4 Tips for Developing Millennial Leaders Now!

The Mantle of Leadership is Passing to Millennials—Get Ready, a recent article in Forbes suggested that baby boomers quit worrying about managing people in the 18 to 33 year old age group and start developing them.

According the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, this generation became the largest in the workforce and will grow by 30% in the next 5 years.

Graph Showing Labor Force till 2020

The article pointed out that these emerging leaders say they need help in three areas:

  • Communication
  • Ability to build relationships
  • Ability to develop others.

Don’t delegate learning to formal events. Think about the notion of learning that circulates in the learning community called 70-20-10.  It suggests that 70 percent of learning comes from on-the-job experiences working on tasks and problems; about 20 percent comes from feedback or working around good or bad examples, and 10 percent from courses or reading.

When it comes to helping new leaders to develop the skills listed above, remember to:

1. Give emerging leaders something to lead. Give them a business focused goal that they are responsible for attaining. Set them up to succeed by adopting a mindset of a mentor or coach.

2. Model reflection. Reflection means looking back on what is working and not working. After some initial action, ask: “What seemed significant?”

3. Listen and ask questions. Model communication that is respectful of their experiences. Instead of “When I was your age”….say “What have you tried so far and how is that going?”

4. Stay connected to keep asking questions until the business goals are achieved.  This leads to just-in-time learning.

This approach works in three ways.  It develops leaders, models future development and gets the work of business done because you are focused on business goals and outcomes .

Gather 510 px squareSeeds of Civility is a blog that is created by The Wallace Centers of Iowa.  Here we gather tips and tools for leading (and developing emerging leaders) with civility.

Appreciation: Insight from #PeopleSkills Chat – Feb 15, 2015

Following along and learning from Kate Nasser’s weekly twitter chat has proved to be insightful.  This is the third post based on learnings from the chat.  The first week was about optimism and diligence and the second week was about silence.

So far, all the topics related to people skills connect to the concept of civility because it is the small actions and the skillfully applied behaviors we take as individuals that lead to respect for others.  We don’t have to wait for respect to give respect.  According the author P.M. Forni, we can choose civility.

This week, rather than list all ten questions, the focus here will be on Question 8

Are people more likely to appreciate others like them or different from them? Why?

A few comments to ponder….

Henry Wallace quote on diversity

Henry A. Wallace spoke about needing differences, or in his words, “all kinds.”  While it is easiest to appreciate what we know, a deeper and compassionate look at others can lead to appreciation, respect and better outcomes.  For those that decide to appreciate others, you become a seed in the process of creating a more civil workplace.

Graphic of Cultivate Seeds of Civility is a blog that is created by The Wallace Centers of Iowa.  Here we cultivate conversations about civility in the workplace.

A Fresh Look at “Not Enough Boots on the Ground”

Graphic of Boots on The GroundWhen working toward results in business certain overused sayings are borrowed from the language of war. This practice inherently says there is an enemy that must be overcome. Instead of being frustrated by the metaphors of war, consider overused phrases as a signal to re-think what is being expressed and consider a response that comes from nature and growth. Questions or statements that come from a mindset of curiosity are like seeds. Questions lead to new thoughts, ideas, and approaches. 

 We don’t have enough boots on the ground

What does this saying really mean?

The speaker is expressing a frustration that something is not going well.  It is easy to agree and even try to figure out how to get more people.

However before doing that, a listener can respond in a way that supports a deeper look. The mindset of curiosity assists the speaker to solve his or her own challenges.  A few possible questions to get the conversation going in a new direction could be:

  • What’s up?
  • Are you feeling frustrated?
  • What’s worked before?

In real life when this approach was tried, it allowed for new possibilities to be expressed.  The frustrated speaker realized through conversation that the people on her team where confused and not all working on the same objective.  She then felt energized and started meeting with each person and having conversations about the focus and speaking in a way that gave a sense of direction.

What other well worn expressions have you heard that sound like war?

Graphic of CultivateSeeds of Civility is a blog that is created by The Wallace Centers of Iowa.  Here we cultivate conversations about civility in the workplace.

Note: Boot graphics are from: 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)