Over the past two decades the world of technology has drastically changed. Because of these enhancements, our society has had to adapt in various ways. The millennial and Gen Z generations were at the forefront of the digital age, and many of them grew up with forms of technology around them. Their upbringings have a great impact on the way that they view aspects of the world. For those of us in positions to lead millennials and Gen Z, acclimation of our leadership styles have shifted in many ways. Mentors of the latest generations must learn to incorporate various technologies to connect with their mentees. Here are ways you can ensure you are reaching such generations at profound levels, through their preferred channels.
One of the most, if not the most important part of being a mentor is effective communication. Part of learning about your mentee is knowing how to best communicate your ideas and information to them. In the digital age, there are dozens of channels to communicate through. Finding which one your mentee prefers can help bridge any gaps or lapses in communication. If you are a mentor to a millennial or Gen Z, they may prefer you text or email them important information. Utilizing the technology that they use the most to relay what you want to say could be the foundation of a strong relationship.
Learn the Tools
If you find yourself in a mentorship with a millennial or Gen Z, inform yourself on the technologies that interest them. While they are (hopefully) taking interest in what you do and say, you should be reciprocating. If your mentee is into a certain new app or game, learn the basics about it. Show them that you are interested in what they enjoy. By connecting on a higher level, you break down any barriers that may remain, when building trust. There is a technique called “reverse mentoring” which is becoming more popular in the workplace. Junior employees are helping senior level staff learn about various techniques and tech tools to enhance their work performance. You can utilize this in your company or mentorship relationship to build a solid foundation of respect.
The upcoming generation are one day going to run corporations and businesses. This being said, it is important that mentors learn more about the way millennials and Gen Z operate. Embracing technology and learning from one another is a reliable way to integrate new ways of operating across all channels.
Stay tuned for more generational mentoring tips from Kevin Richardson Garrison!