Living up to our capacity at all levels includes our communication styles and ensuring they are up to snuff. Especially with the new brand of employees now in the workforce and those entering in the coming years, Generation Z. The research shows that Millennials now have an attention span of 12 seconds living in a constant state of partial distraction. Once the workers of Generations Z enter the workforce, they bring with them an 8-second attention span living in a state of partial attention.
What that means for us as team players and leaders is that we need to hone our communication styles, our leadership styles, the way we interact with the new breed of workers in much faster paced, on-demand type of environment. These workers are used to finding answers to problems on demand in the palms of their hands on mobile devices. They may not have the answers in their heads, but they have it in their hands. Our way of giving direction must be quick and agile, our listening also needs to be honed to their brief sound-bite type of 140-character Twitter-type of quips. No long conversations expected.
Solid relationships help us gain the respect and trust of others, our clients and our colleagues. It is important to be easy to work with, to have productive working relationships. People must sense that we genuinely care about them; this is how they feel inspired to work with and even follow us and to endear that trust and inspiration, we need to behave and communicate how others needs us to in order to feel heard. After all, sharing experiences with the world and having the world hear their stories is what Millennials and Gen Z are all about – just check out Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and the flavor-of-the-month site to upload stories and pictures.
Here are a few helpful practices to becoming an accomplished listener:
- First, our attitude: We must commit to listen to understand and learn.
- Put the other person at ease, maybe by sitting side by side rather than across a desk.
- Lean forward, comfortable eye contact, a slight smile.
- Quiet our mind — and stay fully present!
- Give affirmations: “OK,” “I see,” “Makes sense.”
- Ask clarifying questions.
- Maybe ask if we may repeat what we’ve heard to assure we have it right.
- Use silence, don’t rush to fill the space, likely the person will then continue, and we’ll deepen our learning. It is said, “Let silence do the heavy lifting.”
- Take notes, it will help us remember, and even more important, it is a sign of respect to the other person and will be appreciated.
It all begins with our willingness to understand and learn, and our effort to be patient and fully present. Conscious listening is difficult, especially in our crazy busy world today with so many urgencies and distractions. Keep in mind that we all want our stories to be heard and try to keep your distractions at bay while you lend an ear.
As the CEO (Chief Energizing Officer) at Hartful Living including GaiaHart.com and BizBuilderCards.com; I’m a Messenger and Mentor for women entrepreneurs, connecting them to their capacity to energize their work and their lives in the art of living Hartfully. At BizBuilderCards.com, you can make a living through giving with greeting cards and gifts to build your network net worth as an additive to your current business or an easy way to send gratitude and kindness to the world.