NetSpeed Learning Solutions July 2017
New Leaders Value
Collaborative Cultures
Millennial workers are flooding the workplace and, as you surely know by now, they are expected to make up over 75% of the workforce by the year 2020. The oldest members of this generation are in their mid-30's and starting to move into their first management roles. While it's easy to stereotype the entire generation as lazy, self-absorbed, lacking loyalty, and unrealistic about their career prospects, it would also be a mistake to underestimate their potential.
Research demonstrates that there are both similarities and differences between Millennials and generations that have preceded them. Just like the generations before them, the characteristics of this generation have been influenced by societal changes and events, which for Millennials include: the collapse of the housing market; economic recession; staggering student loan debt; endless conflict in the Middle East; severe weather events; rapid technology changes; and the impact of social media on communication.
In a recent survey, a full 91% say they want to lead others, and for many of these aspirational leaders, their definition of leadership is "empowering others to succeed." Millennials value communication and relationship building. Educated through collaborative activities and projects, they expect to learn, grow, and lead in collaborative workplaces. Influenced by social media, they expect to be connected with their peers as they solve challenging problems together. This generation places a high value on mentoring and coaching and expects to receive personal attention, praise, and feedback from their leaders.
This chart summarizes what they do and don't care about in the new workplace:
Don't Care About
Do Care About
Autocratic Leadership
Transformational Leadership
Rigid Rules
Isolation and Little Feedback
Connection Through Technology
If you'd like to learn more about how to prepare this next generation for leadership, join us at our next one-hour, complimentary webinar, Preparing New Leaders for Frontline Management, Wednesday, July 19 at 1:00 pm ET / 10:00 am PT.
Download an infographic Millennial Leaders on the Move that describes what is most important to the next generation of leaders. 

Cynthia Clay signature
Cynthia Clay
Virtual Trainer Tips: Put Yourself
in Your Participants' Shoes!
Recently I had the opportunity to speak at a conference that took place in San Diego. For one of the evening events, the conference speakers were treated to dinner at a local restaurant by the conference organizers. I'd never been to this restaurant and I'm nearly positive I will never go there again. Don't get me wrong, the food was tasty and filling. The company was excellent. It was a pleasant evening all around. But there were two aspects of the experience that were memorable for all the wrong reasons.
First, we were led through the restaurant to an outdoor seating area. And by "outdoor" I mean the floor was actually dirt. Any person who put their purse or bag down on the dirty ground and then placed it on their lap found dirt all over their clothing and hands. That necessitated a trip to the restroom to wash hands before eating. But, even weirder still, was the juxtaposition of the men's and women's rooms.
When I entered the women's room, I glanced to my left and found myself looking at a man who had entered the men's room at the same time. I rapidly made my way to the stalls and prayed there would be more privacy there. When I looked for the washroom sinks, I realized that the men's and women's sinks were positioned across from each other. As I washed my hands, I tried to avoid eye contact with the gentleman immediately across from me, now washing his hands. Yikes! I wanted to reapply my lipstick but realized that the mirrors were actually behind me. As I turned to see my reflection and fumbled in my purse for my lipstick, I could see the man behind me now reflected in the mirror, drying his hands. I just wanted out of there! It was embarrassing and awkward.
Let's call this a failed architectural design experiment, a creative idea that wasn't thoroughly tested with half the audience. I can't imagine any woman in a focus group responding, "Why, yes, I'd love to share my restroom with men washing their hands. That sounds like a fantastic idea. Juggling my purse while attempting to apply lipstick?  Go for it-I need the exercise. And don't forget to ensure that the outdoor patio area is made of dirt. I like dirt!"
Why am I telling you this story? Because oftentimes we put our learners in similar, awkward positions. If you think about what occurred in that situation, you realize that the restaurant did not really consider the experience of their customers. (Either that, or they decided that their creative idea trumped their customers' comfort.) As we design and deliver training activities, we want to remember to create safe learning experiences that don't push people far beyond their comfort zones. Remember the Goldilocks Rule: Too little challenge leads to boredom; too much challenge feels threatening and shuts down learning; just the right amount of challenge captures interest and attention.
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