millennials, in general, were raised in an egalitarian culture – not a patriarchal one. It’s as though they’re sitting at Arthur’s round table. They expect their voices to be heard. Let them speak.
3. Use an adult-adult communication style.
Assume you’re talking with an adult – until you know otherwise. Use an adult-adult communication style.
4. Train and coach them to professional standards.
Many Millennials don’t come ‘work-ready.’ Train and coach them to professional performance standards and teach them good work practices — including how to focus.
5. Be authentic. Don’t be a stiff.
Stiffness bores Millennials to tears. Give them an authentic, yet professional role model — you.
6. Select and develop for trust and discernment.
Select and develop Millennials who have the capacity for trust AND discernment. The greater the balance between trust and discernment the stronger and more refined the focus and engagement within the organization as a whole.
7. Tell stories. Don’t preach.
Leave the preaching to the preacher. Use stories to focus and engage. The art of organizational storytelling is a core capability for any people-leader in the 21st century.
Finally, ask them. What works? What doesn’t? How do I engage you? What would help you focus?
Now, what do you think, ‘Millennials?’
Organizational communication maven by day. Food, wine and beer buff by night. World traveler. Entrepreneurial spirit. Contact Eroca Gabriel, a former Fortune 100 Human Resources Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org to speak at your corporate event.
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