With these new ideas and changing styles, employers also recognize the need to change styles of communication within the workplace, which will help organizations become more effective and efficient to achieve goals. To make this transition easier for both you and your employer, here are a few tips for Millennials to become the young professionals we are destined to be through verbal and nonverbal communication.
Listen first: Take in every word your supervisor says–information, advice, criticism, or instruction–and absorb all they have to say. Giving them your undivided attention and interest will build you to be a good listener and employee altogether.
Feedback second: The communication doesn’t stop at listening. If you are truly engaged in what your supervisor is saying, confirm afterwards of what they said. Be sure not to get defensive when taking criticism from a peer in your workplace. It may be tough to listen, but use the opinion to change your work for the better.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions: It is critical to understand instructions and information, so don’t shy away from asking a question to make something clear. The millennial generation is unfortunately criticized for asking too many questions though… so if it is possible, take the initiative to be resourceful and look for those answers independently.
Be prompt and respectful: When responding to communication, give your reply as soon as possible in the same way you received it whether that be face-to-face, phone call, email, or text (unless told otherwise).
Stay focused: Going along with being respectful and fully engaged, keep off the phone and all those social media apps that will distract you from work. That personal time watching the cute animal videos friends share with you on Facebook or saving all the DIY projects you’ll never be able to complete on Pinterest is meant to be spent outside of your workplace where WORK needs to be done.
Proofread, edit, send: Check spelling, grammar, and language when using written communication. Text or email, you should have a sense of professionalism in your words.
Aura of confidence: Emulate a personality that your supervisors want and that will benefit your true potential as a professional. Give an honest and respectful opinion. Show passion and an enthusiastic attitude when performing everyday. And take pride in your own work, but be sure to not cross that line of arrogance!
Dress like you mean it (which is business): The way you dress does have an effect on how you want people to treat you and how others see you. Especially in an office space, “dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” Dressing in your best office attire can communicate that you take your job seriously and put your best self forward. Add a great attitude, and will help you and others recognize your potential in the career you pursue.
Find a mentor: It could be another coworker or your supervisor, but get yourself a reliable peer who can not only help you do your job right, but also motivate you to be the best you can be. Go to them for your troubles and questions (but not all of them!).
Keep in mind that organizations function differently and some may be transforming faster than others to meet the needs of our generation. Whether you are a Millennial entering into a new business environment or an employee needing a reminder how your words and actions communicate to those in your workplace, I hope all you young professionals find these tid-bits useful in some way!
Graphic by Allie Wilson