Each week I have the privilege of coaching a group of millennial leaders. Our sessions are always informative and entertaining.
During a recent session, one person raised the topic of communications. He explained he was having difficulty getting people to understand what he wanted them to do…
As he was speaking, several members of the group nodded their heads in agreement with the speaker. As he concluded his comments, he let out a heavy sigh. I looked around the room and asked who else was struggling with communications.
It was like I opened the flood gates. Each member of the group shared their struggles communicating with and engaging the people they lead. As we wrapped up our session, we agreed we would continue our communications conversation during the next week.
As I drove home, my thoughts reflected back to our conversation. I found myself thinking about the millennial leaders I work with every day. They are bright, energetic and hard-working. I wondered, “are they all having the same challenge?”
A recent study by American Express and Millennial Branding found a significant disconnect between the communications styles of mature leaders and millennials. The study found the majority of managers prefer to communicate in person, whereas the majority of millennials don’t believe in-person communication is essential.
According to Susan Steinbrecher, “Ineffective interpersonal relationships affect co-workers on multiple levels, including miscommunication, lack of trust, and poor collaboration between team members.”
The ability to effectively communicate is the most highly prized soft skill in the work place. Yet, very few leaders have the correct training that can enable them to maximize on this important leadership skill.
In my experience, I’ve found the following four communication practices are vital to promoting effective leadership for millennials:
- Understand your Audience
- Be Visible and Personal
- Be Proactive
- Practice Active Listening
Now, for the rest of the story…
At our next coaching session, I shared the four vital communication practices. Each member agreed to implement one of the four practices every week to improve their communications skills.
Over the next several weeks, the tenor of our conversation changed. They shared and celebrated their successes. Instead of complaining, they were bragging!
Are your communications promoting effective leadership?
Dr. Kim Moore, your guide to leading with confidence!
Kim D. Moore
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