VOICE December 2017 - page 4

Nurture your network.
This means setting aside
time to stay in touch, or re-establish relationships
that may have lapsed. A couple of hours a month (or
equivalent) seems to be enough to do this. Messaging
on LinkedIn, emailing or picking up the phone all
work. For the strategic network get out and about
and put your ‘antenna’ up to potential new contacts.
This don’t mean that you physically should get out
and about, doing this virtually is also good practice.
On LinkedIn ask someone to introduce you if you can
see they are 1st level connections. Going to network-
ing events such as conferences, exhibitions and in-
dustry specific meetings can be daunting. Remember,
people love to talk about themselves, so some well-
chosen questions to open-up the dialogue such as
‘what inspired you to come to this event’? and ‘what
did you think of the last speaker’? are great icebreak-
ers. Follow-up the conversation with a LinkedIn re-
quest to connect. But please, please write a personal
note to them, not the standard one liner that
LinkedIn suggest.
Pay it forward.
If you only use your network to gain
benefit for yourself, your contacts will realise this
over time and will stop giving you support and infor-
mation when you need it. Start by
giving them something. Develop an
abundance mentality. So, if you see
an article, for example, that seems to
address an issue you can hear one of
your colleagues has, share it expect-
ing nothing in return. Your generos-
ity will be paid back multiple times.
Our video recommendation for this edition of Voice
is, Millennials in the Workplace by Simon Sinek. This
may be one that you have seen before as it has been
viewed more than 30 million times, but well worth a
revisit. In the video Sinek talks about how Millenni-
als, by his definition those born after 1984 are con-
necting, or not connecting, with their workplaces. He
identifies four key reasons why this is happening.
We Recommend..
Click the text to
watch the video.
Millennials and
Karen Frost
Failed Parenting Strategies
He believes that due to poor parenting strategies,
Millennials are arriving in the workplace unprepared
for the reality of working life. He states that:
“they graduate, and they get a job and they’re thrust
into the real world and in an instant, they find out
they are not special, their moms can’t get them a pro-
motion, that you get nothing for coming in last and by
the way you can’t just have it because you want it. In
an instant their entire self-image is shattered. So, we
have an entire generation that is growing up with
lower self-esteem than previous generations.”
His second point is about the impact of technology
and social media. His point here is that research has
shown that social media and its use on smart phones
releases the chemical dopamine into our systems.
This is the very chemical that makes us feel great and
can cause an addiction to any activity, be it eating,
drinking or Facebook. His concern is that this situa-
tion has created a dependency on smart phones and a
generation in which “deep meaningful relationships
are not there because they never practiced the skill-
Sinek states in the video that Millennials have been
brought up in an age of instant gratification. But this
has left them with a challenge. “Everything you want
you can have .…. Instant gratification, except, job sat-
isfaction and strength of relationships….. they are
slow, meandering, uncomfortable, messy processes.”
So, he states, the key skill set is patience and the
recognition that making an impact is a complex pro-
cess that takes time.
His fourth reason he calls “environment” and the fact
that as organisations we have neither recognised this
situation or indeed put in place strategies to lead and
manage Millennials effectively. He believes that Mil-
lennials have been “dealt a bad hand” and that it’s not
their fault. So, we need to lead and manage Millenni-
als in a different way to grow and develop them as
people. To help them to perform, to connect with our
organisations in a way that enables them to reach
their potential. And he makes some very practical
suggestions in the video as to how to do this.
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