Millennials want to be heard – it is that simple. Young people, especially in the UK, feel that the older generations do not understand them or listen to them. If you want to grow engagement within your organisation I suggest you try not to understand millennials but rather focus on listening and giving them a voice.
Millennials have many great ideas and opinions and it is my view that many ideas go to the graveyard because other generations don’t let the young people have a voice. When being listened to they expect your full focus as they don’t take kindly to being ignored so it becomes more paramount that you act on their voice.
For this to be successful – everything between a leader or older member of your team and the young person must be two-way. Ideas, opinions and final say must be communicated and discussed both ways. To initially encourage this, you may want to start two-way mentoring between a leader and a millennial.
If you’re a leader, I suggest when you’re looking to develop a millennial you do the following: Listen, watch & act.
To be a successful leader or coach: communication must be two ways. Two-way communication may occur horizontally or vertically in the organisation.
Leaders fear changing their message or admitting they’re wrong. These leaders are the losers – the ones who are watching the great leaders race past them. To be a great leader you must have strong communication skills – have a mind that is open to everything and attached to nothing. No one knows enough to have all the answers so you must shut up and listen. Listening means fully focusing on that person by listening to every word and making constant eye contact.
Two-way communication engages your partners by allowing instant feedback, seeking for clarification and interaction. It can help build trust, share ideas and promote increased comprehension of issues and concepts. You can understand your audience and how better to reach the people you are communicating with. This one change by listening and allowing your people to have a voice will be the start of a great culture providing better long-term results.
The final part to complete two-way communication is: you must act on everything that is said. You must not just delegate, you must leverage your control as an effective leader.