I have dreamed of surfing since I was a teenager. One problem – I grew up in Minnesota. My state is the furthest from any ocean in North America, so waves were not easily accessible. Having been recently invited to speak on the island of Kauai, where surfing originated, this bucket-list opportunity was primed. On top of that, my wife Lisa’s childhood friend, a school teacher and surfing instructor, now lives in Kauai.
In the 21st century, there’s no doubt that each of us will spend considerable time interacting with those of a different culture (or other diversities). Trust-building isn’t easy, and it can be especially daunting the more differences that are present. Here’re some top tips and discussion questions from chapter 14 of The Trust Edge that can help. Consider printing this post to work on with your team this week.
Most conflict occurs because of a lack of clarity in communication, so I feel it is important to address here. Expect conflict. Learn to deal with it. Anytime there’s more than one person, you’re bound to find conflict. It’s only natural. We all have separate backgrounds, different tendencies, and unique perspectives. It’s no surprise we disagree from time to time. I am always amazed at the splits in friendships, churches, and businesses over a little conflict. Who do you agree with 100% of the time? Nobody. I don’t even agree with those I love the most, all of the time.
Stay away from hefty long-term contracts. (9 of 9 in series)
Millennials are just as committed as boomers, but it looks a whole lot different. Whereas boomers and prior generations were committed to companies, Gen Y is committed to meaningful missions. They get passionate about social issues and think of organizations as platforms to carry out their purpose/mission. According to Marcus and Jane Buckingham, millennials are expected to have at least seven positions during their careers.
Set and expect high ethical standards. (8 of 9 in series)
The 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer found that only 17.5% of people around the globe trust their business and government leaders. The sad truth is that Gen Y expects ethical mishaps from many of their leaders and they’re probably personally influenced by grimy college experiences and superficial reality television shows. There is great opportunity for improvement, and Gen Y wants it.
Provide the newest technology. (7 of 9 in series)
The lives of Gen Y mark the dawn of post-humanism. Gadgets are like an extension of a millennial, allowing them to work better and faster. And, they’ve projected and marketed avatars of themselves through social media for a decade. They become quickly frustrated using techniques and tools that are outdated, because they know better technology will allow them to work smarter, not harder, and get better results. Provide the latest technology that makes sense, provide opportunities to sell you on the value of other technology, and seriously consider the impact. You might be surprised at how many resources they’re aware of, and how they can help.
We’ve endured and even enjoyed one frigid winter in Minnesota this year. From –55 F windchill to plenty of snow, I’ve found the best way to survive the winter is to embrace it. Our family loves to skate, ski, snowmobile, and sled. Take a look a Isaiah’s new jump.
It is easy to stay inside and complain about the weather. I takes work to put on snow clothes and get outside. But, when you do, you feel better every time. It is easy to complain about not getting a good nights sleep. It takes work to go to bed on time, stop drinking caffeine, or shut off the TV. It is easy to complain, but it takes work to do what you can do about the situation.
For many things about which we complain, the worst part is taking the first step. Next time you want to complain, ask yourself, “What one step could I take to do something about that?”
Now get out and enjoy the weather.
Give flexibility instead of a strict 9-to-6 Monday through Friday schedule. (6 of 9 in series)
According to a recent Fox Small Business report, 85% of Americans say that their stress is a serious health issue. American millennials desperately want to find a healthy balance. They’re victims to some of the world’s worst divorce rates, and they don’t want their children to experience the same hardships. Part of their strong desire for meaning is fulfilled through flexibility that allows them to scamper away from the office for their daughter’s early Monday afternoon piano recital, to have lunch with their family on Wednesday, and to hit the gym on Thursday morning. The lines between work and home are blurred for Gen Y. They’re happy to make up time over the weekend and interested to work from their home office using Skype and Google Docs. Bring happiness to your millennials through flexibility and accountability, and you’ll gain deeper commitment, and, in turn, better results.
Situate them in workspaces conducive to collaboration. (5 of 9 in series)
Millennials are also known as “generation we” because of their strong social mindset. Despite growing up in the most individualistic nation in history, American millennials think and act quite socially. They know that better results and meaning come through collaboration. They’re used to the flat connected world and used to working with people from varying cultures. Gen Y knows that strategizing and executing with 3 or 8 or 21 varying perspectives leads to high caliber and balanced results. Consider setting up your office in a way that’s more conducive to collaboration and get increased productivity by letting millennials work and compete on teams.