Teach Millennials How To Be Great Leaders

When we think of great leaders we think of people who have leadership qualities like goal setting, inspiration, dedication, honesty, trustworthiness and so many other positive qualities. Millennials on the other hand are often described as lazy, entitled, selfish and many more negativedescriptions. However, when the right Millennial is hired for the right job these descriptions are not valid… especially when they are mentored by a great leader.

If you are a great leader it’s likely you learned it along the way from a combination of opportunities like:Leaders Values Millennials

  • Trial & error.
  • You had great mentors.
  • You studied / read leadership books.
  • You paid attention to good and bad examples of leadership.

Very few people are natural-born leaders. Lets not cast aside Millennials as hopeless. Instead, lets intentionally teach / mentor Millennials how to be great leaders.

When you have the right person in the right job, Millennials (like most people) are self-motivated and full of potential. So it’s up to their parents, professors, HR professionals and managers to make sure they are demonstrating the best leadership qualities for today’s ever-changing business market.

The challenge for them is to not learn poor leadership styles some of us have had to un-learn from that one really bad boss we once had. You know, the boss who had the Top-down / Carrot-Stick leadership style poplar post WWII when jobs were linear, repetitive and boring. The reality is that today most jobs are far from linear, repetitive and boring.

What are some of the lessons we have to make sure we are both
using – and teach Millennials how to be leaders?

Here is a list of 6 important lessons that will help teach Millennials how to be leaders.

1) Help Them Recognize Their Values And Their Importance

Most Millennials have wonderful values like compassion, charity/philanthropy, creativity, collaboration and achievement… and are not usually strong on values like conformity and tradition. Learning to recognize their strengths and values… and the strengths and values of others (and the organization), is critical to them being a great leader. Help your Millennials by teaching them the importance of values when making decisions and communicating.

When the time comes for your organization to review your mission, vision and values, let all of your employees contribute to your mission, vision and value statements. Demonstrate that great leaders make sure everyone have a respectful opportunity to contribute.

2) Be Their Mentor – Not Just Their Boss

The best leaders are effective because they know what they are best at and they lead with those skills. To create effective millennial leaders we must help them first understand their own gifts and talents. Help them identify what these skills are so they can use them to make informed decisions. Help them also see their gaps not as failures – but as opportunities to rely on (and develop), other people.

3) Be Authentic And Transparent

Authenticity and fairness come naturally to most Millennials. They grew up being encouraged to explore their individuality and to accept others for who they are no matter of their differences. As their leader, demonstrate that being authentic and transparent is important in their professional life.

Show Millennials that what they say and what they do matters and will be respected – especially in difficult times or during difficult conversations.

4) Be Trustworthy

Autonomy ranks very high on a Millennials list. Sure they love working in teams and are some of the best / least territorial collaborators… and yet, like most of us, Millennials love some independence. Trusting individuals to control their schedule is important. They will also enjoy when their collaboration team enjoys some project autonomy.

By trusting  Millennials (and other generations), you deepen commitment by demonstrating your respect for them and their opinions / talents.

5) Be Confident… And Flexible

Being confident about goals and objectives is terrific – but being flexible is also advantageous. Great leaders know that other people’s ideas and experiences often bring an approach and creativity that wasn’t previously considered and may make the project even better. This also supports your plan to offer employees more autonomy.

6) Teach Millennials How To Listen

Millennials love to learn – so remind them they can’t learn while they’re talking… only when they’re listening. Great leaders understand how powerful listening is in building relationships and respect.

Teach your Millennials not just to listen, but to demonstrate they are listening and care about what they hear. Like any good news reporter, encourage them to ask powerful questions… and to listen to the response.

Conclusion:

Millennials have the ability to become great leaders. We just need to teach them to recognize and lead from their innate strengths, communicate effectively, listen well and be transparent in what they do. Start today and lets awaken the leaders of tomorrow!

Happy communicating, mentoring, motivating… and training.

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The Difference Between Belief, Faith and Trust

I believe… the differences between Belief, Faith and Trust holds great insight about how you and I act in our professional business lives and in our personal lives. This also includes how we manage difficult conversations and how we interpret information, are motivated and how we mentor others.

Unfortunately many of us treat belief, faith and trust as the same thing even though there are significant differences; this puts everyone at a disadvantage when we communicate. So, lets take a quick look at the difference between belief, faith and trust.

What Is Belief?

Everyone’s beliefs can be different. Beliefs can be something a person feels/perceives is true – even if we have to ignore proof our belief is incorrect. For example, Global Warming. Another common example is who we believe the best candidate in a political race is. In both of these examples our beliefs are largely supported by personal and perhaps even selfish reasons. So, beliefs have 2 options. They can be:

  1. Absolute and proven (we know water is made of 2 Hydrogen and 1 Oxygen molecule).
  2. A matter of personal and/or professional opinion (Union employment talks).

In addition, the more firmly convinced we become of our belief, the more confidant we may grow and the less we’ll listen to other options. Therefore, when we is closed we often don’t leave room for discussion or flexibility. The safety of the TITANIC is a good example of a belief that lead to overconfidence. Politics between countries offer us many such examples. Because beliefs are often a matter of personal experience, perspective and judgement as much as they may be of fact, they often change slowly – over time as we gather more information (knowledge) and experience.

Is Faith The Same As Trust?

Faith and trust are often confused and/or used interchangeably but they do have different meanings. What Is Faith?

  • Faith is often thought of as a spiritual concept. Faith is a devotion or loyalty where belief is important but proof may be less quantifiable. Religions are good examples of faith – or anywhere where a leap of optimism (faith), is required. Faith is something we ‘HAVE’…

What Is Trust?

  • Trust is often thought of in the context of relationships. Tangible proof is important. Being able to anticipate how another person will act is an example of trust (often because you have proof this is how they’ve acted in the past). Trust is something we ‘DO’…

    Belief supports Faith & Trust

    Belief supports Faith & Trust

Faith and Trust are supported by our beliefs… even if those beliefs are not logically supported… or even untrue. Trust / faith is broken only if a persons belief is broken… or trust / faith can be strengthened if belief deepens. Note: Trust is perhaps more fragile than faith. If trust is broken, it takes a long time to build it back.

Example 1 (Belief is supported): In business – if you and I are working on a project for the first time, do I have trust (not faith), you will be honourable and truthful? Yes, if I believe you are also focused on the organizations values and best interest – even though my only proof may be that you are employed. But one-on-one experience can change my beliefs quickly and therefore trust. The best approach for a successful project and working relationship would be to confirm objectives and values… therefore our beliefs and trust.

Example 2 (Belief is untrue): In a Ponzi scheme I believe you are truthful and you will give me a high ROI with low risk. My belief gives me trust that you will deliver results. But, in a Ponzi scheme this truth is a lie / the belief is unfounded and trust is eventually compromised.

Conclusion:

When we consider what people believe, have faith in and trust we can understand each other.

Whether we are speaking of belief, faith or trust, we will always be at our best if you and I support our conversations with an open mind and non-judegement… allowing ourselves to listen to each other and consider options based on mutually agreed objectives.

Our personal lives and our workspaces will always benefit.

Happy communicating and learning.

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Bruce Mayhew is founder and President of Bruce Mayhew Consulting a Professional Development firm that excels at quickly and easily tailoring programs to meet the unique needs of our clients and their employees. In addition to being an effective professional development trainer, Bruce is a popular conference speaker, writer and has been featured on major TV, Radio and Newspaper networks ranging from CTV to Global to The Globe & Mail.

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Build Client Trust

People do business with people they trust.

If you want to generate repeat business; high quality referrals; larger, more profitable and easier sales, focus on developing a network of clients who trust you. To do that, you need to build relationships. Trust-based relationships are a far surer path to profitability than ‘the lowest price’ offer.

Trusted relationships also lead to reduced transaction costs and are more valuable for the seller and buyer alike. In many cases, clients will often wait a little longer, buy a little more (if you recommend), and even allow you to be a little more creative.

What are the keys to building client trust?

1. Be Professional And Know What You’re Talking About

Stick with your core competencies. Clients want to know that they can rely on your expertise. If the information you relay turns out to be wrong, you create doubt. It’s been said that it takes three positive experiences to create trust and only one bad one to jeopardize that trust.

So, what do you do when you don’t know the answer? You’ve likely read 100 articles stating ‘Don’t make it up or guess’. Well, they are right so I will say no more.

2. Identify Your Client’s Expectations

This is crucial. Clients expect you to fulfill their priorities.

Everyone talks about ‘exceeding client’s expectations,’ but most people seldom succeed. Why? Likely because most people don’t know what the client’s expectations are. They’ve never asked. At most they believe they know what their client expects and strive to meet those mythical expectations.

You have to ask every client. Only by knowing what your client expects can you exceed their expectations. This goes for sales and service. But be wary – clients may inadvertently lie. They won’t mean to – but often they will tell you what they think you, their bosses or their co-workers what to hear.

3. Provide the Best Solution

Clients want to trust that the solution you recommend is the best solution for them. So take your time. Listen intently and don’t oversell. If your needs analysis indicates your product or service isn’t the best solution for them, tell them quickly and professionally. Then, refer them to where they can get the best product or service.

When clients see your business values in action your reputation is sealed. Clients may not purchase from you today, but they will in the future. They’ll also be more inclined to refer you to their networks. Just make sure they know what your  unique value proposition and core competencies are for future reference.

4. Be Dependable.

How closely your actions parallel your promises will determine your ability to gain a clients’ trust and respect. Keeping your promises can be more important to them than price, competence and even personality.

Often credibility and trust is lost because of a lack of communication and follow-up.

As a professional, you must demonstrate professionalism. Your clients will notice if you; are not confident in what you are saying; don’t listen to or answer the questions they ask; commit to send something and you don’t send it; are consistently late for appointments; don’t return phone calls in a timely manner and a hundred other subtle signals.

The idea that building trust takes a long time is a myth. People begin making decisions very quickly about who they trust.

5. Be Open – with the good news and the bad news.

We’re all good at announcing good news, but no one likes to deliver bad news. The reality is that sometimes you have to.

As a professional you must demonstrate professionalism. Firstly, when something goes really well don’t be shy. Let them know how great it’s been. Let clients share in the success, but be careful not to appear pompous or egotistical.

Also, recognize that bad situations are opportunities for you to look good. Your best defense is candor. If you prepare your client and come to the table with viable solutions you will be seen as a partner not a supplier and your creditability will be boosted. Collaboration and transparency are essential.

If the client isn’t told, most often the problem or issue will become more serious because the client is left to find out on their own with time to prepare.

Conclusion:

You must earn your client’s trust and respect—and that trust and respect is maintained over time. The great thing is that trusted relationships with clients are in each of our best interests.

Trust is fragile. Your work depends on it.

Imagine work being easier. Imagine work being more productive.

Happy communicating.

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Give us a call at 416 617 0462. We’ll listen.

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