It’s a goal of mine to have as many mentors as possible. From all over the US to Europe and Asia, I’ve been blessed to make many connections and turn more than a few of them into mentorships in one way or another. This is how I learn about business from a variety of veterans and trusted sources in my network.
This past August, I had the pleasure of participating in a session at PR Camp ATL (@PR_Camp) with Nick Ayres (@nickjayres) of Home Depot. The session focused on helping experienced professionals tap the social media expertise of junior colleagues, like myself. Here are 5 important points I covered in this discussion that can help you connect with Gen Y leaders:
Hold My Hand (Don’t Worry It’s Clean)
When you want something done a certain way, I’d normally recommend that you do it yourself. Yet, if you’re willing to show someone else exactly how you want something done, then a little hand holding will be required to get the job done. I’m a hands-on learner. I learn better when I’m shown step-by-step how something should be done.
Contrary to popular belief, Gen Ys are looking for direction. That’s why a little hand-holding is required. We’re the first to say when we don’t know how to accomplish something or have a question. Yes we enjoy learning to do things on our own, but we’d appreciate a little kick in the right direction when we’re going off course.
Don’t baby us in the process or treat us as less than your equals. If we make a mistake out of pure laziness or from lack of attention, then point it out and don’t be lenient! I have a mentor that gets in my ass when I’m not doing my job and I’m thankful that she does because I know better and it pushes me to BE better. I hate when she gets on me and prefer her praises a lot more. For that reason alone, I’m always doing what I’m supposed to do.
Listen To Us
Don’t ask me questions then completely disregard my advice. I’ve lost a lot of respect for people that constantly do this. I’m not into wasting my time just like you aren’t into wasting your time on a 20-something that doesn’t want to listen.
Help Us Out!
I love people that refer jobs to me that they could’ve easily taken on. When it’s too easy for you and you don’t need the experience (or money), send it to someone who could benefit from the job. It lets us know that you don’t just care about us, but you want to see us soar to new heights too! It says you see us going beyond where we are now and you want to have an active role in helping to accomplish that.
In the end, you teach us how to help the generation behind us. Now that’s leading by example and a great cycle for anyone to start!
Share Your Expertise
I can’t stress this enough: Gen Y really wants to learn the business side of things! As aforementioned, when we don’t know something we ask. However, business mentors could make it a lot easier by pointing out areas where we have the skills and know what we’re doing, but have no idea how to “sell” that to businesses clients.
What I mean is: how do I translate my skills into what businesses are looking for? What I call one thing, may have a completely different term in the business world. TELL ME THAT!
- What are some conflicts you encounter when connecting with Gen Y leaders?
- What resolutions have you’ve made that makes it easier to make a connection and work together?
- What do you do to help the generation behind you reach new heights?