Tru Access Blog - Millennial Communication “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate”. So says The Captain from the classic movie “Cool Hand Luke”. I’m sure many of my millennial crew will not be familiar with that quote or the movie. Although, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the members of team millennial have actually heard the line before. If so, it was probably just from one of their Generation X or Baby Boomer bosses reciting that line to them in an effort to be funny or witty with feedback regarding a misinterpreted email or other formal communication.

An area where we all have to do better in establishing Culturational Chemistry in the workplace is in effective communication. After all, that is the key to any successful relationship.

Where I’ve seen this become challenging at times is in the different forms of communication. Facebook, texting and tweeting are becoming more acceptable forms of communication in the workplace, which bodes well for millennials. These communication forms are native language to this generation. A source of frustration for older generation leadership however, is the expressed inability of millennials to communicate effectively in more traditional channels of communication. This includes in person meetings or presentations, emails and phone calls. The permeating belief is that because the more millennial-friendly forms of communication mentioned above tends to lend it self to shortened and abbreviated language and slang terminology, this hinders many millennials from communicating in an effective and/or professional manner in the more traditional means of communicating.

My suggestion to all of you in senior leadership is to provide clear-cut examples of what is acceptable and appropriate for all forms of communication to your new young talent from day one.

And to my millennials, here are a few tips you should keep in mind.

1. Face-to face communication is not just about your words. Studies show that human communication consists of 55% body language, 38% tone and only 7% of the actual words we use. If you aren’t accustomed to a lot of face-to- face communication, this may be something you need to work on to ensure you body is speaking the same language as your words.

2. Keep in mind that it is difficult to communicate tone and mood in an email. Always be aware of and sensitive to that. Email in the workplace is a formal form of communication and requires a level of professionalism that represents the company and not just you. Words should be spelled out correctly and in their entirety.

3. Your tone is the top percentage attribute on the phone, so make sure you use the appropriate tone based on what you want to convey. And as tempting as it may be to multitask, minimize your distractions and employ good listening skills. Believe it or not, the person on the other end can tell if you’re distracted or inattentive.

“When we change the way we communicate, we change society” ― Clay Shirky

#NoShortcuts #Millennials