Thursday, August 25, 2016

Teach Millennials how to use their Power

Guest post from Dan Negroni:

When we think of leaders and when we think of millennials, there are usually conflicting descriptions. We describe great leaders as honest, hard working, empowering, transparent, generous and so many other positive traits. Millennials are often described as lazy, entitled, selfish and so many other negative traits. However, after working with thousands of millennials, I can assure that these assertions about millennials are myths.  And I am sure you are thinking this is a relief.

Millennials have the hunger and potential to become great leaders. But they lack fundamental leadership skills and don’t understand how to tap into them. It’s up to us as the old guys, the parents, managers and leaders to teach them how to tap into their inner leadership power. Lead by example, through coaching and teaching, so we can demonstrate how to understand their valuable skills and access their inner leader. The big question is…how? Here are 4 ways to develop your millennial workers into leaders of the future. 

1.)   Lead from Strength
The best leaders are effective because they know what they’re best at and they lead with those skills. In order to create effective millennial leaders, we must help them first understand their strengths. Consider using a strength finder assessment or the Power of Why? to unveil your millennials’ strengths, passions and values. Each of your millennial workers has their own gifts and talents. Your job is to identify what these skills are so you can place them in the optimal position for them to succeed. This is how millennials can tap into their true leadership power—by leading from their strengths

2.)   Teach the WIFThem strategy
Knowing your strengths is critical to being a great leader... but it does no good do if you can’t communicate your strengths to others. Teach your millennials how to communicate their value so it’s relevant to whomever they’re speaking to. At launchbox, we use the WIFThem strategy, which stands for “What’s in it for them?” We must show millennials that when they shift the focus from “me” to “them,” they can deliver the most value. As the most purposeful generation, they get this.
Lets say your millennial is talking to a prospective client. He can either say a.)  “I am a people person,” or b.) “I offer impeccable customer service, anticipate people’s needs and go above and beyond to solve customer problems.” Which sounds better? Show your millennials how to align the WIFThem method with their strengths so they can lead effectively. This is true leadership power.  

3.)   Teach them how to listen—and prove that they listened
Great leaders understand the power of listening and being able to be influenced. They listen to client and employee frustrations, new ideas and opportunities before they act and speak. Millennials grew up with the ability to voice their opinion 24/7 365 days a year. In such a noisy world, they need to understand value of being a good listener. Coach your millennials that they can’t learn while they’re talking, but only when they’re listening. Show them how that works by demonstrating that skill with them.
Teach your millennials not just to listen, but to show that they are listening and retaining what they hear. Have them repeat back to you what they’ve heard. Have them ask powerful questions to show they are curious and engaged. This powerful strategy proves that your Millennials truly care. By conveying that they not only listened, but retained information as well, your Millennials will naturally lead with confidence.

4.)   Be Transparent
Millennials grew up in a world with little to no privacy. Social media is the norm for them and they’re used to people seeing every part of their life via Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. They are also jaded by being bombarded with messaging. They crave authenticity: being real.  As a manger, teach them the power of transparency. In order to lead effectively in this noisy economy, what you say and what you believe in must align with what you do. Show millennials that the best leaders are transparent with their beliefs. Teach them to communicate from the inside out. Share your company vision with your millennials and have them contribute to your mission statement. Show them how to communicate their value so it’s congruent with their “why.”  Once millennials understand this, they can lead with transparency.

Millennials have the ability to become great leaders. We just need to teach them to recognize and lead from their innate strengths, communicate effectively, listen well and be transparent in what they do. Start today and lets awaken the leaders of tomorrow!

About the author:
Dan Negroni, Author, Speaker, Attorney, Kick butt business consultant, coach, and proud Dad of a few Millennials delivers actionable solutions.  He is the author of Chasing Relevance: 6 Steps to Understand, Engage and Maximize Next Generation Leaders in the Workplace. Different from all other millennial experts, Dan's empowering business approach at launchbox, creates quick value and seamless connections with millennials and management each on their own terms.


Katrina Maksimuk said...

Great Article, suggestion--add Old Gals in the beginning. The old school thought that "Men are the Leaders" has got to go! ---A Gen X Gal

Vicki Hodge said...

Leaders also need to proof read articles before they post them. Hint Hint