I’ve gotten one question more than any other this week: “Can you tell me how to communicate with millennials?” The million dollar question. While the research varies, here are the common generalizations I believe drives this question. I should preference these thoughts by saying I was born in 1980, so I exist on the cusp of Gen X and the Millennial generation (also known as Gen Y). Articles with titles like “Millennials are the Worst” make me wince. Understanding helps us all to find common ground. Let’s seek to understand, shall we?
Millennials came into adulthood around 2000, parented by those who were “latch-key kids” and wanted to offer their children a much different experience.So they became “omnipresent” or “helicopter” parents. They raised kids who were overly-scheduled, overly-protected, and told they were special and could have anything in life they wanted. Millennials received awards for participation and had parents go to bat for them in the classroom. They were raised to be entitled.These kids are now the teenagers, twenty, and thirty-somethings of our society.
They were the first generation to be connected to the world via the internet, grew up with Amazon, and could instantly download movies in their youth.
As a generation, they are also impatient. Entitled and impatient. Sound about right? Though, in the words of Simon Sinek, “through no fault of their own”.
What can we find positive about millennials? Claiming this generation as my own, there are many things.
☑️They saw big business fail during their childhoods, so they are highly entrepreneurial.
☑️They are the most education generation in Western history (which also means they have the most debt).
☑️They have a strong sense of community and are civically and politically engaged.
☑️They grew up with technology, but prefer face-to-face connection when possible (unlike iGen).
So back to that million dollar question. How do we effectively communicate with millennials?
💡Millennials respect authority, but they do best with those who act as a cheerleader or coach, not a manager.
💡This is a highly scheduled generation, so be mindful of their calendar.
💡Safety is a huge concern (they grew up with 9-11, complicated wars, and school shootings). Give them safe space and help them feel protected.
💡Understand that many of them are still learning the skills they need to be successful in business and life. Help them be successful by showing understanding and patience.
Want to know more? Take a look at my current training calendar: https://BickmeierScheduling.as.me/