If you are not familiar with the Millennial generation, you should be. Millennials are the demographic group following generation X and were born between the early 80s and the early 2000s.
Most of us are now reaching an age where we are not only in the workforce, but beginning to make a name for our generation as well. Millennials are entering the workplace in droves and for the next 10-20 years we will only continue to gain steam as we settle into our careers and the things we do that will shape the future.
Here are three better ways to communicate with Millennials:
- Be Authentic
- Millennials value transparency and honesty. They put a high value on being able to do what they love at work and at home, but they don’t hide it. They let people know these things from the start. Millennials want the same from you. Don’t hide from them, try to manipulate them, or lie to them. Be honest and transparent and they will love and respect you.
- Treat Them Like the Adults They Are
- Don’t try to ‘get down on their level’. Millennials are reaching adulthood and they want to be treated like adults. They make their own decisions, put on their big boy pants, and they work hard. Let them know that you see that and respect it. Talk to them like you would any of your other friends or acquaintances.
- Don’t Try to Fake It
- Millennials have grown up with innovative technology like smart phones, social media, and more. If you are not savvy with those things then please don’t act like it. Don’t try to fake like you know how those things work. It drives millennials crazy. You would be better off being honest and letting them know that you are unfamiliar with those things and asking for their help. Chances are they are more than willing to sit down with you and help explain and walk you through how those things work.
Be genuine. Millennials recognize the value that older generations have to offer and desperately want to learn from them, but communication has to be clear. Everyone needs to be on the same page. To make that happen, both sides still have much to learn.
While mentoring has and always will offer incredible value to younger people, more and more we are seeing reverse mentoring beginning to take hold. Reverse mentoring being where a millennial mentors someone from an older generation on things they are more experienced in like the internet, smartphones, or social media.
We all have value to offer one another, but we also have to go out of our way to communicate more clearly with other generations. Millennials are working hard to bridge the gap. Will you?