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This is a guest post by Tarun Reddy, Digital Marketing Manager at 16best.net, expert in Market Research, SEO, Inbound marketing, content marketing, and lead generation. tarun@16bestco.com

Technology has surely come a long way. Who’d have thought online schooling could be a full blown actuality? Yet, eLearning today is changing our lives for the better. Millennials stand to benefit the most from this digital revolution. The first generation to grow up with technology in its truest sense, they know the world is not bound by geography or time anymore. Anything they want is just a click away. And let it be known, these digital natives are not just about unicorn frappuccinos and Snapchat; self-development and knowledge rank very high on their lists.

eLearning is just what it sounds like. It’s the use of electronic technology for educational purposes, shifting the concept of traditional classrooms to our favorite digital devices. We’ve all heard of Coursera and Udemy. These eLearning platforms have opened a vista of opportunities for those willing to learn. Be it graphic designing or medical science, theater acting or corporate leadership, writing fiction or an academic thesis – there’s nothing you can’t find on these sites. Although did you know the seeds of eLearning have been around for much longer? We’re talking about Plato. Not the ancient Greek philosopher but the first computer assisted instruction (CAI) system. Created in 1960 by Donald L. Bitzer, schools and businesses have had a long history of using CAI. But it wasn’t until the 2000s and the global explosion of social networking sites that eLearning truly took off.

Today, this industry is worth a whopping $165 billion. North America accounts for most of the revenue, but other regions are catching up fast. In this day and age, when information is power, nobody can afford the damage caused by a stagnant skill set. Evolving with the times is a necessity. And nobody knows how to do this better than the millennials.

eLearning And Millennials: A Perfect Match

These two are truly a match made in heaven. Here’s why.

The term millennial refers to anyone born in the timeframe between the early 1980s and the early 2000s – right when technology was booming. Unlike others of the previous generations who had to learn to work their way around even basic technology, these young kids are, it seems, born with the genes. With a pen and paper, they may falter a little but give them a digital screen and they will shine. This inclination towards anything that is technology means they are all for the concept of eLearning.

We all know how hyper-connected the millennials are. They have a need to be in the know of things at all times; this is why social networking is such a big deal. Constantly on their digital devices, millennials expect connectivity from the other side as well. After all, a disconnected system is inefficient for everyone. The biggest bane with traditional learning is how it doesn’t support the digital interface. However, eLearning makes accessing education possible from any part of the world and anytime you choose. Millennials vie for feedback. A generic “great work” remark doesn’t do much for them. They need to know what it is that they did right and the exact areas of improvement. Even in early schooling, individualized feedback and attention are preferable to the “one size fits all” approach that many educational institutions tend to take. With eLearning, though, they are part of a constant loop of feedback and are given new goals to accomplish. They can keep track of their progress, self-monitor their way into more knowledge, and learn more efficiently than they ever can in the bounded classroom with hundreds of others.

Unlike what the media keeps portraying them as, millennials are extremely dedicated to self-development. The yogilates class that’s all the rage with them? That isn’t just a whim but a deep-rooted desire to be better. In earlier eras, changes took place much slower; our great-grandparents never really experienced any drastic shift of worldview. Today, things are transforming by the minute. Millennials are bang in the middle of the daily revolution and they are taking it in stride. Standing still, they know, means being pushed out of the rat race. Gulping down new skills and evolving into better, more efficient people is a necessity now. And eLearning is the easiest way to make it happen. If you want to know what the next big thing is, ask a millennial. Chances are not only they know it like the back of their hand, they are also neck deep in it.

With an on the go lifestyle and a constant lookout for the next great adventure, eLearning is their best friend. Millennials are highly achievement-oriented, driven, and genuinely love mastering new skills – the more, the better. But with juggling all the tasks they do, how can they go about learning the latest skills? eLearning does not only facilitate all the learning their heart’s desire but ensures that bite-sized information doesn’t overwhelm the learner. The attention span of millennials is notoriously low. Good luck having them hooked on anything for longer than 20 minutes. Micro-learning might be the answer here. The short yet informative videos you see on Khan Academy? That’s micro-learning. These are basically morsel of information, granular, varying, and most importantly, concise. Micro eLearning modules make learning much more engaging for young wandering minds. In fact, they improve understanding, application levels, and retention by as much as 30%.

What Makes eLearning Great

Now that we know millennials and eLearning go hand in hand, let’s also understand how eLearning works and what makes it an amazing learning solution for every one of us.

Are you ever in control in a classroom? You study a course, designed to the T for you, but by facilitators who don’t take your individual needs into accounts, and it is highly likely they are completely out of touch with the reality of the outside world. In an eLearning environment, you are a king. You choose a course of your liking and a syllabus you find engaging. You choose your pace, revisit a topic as many times as you like, and are in complete control of how you choose to study.

Not everyone looking to develop herself is a young student. Many professionals, at different stages of their careers, want to grow their skill sets, maybe for a career switch or just to be better at their jobs. Years ago, however, there was not much one could do except pray for a training program by the office. Today though, more power belongs to the employees. Develop any relevant skills and impress your colleagues with the flexibility of eLearning.

Got 30 minutes to spare? Instead of scrolling the Facebook newsfeed, you can simply do a bit of learning on the side without having to leave your house or office. Don’t believe it will work? Here are the numbers. The 53% of employees claim eLearning increased their productivity and engagement.

It’s not just individuals who can benefit from eLearning. Organizations are working it to their advantage too. With industries spinning 180 degrees being the new normal, employers are often at their wit’s end, trying to train their employees. After all, introducing the latest software or new techniques to a huge number of people is no easy task. And it’s definitely not cheap. Some companies can simply not afford to constantly keep employees updated; the costs are meteoric and anything they manage to learn will soon become a thing of the past. This is the making of a failing business.

eLearning, however, is a cost-effective solution to your office training needs. Once you have a top-notch Learner Management System (LMS), training the entire organization is much simpler as long as you have the necessary resources and an engaging interface for your employees.

Join The eLearning Revolution

The jack of all trades is the one who is most in demand these days. Specialization, although great, is simply not as important as it used to be. A working knowledge on as many fields as possible and adaptability is what the world wants right now.

If you don’t want to fall behind in the race, it’s time to upgrade yourself. There are tonnes of eLearning sites you can check out. Coursera and Udemy are, of course, well known to us all. They even provide Ivy League university certified courses! If you don’t find what you’re looking for, there’s also Lynda, Udacity, Open Culture, edX, Tuts+ and plenty more for you to try.

These are all asynchronous platforms. That means you don’t have to study or avail resource materials in real time. Anybody who is enrolled can access course material at any time of their choosing. When you’ve got the internet at your fingertips, there is no excuse for a skill gap anymore. Forget the skill gap, for those of us who love the high of knowledge, eLearning is a godsend. No topic is out of limits, and nor are there any restraints holding you back. Enroll in a course right now to become the best version of yourself.

The post Millennials: eLearning Is Real appeared first on launchbox.

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In honor of Memorial Day and in appreciation and remembrance, we thought to share some insights on how the Millennial idea of leadership (laid back, informal, and non-authoritarian) and the military’s idea of leadership (strict, traditional, and authoritarian) seem to be at perfect odds with one another.

But what if the contrast between Millennial’s idea of laid-back leadership and the traditional toughness of the military is actually just a different side of the same coin? What if Millennials and the military are really compatible when they each take the time to understand each other just a little better?

Having worked with both Millennials and leaders in both the military and law Millennials, I know the common phrases that drive leaders nuts when they hear them. But I also know what Millennials really mean when they say certain cringe-inducing things.

The truth is, if military leaders look just under the surface, they may find there is less reason to be frustrated with the things Millennials say and more of an opportunity to build, coach, guide, and connect with these future leaders.

“Can I Take on a Leadership Role, Now?”

In every fiction, you can find a little fact. It isn’t necessarily fair to paint all Millennials with a broad brush, assuming they are all the product of an instant-gratification, everyone-gets-a-trophy childhood. But it is true that Millennials are confident in their abilities, are quick to ask about how they can take on more impactful roles, and they aren’t much interested in grinding for 20 years to get there.

Sometimes this does not mesh well with the structured, earn-your-stripes military. And with rampant Millennial stereotypes, it is understandable why military leaders would grow frustrated with Millennials seemingly asking to receive their dues before they are earned.

But Millennial’s interest in leadership positions is not actually about cutting corners at all. The real source of Millennial’s eagerness to move up the ranks is their passion, dedication and desire to make an impact as soon as possible.

Passion, dedication, and the desire to make an impact. Not bad characteristics of a service member either, right?

Similar to a corporate setting, we suggest military leaders harness that energy and passion by clearly laying out the path to larger, more impactful roles as well as by creating opportunities for Millennials in the military to make an impact all throughout their military journey. These opportunities to make an impact early and often, along with a clear vision of how their future may look, can help keep Millennials engaged throughout their military career.

“What if We Busted Myths and Did Things Differently?”

Receiving suggestions on how to do things differently from Millennials can be difficult to hear for some. With their reputation as the “me” generation, it is easy to blow off a Millennial’s suggestion or critiques as just another know-it-all Millennial trying not to conform to standard procedure.

But creating opportunities for Millennials to share their insights is a chance for the military to utilize the ingenuity of young talent that has grown up with greater access to the wealth of human knowledge than any other generation in history.

Of course, there is a time and place. When it is time to get down to business, Millennials need to help with structure and follow orders and procedures as they are trained to do. But creating opportunities during off-time for Millennials to share new and innovative ways of doing things can yield valuable improvements for how things are done in the military and at the same time helps retain Millennial talent by allowing them to feel they are making an impact.  This is similar to what was shared in our article about reverse mentorship as the key to success for millennials and law firms.

“Hi, how are you?”

Mark Zuckerberg’s hoodie cemented the idea of the informal Millennial in pop culture. Though Silicon Valley was always laid back, it was Millennials who relaxed dress codes, made professional relationships more personal, and helped flatten organization structure across the country.

Of course, tradition and formality are cornerstones of the American military, and for good reason. Military leaders should expect that as Millennial recruits exit the buses at Basic Training, they may take longer than previous generations to adjust to the structure and formalities of military life.

There are ways to help this transition along. For example, making sure that Millennial recruits understand why things are done the way they are can go a long way in Millennials compliance in behaving as they are expected. Military leaders don’t need to bend over backward for Millennials, but a little explanation can go a long way in preserving worthy talent.

The military, as well as other professions that emphasize structure such as law enforcement, do not need to be at odds with Millennials. Though at first glance they may appear to be polar-opposites, Millennials actually have a lot to offer the military and other services with a rich tradition. Of course, it will take Millennials adjusting to a more structured and traditional environment, but leaders in the armed services can help this tradition along by taking a moment to really hear what Millennials are really trying to express.  Just listen.

The concepts I’m talking about are simple, have been around for years, and work with all disparate groups, however, to implement them isn’t always easy.  Sometimes it takes an outside perspective to help you see what small changes can be made to make a big impact overall. At launchbox, we do this kind of thing every day, from a personal one on one level all the way up to large organizations.

As an example of connecting and bridging the gap between military and civilians of all ages, as part of this blog, I want to mention an organization that has been extremely rewarding to work with, The Honor Foundation, which is a tremendous resource for Navy SEALs and the U.S. Special Operations community transitioning out of active duty and into civilian life. We’ve provided their members with a custom version of our Strengths & Story workshop to help them be able to translate the skills they acquired in the military and articulate them in a way that allows them to connect with a recruiter or hiring manager when they’re looking for a civilian job.  It’s been a privilege and an honor working with these exceptional people and seeing how they apply the dedication, skills, and passion that they have obtained from their service careers towards new professional opportunities.

If you have any questions or comments about what we do, shoot us an email or give us a call and we’d be happy to share a few things you can do to make a change that’ll help your different generations work more effectively and productively together, dan@launchbox365.com or 858.314.9867

The post Passion and Power: A Generational Divide appeared first on launchbox.

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For years, attorneys have used traditional approaches to mentorship. The familiar, apprentice-type relationships where experienced, tenured lawyers provide advice to the new lawyers in their firm.

While mentorship programs are common in most firms, technology, an evolution of social norms, and the economy have changed the world and millennials comprise a new generation of lawyers that want something more, and they are willing to work for it. Millennials want to be heard and should be heard to enhance succession planning and firm sustainability.

Firms have good reason to listen to what millennials want. Millennials are the largest cohort of the workforce. In today’s world, millennials’ perspective, approach, and relevance are sorely needed for future law firm growth. However, millennials are also leaving the professional industries faster than ever before. Many firms already know they need to change how they conduct management and mentorship to help attract and retain millennial talent. They just don’t know how to ensure the next generation of law firms and law firm leaders can successfully emerge.

Enter reverse mentorship! Reverse mentorship is a concept that provides millennials and more experienced lawyers the platform to teach one another about the business and practice, and also to share new ideas openly. Through reverse mentoring, millennials can thrive and contribute in ways that will launch their careers like never before while still learning valuable lessons from the more experienced members of an organization. Intrigued? Not sure where to start? No worries—we got ya covered!

Understand the Millennial Myth

Young lawyers who want to bring reverse mentorship to their firms should first understand how senior lawyers may perceive them, and they should learn to articulate their value to the organization.

The nature of employment, motivation, and service are completely different from when senior lawyers came up through the ranks. That difference, however, has unfortunately painted the whole millennial generation with negative stereotypes, such as being whiny, lazy, entitled, and unprofessional. The truth about millennials is that they are misunderstood.

Their whining? That comes from a desire for their work to be meaningful. Lazy? Only if you can be lazy and also be one of the most entrepreneurial generations in history. Entitled? More like burdened with college loans, super smart, questioning, and committed to authenticity. Unprofessional? Again, is being different unprofessional? It’s thanks to millennials that many companies now promote work-life balance, require an innovative and transparent approach to problem-solving, and are integrating new technologies.

Opportunities to learn and share ideas across generations quickly bust generational stereotypes. Through open communication, what was once misinterpreted as just a “whiny millennial” can be understood as the voice of someone who wants to contribute in a significant way to the success of the company. What was once seen as “unprofessional” is quickly understood as a new way to achieve better work-life balance.

Millennials want to contribute, help, learn, and grow in an organization. As a profession, we need to ensure that senior lawyers are aware of how much millennials can contribute to the future of the legal profession. Reverse mentorship can achieve this goal.

Discover How Reverse Mentoring Will Bridge the Generational Gap

As the world continues to rapidly change, law firms need to ensure that they remain relevant and have a solid succession plan. Business leaders who are out of touch with younger generations can wreak havoc on a company. Being in touch with the next generation’s likes, dislikes, thoughts, needs, and values is part of a winning strategy to retain millennial attorney talent, and also to attract them as clients.

The truth is, to stay ahead of the game, law firms need millennials’ help in planning for the future.

There’s no better teacher than experience. Just in the same way that a senior partner can pass down lessons learned over the years, young lawyers know social media inside and out as we practically grew up with a screen in our hands. If the goal of mentoring is to pass on your experience to others, no one has more experience with social media than us. In many respects, we can help our firms achieve our goals more quickly, efficiently, and intuitively. You just have to trust us.

—Ethan Wall, President / The Social Media Law Firm

Reverse mentoring programs can also benefit bar associations. The Marin County Bar Association was recently awarded an American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Affiliate Star of the Quarter for its mentorship program that featured a reverse mentoring component. When asked about the inception of the program, then President Dorothy Chou Proudfoot, who initiated the project with the Barristers and Diversity Committee chairs, said:

I was looking for a way to tweak our own somewhat lapsed mentorship program to attract good mentors to participate. In 2017, at the first Barrister’s Happy Hour of the year, we had a great discussion with the Barristers in attendance about how organizations and individuals could promote and enhance the budding careers of Barristers and encourage involvement through opportunities such as featuring them as speakers, and the idea basically took off from there.

As is often in life, the simplest solution to cracking the scary millennial code is the most effective strategy: communication. Senior lawyers can use reverse mentorship to sit down and have real, honest conversations with their young talent to learn how their business, both internal and external, can better appeal to and serve millennials. Reverse mentoring provides the best opportunity for everyone in a firm to feel valued and respected.

Get Tools to Create a Reverse Mentorship Environment

So, you’ve decided you want to try to implement reverse mentoring in your organization. How do you get it done? You need a thoughtful plan that involves building key relationships with people who can make reverse mentoring a reality in your organization. Here are a few steps to help you get started.

Create Mindset. To create a positive mindset that will be open to reverse mentoring, you must start with an honest self-assessment. The best way to become confident in connecting and building relationships is to truly understand who you are and how you add value. Not sure where to start? See if your organization offers any self-assessment tools or trainings, or check out the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or the Clifton Strengths assessment.

Communicate Authentically. Once you understand yourself and have a mindset of helping others, you’re ready to start connecting and building relationships with decision-makers. Identify a senior lawyer in your firm to be your mentor and schedule time with that person by suggesting coffee, drinks, or lunch. This is a great way to start an informal discussion on the work you’re doing, how you’re accomplishing it, what difficulties you’re facing, and how those challenges can be overcome to better serve the organization.

Keep Building the Relationship. Make sure you are always focused on building relationships. One effective strategy for strengthening relationships and building trust is to ask questions such as:

  • How can I help you finish this project?
  • Was the work I did on X helpful in finishing the assignment?
  • Was there anything I could have done to make this project easier for you?
  • Do I have your permission to share an idea I have for improving X?

Be direct, but thoughtful. As you begin to have these newly framed conversations with your mentor, you’ll begin to see common themes or challenges come up and either learn how your mentor overcame a similar obstacle, or use it as an opportunity to brainstorm new ways to tackle it. It’s a great opportunity to build positive and productive interactions between generations.

Now that you have done your prep work, you’re ready to pitch a reverse mentorship program. When you’re approaching the idea of a reverse mentorship to your mentor, remember the Platinum Rule: Treat others how they want to be treated. Make the conversation about them and the organization and not about you. Share your vision of how reverse mentorship will be an effective tool for sharing ideas, identifying more efficiencies, and opening up communication to help everyone in the firm. Come prepared with a thoughtful proposal that will help get your mentor onboard with the idea. Remember that everyone at the firm is busy and free time is a luxury, so make sure to provide the best value in the shortest amount of time.

When making a pitch, we suggest coming up with both formal and informal methods for developing a reverse mentorship program. You could consider enlisting the help of an experienced organization or come up with your own less formal ideas for starting a reverse mentorship. No matter what approach you decide to implement, reverse mentorship benefits everyone and can provide a treasure trove of unique insights that might otherwise go unheard.

Who could argue with that?

by Dan Negroni and Joann Grages Burnett
Originally appeared: American Bar Association

The post Reverse Mentorship Is the Key to Success for Millennials and Their Law Firms appeared first on launchbox.

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The meme below has been circulating on the internet for a while now and for good reason. In a single image, it illustrates the stark contrast between a boss and a leader.

The “boss” will look familiar to most people. Like a general in the army, a boss maintains order, doles out instructions, and punishes poor performance. A boss’ relationship with their people is colder; their staff function only out of a sense of duty, following the commands of someone else with more power.

But thanks to Millennials and their need for professional development and authentic relationships, the boss approach to management is slowly dying. In offices around the world, bosses are being replaced by leaders.

Leaders take a my-door-is-always-open to teach, help, guide, and learn approach to management. Being a leader is not about authority, but instead about support, empathy, and maybe even vulnerability. Mistakes and even failure are used as catalysts to teach and learn, staff receive consistent coaching and mentoring ala intentional feedback from their superiors on how they can improve, and workplace relationships are personal and genuine.

The difference between a boss and a leader is crucial. Being a boss may make some feel important, but young talent responds quickly by walking out of the door or giving only the minimal effort required to appease the boss in charge. Both are costly to organizations.

More motivated young talent, greater respect from colleagues, and improved performance for everyone comes with real leadership. I am sure that all sounds great. But how do you actually make the transition from being a boss to a leader?

Making the Transition from Boss to Leader

One of the most important things that we focus on in our workshops at launchbox is teaching people how to become their best self, focused on impacting others, or in other words, an awesome leader that everyone wants to work with. This is an intensive learning process, but there are a few things you can do right now to start making the transition yourself.

Become Self Aware and Realize Authoritarian Management is Temporary

In terms of management style, being an authoritarian hard-ass is the easy way out. It is all emotion, no thought, and it doesn’t require you to come up with any actual solutions or impact.

And that is why the leaders who are most effective, not just with Millennials but as managers in general, present themselves as supportive mentors and coaches to their younger staff instead.

Rather than yell, a leader walks their people through their mistakes, identifies ways they can improve, and helps support others while they try to turn their advice into tools for others’ actions. These are not moments for the leader to exercise power, they are teaching, learning and growing opportunities.

This approach is critical when working with Millennials. Millennials enter the workforce lacking key professional skills, but they are also incredibly eager to learn. The best leaders use that eagerness to their advantage, coaching and mentoring their young talent at every opportunity.

Provide Constant Feedback

The days of solely relying on a yearly performance review are over. In fact, even increasing to quarterly reviews will leave your younger talent feeling forgotten. To truly satisfy their need for feedback, leaders should be providing their Millennials feedback, on average, about once per day/month depending what is needed.  We call it “on-demand.”

That may sound like a lot, but keep in mind, Millennials are also not expecting full-blown official performance review meetings either, they just want I got your back “drive-bys” pardon the politically incorrect reference.

Instead, Millennials want regular, flash-feedback on their performance so they can be sure they are always working towards improving as professionals and are aligned with their leaders. Whether it is a 10-minute exchange on Slack or a cup of coffee on Monday morning, Millennials don’t need an official meeting. They just want to pick the brain of their leader to understand how they can improve and re-establish that both parties are humans trying to do the best job they can. And attain madass skills.

Inspire Through Authenticity

Why are Millennials more interested in what influencers on Instagram are wearing than what massive corporation is pushing via million dollar ad campaigns?

The answer is authenticity.

And authenticity is as critical for effectively leading Millennials as it is for getting them to buy your product.

Authentic leaders create real relationships with their staff. They share their personal story and they listen to the stories of their people. They develop relationships that go beyond the workplace. And they aren’t above letting their people know they appreciate their hard work.

The result is that authentic leaders and their followers begin to understand each other as people with a genuine connection. Their staff wants to do a good job not out of a sense of duty, but because they care about how their actions affect their colleagues and leaders. It becomes about helping people and working together to achieve goals as a team or contribution. And that intrinsic motivation is how you truly get the best out of people.

Becoming a true leader and leaving the boss behind is no easy task: it demands far higher emotional IQ, more depth of thought, learning, vulnerability, other focused disciplines, and more daily effort than being an authoritarian boss. However, those who can achieve the status of a true leader reap benefits that make all the extra effort worth it.

The post How to Become a True Leader of People appeared first on launchbox.

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The Multigenerational Workplace: Understanding and Hiring Millennials - Career Channel - YouTube

Recently I had the honor and privilege to be interviewed by Phil Blair from Manpower on UCTV.  We had a thoughtful and fun conversation on how companies and individuals can better understand millennials and how to hire them with more clarity and intention.  Here are the top 4 things that came from our chat and things you should keep in mind to accelerate along the learning curve to better understand how to maximize your engagement with millennials.

Each Side is Accountable

In order for the workplace to really create results, both sides, the millennials and managers, need to become next-generation leaders and be able to bridge the communication gap.  It works best when both sides are held accountable for doing so.  Managers must take second to ask the Millennial what kind of feedback or training would help them the most to success in their role.  And vice versa, Millennials must also be accountable for sharing their value and the question to their manager; how can I best serve you?

Technology Changed Everything

Technology has changed the way newer generations receive, process, and share information.  Information is on-demand and available whenever a Millennial wants it.  This has led to a faster pace of life that Millennials are naturally more comfortable with.  As such, Millennials have an expectation that everything should be available and accessible when they want it and how they want it.  If you’re aware that this need and expectation exists and if you’re able to provide information to them when they want it they’ll more favorably respond to you.

Help Millennials Articulate Their Value

Millennials are amazing, they just have a difficult time articulating their value.  Be their guide and help them learn how to tell their story and articulate value to your internal and external customers.  It’s actually easy to train millennials to share their story better. We’ve done it 10,000 times, but they need your help to do so.  Be available to give them the tools they need to be able to communicate about themselves that shares how their skills provide value to others and show them how to make it about others, not themselves.  The solution is to teach them how to build better relationships.  These skills are not being taught it in high school, college, and definitely not in the workplace because everyone assumes you should know how to build relationships once you get a job.  Let’s stop complaining that they don’t have the skills to build relationships and guide them to do so!

Shift Your Mindset

The stereotypical manager perspective is I have the gold (control your salary) I make the rules.  Both sides, the manager and the millennial, need to adopt the platinum rule.  Treat others how THEY want to be treated.  Both sides need to understand the other’s perspective and treat them in a way that best serves them.  Use the platinum rule, regardless if you believe you control the gold and control the rules.  To have a good culture everyone must treat one another with respect.  This will also increase Millennial retention.  If you can shift your mindset about millennials and understand that they’re not bad, they’re just different.  Another good idea to build a stronger culture of inclusion for Millennials is to incorporate them into your sphere of influence and treat them as a peer and listen to their ideas.  See our blog on how real mentoring is helping connect the generations.  You can also apply the kaizen approach to spark engagement and conversations from both sides.  Progressive companies understand these approaches.  For example, they don’t just offer food and travel options because millennials demand it and it keeps everyone at work longer (that’s part of it), they do so because it increases productivity and builds a stronger culture when people are congregating more often.  People are social beings.  Providing opportunities for communication and collaboration by bringing people together in casual settings helps build a stronger culture that attracts Millennials.

At the end of the day, the key to successfully managing the increase in multi-generational interactions is strong communication skills.  Furthermore, 80% of jobs found are through people you know.  It’s becoming more critical than ever to learn how to build strong communication skills to build the relationships that’ll get you and your team of millennials to the next level.

The post The Platinum Rule: A Road to Connecting and Growing Millennials appeared first on launchbox.

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The Multigenerational Workplace: Understanding and Hiring Millennials - Career Channel - YouTube

Recently I had the honor and privilege to be interviewed by Phil Blair from Manpower on UCTV.  We had a thoughtful and fun conversation on how companies and individuals can better understand millennials and how to hire them with more clarity and intention.  Here are the top 4 things that came from our chat and things you should keep in mind to accelerate along the learning curve to better understand how to maximize your engagement with millennials.

Each Side is Accountable

In order for the workplace to really create results, both sides, the millennials and managers, need to become next-generation leaders and be able to bridge the communication gap.  It works best when both sides are held accountable for doing so.  Managers must take second to ask the Millennial what kind of feedback or training would help them the most to success in their role.  And vice versa, Millennials must also be accountable for sharing their value and the question to their manager; how can I best serve you?

Technology Changed Everything

Technology has changed the way newer generations receive, process, and share information.  Information is on-demand and available whenever a Millennial wants it.  This has led to a faster pace of life that Millennials are naturally more comfortable with.  As such, Millennials have an expectation that everything should be available and accessible when they want it and how they want it.  If you’re aware that this need and expectation exists and if you’re able to provide information to them when they want it they’ll more favorably respond to you.

Help Millennials Articulate Their Value

Millennials are amazing, they just have a difficult time articulating their value.  Be their guide and help them learn how to tell their story and articulate value to your internal and external customers.  It’s actually easy to train millennials to share their story better. We’ve done it 10,000 times, but they need your help to do so.  Be available to give them the tools they need to be able to communicate about themselves that shares how their skills provide value to others and show them how to make it about others, not themselves.  The solution is to teach them how to build better relationships.  These skills are not being taught it in high school, college, and definitely not in the workplace because everyone assumes you should know how to build relationships once you get a job.  Let’s stop complaining that they don’t have the skills to build relationships and guide them to do so!

Shift Your Mindset

The stereotypical manager perspective is I have the gold (control your salary) I make the rules.  Both sides, the manager and the millennial, need to adopt the platinum rule.  Treat others how THEY want to be treated.  Both sides need to understand the other’s perspective and treat them in a way that best serves them.  Use the platinum rule, regardless if you believe you control the gold and control the rules.  To have a good culture everyone must treat one another with respect.  This will also increase Millennial retention.  If you can shift your mindset about millennials and understand that they’re not bad, they’re just different.  Another good idea to build a stronger culture of inclusion for Millennials is to incorporate them into your sphere of influence and treat them as a peer and listen to their ideas.  See our blog on how real mentoring is helping connect the generations.  You can also apply the kaizen approach to spark engagement and conversations from both sides.  Progressive companies understand these approaches.  For example, they don’t just offer food and travel options because millennials demand it and it keeps everyone at work longer (that’s part of it), they do so because it increases productivity and builds a stronger culture when people are congregating more often.  People are social beings.  Providing opportunities for communication and collaboration by bringing people together in casual settings helps build a stronger culture that attracts Millennials.

At the end of the day, the key to successfully managing the increase in multi-generational interactions is strong communication skills.  Furthermore, 80% of jobs found are through people you know.  It’s becoming more critical than ever to learn how to build strong communication skills to build the relationships that’ll get you and your team of millennials to the next level.

The post The Multigenerational Workplace: Understanding and Hiring Millennials appeared first on launchbox.

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Building Generational Leaders at Law Firms - YouTube

After an amazing 4-city tour of the East Coast Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) Chapters and enjoying great people, great conversation, and great debate, I got to thinking…  What was the number one challenge that affected all these amazing and caring law firm administrators?

Well, it didn’t take long to see a pattern. Very quickly, I saw the challenges these administrators have to balance. On one side, the administrators have their partners coming to them asking (1) how do I deal with whiny millennials, how do I not repeat the same instruction over and over again, how can I teach people that don’t seem to care, and how do I teach motivation and work ethic; while on the other side the millennials see their administrators struggles and ask (2)  how do I explain to senior partners the world is different,  we are more than individual contributors, no you cannot keep your own assistant on a 1 to 1 ratio, and yes you need to shift your mindset too.

What I learned is that all of these great minds desire the same thing, a positive change to create a better place to work (culture), increase engagement, and be provided with respect and assistance to create a great firm capable of achieving so much more!  And the administrators $100,0000 question… how do I create “respect” for my opinion and “buy-in” on how to connect the different generations of employees and clients? I wanted to take time to address this question and share with you the five hacks you can use to win with the boss.

BE BOLD:

Your opinion matters a lot! Mostly, you are the lifeblood of the organization and most partners rely on you more and trust you more than they do each other. You solve all of their relationship challenges internally and sometimes externally.  Be confident in that fact. They need you. The best employees respectfully challenge their bosses with great questions, alternative suggestions, and pragmatic approaches. If it’s a challenge for you to be bold, then politely ask for permission to share your opinion and share with the partners why you think it is critical for the business that they listen to your opinion. It’s possible the news is about an employee, or even worse, a client who wants to leave the firm and it’s in the best interest for the partners to hear the news from you first so they can take action before the consequences become more severe.  If they still don’t want to listen and you’ve exhausted all of your options to do so, then maybe it’s time you move on.  You’re a valuable part of the firm!  Be somewhere where you have the ability to positively impact the firm and make a difference every single day.

MAKE IT ABOUT THE MONEY:

Use the universal language, $$$$$.  Most senior managers and partners can be convinced of almost anything if it makes economic sense. Teach yourself how to speak in terms of ROI (return on investment). Be able to communicate the value of how your idea can potentially make the firm money, save it money, reduce a risk, or create a new opportunity.  Or maybe you want to get more training, learn how to better bridge the generational gap, understand different organizational models, or have more work flexibility.  If so, remember to share how your ideas affect the “dough”. You can also try to obtain metrics and statistics as support that can put a hard number to your idea to demonstrate how much money your idea will make/save by increasing retention, increasing engagement, and providing training on client service and client development. And finally, when you’re teaching your partners the need to change their perspective with different generations, refer to the ROI measures we just talked about and how the shift in mindset will provide real financial value for everyone in the firm. Happy employees = happy clients = more profitability!

PRACTICE THE PLATINUM RULE:

The platinum rule is to treat everyone the way THEY want to be treated. Senior Partners need to understand that the world is different and that the next generation wants different things. And that’s not a good or a bad thing, it’s just different. So speak to them the way they want to be spoken to and teach the next generation how to speak to seniors the way the seniors want to be treated, and vice versa. We need to adopt the platinum rule as a society. It seems like the problem is that we treat everyone how we want to be treated, not how THEY want to be treated. Additionally, and most importantly, everyone needs to understand that this is about the others they serve, not themselves. We call that the WIFThem (What’s In It For Them?) Mindset. To build better relationships, you have to communicate in a way that is relevant to your employee or client.  If done well internally and externally, you can go back and reference rule two above and show how your opinion impacts the client and creates “mo’ money for them! By practicing the platinum rule, you can create a real legacy through everyone you touch… Are you game to try it?

BECOME THE COACH; MASTER THE QUESTION:

In society and in the workplace, especially law firms, we need to learn how to communicate better.  And here’s a big tip… We learn differently now! Technology has made information a lot more accessible but it has also given all of us the attention span of a group of gnats.  There’s a lot out there that competes for our attention.  As a result, a new methodology for learning new concepts has emerged and it’s call micro learning.  Essentially, you learn a little, put it into practice, assess, learn from the results, and repeat the process again with either a new concept or adjusting the one you just learned. We like to call it something else… Coaching! Coaching is high performance, on-demand training for on-the-spot learning. Micro learning through coaching is how we teach new concepts best at launchbox. Also, coaching can be taught to anyone and it’s equally important that coaching is applied up the corporate ladder, as well as down it.  If you can master coaching as a tool for your personal and professional life you’ll be much better off, I promise.  Teach or share a new concept with anyone, such as your kids, spouses, partners, friends, etc. and see how powerful of a tool it can be to not only improve engagement but improve relationships. In addition to teaching a concept, you must first master the power of the question. Before you can share a new concept you need to understand what it is the person you’re coaching truly needs.  If you ask great questions you will win with coaching in any direction, up, down, peer to peer. After all, it’s attorneys that make a living from asking great questions and they should be super familiar with how to do so!

BE REAL & POSITIVE:

Being real, authentic and genuine is necessary with the next generation employee and client, and quite frankly, with all of us. Truth and honesty have been underutilized in our society. If we are honest and authentic in the right way we will win!  As my Dad told me early on, “honesty that kills is still murder.”  So don’t murder, but rather show care and provide value with your words. Communication that is given with the real deal perspective of providing value will always win.  Most of all, remember the story you’re telling cannot just be about you, you have to make your audience the hero of the story.  And when possible, apply the platinum rule we talked about earlier. Also, try gratitude and humility. Any statement where you preface it with what you’re grateful for makes others hear you better. I will end with my favorite tool: positivity! I do not advocate Pollyannaish behavior but how about a good old-fashioned dose of opportunity and positivity. Anyone who is artful enough to frame communication in a way that demonstrates a growth versus a fixed mindset will always win.

With all of that said, take another look at the above tools and see if you can coach by framing issues, with permission, great question asking, and the platinum rule. You will win 100% of the time, I promise!  Teach these tools universally at your firm and ensure your culture rewards the behavior you want and not the opposite nonsense you don’t.

So go do it! Teach and train both sides how to practice these 5 rules if you want a kick ass culture.  If you need help along the way, call or text me 858-344-5811. I dare you to care that much. I want to help you create impact for you, your firm, and the practice of law.  I believe in you and I know you have the potential to make a real deal change!

The post 5 Steps for You to Help Manage Law Firm Culture and Create a Succession Plan appeared first on launchbox.

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Millennials are no longer happy with the stereotypes attributed to them over the past decade. They and their fast growing Gen Z counterparts have had it with labels.  As a matter of fact, most millennials don’t even want to be called millennials. They are exiting their cocoon of their early 20s and headed towards full-blown adulthood, ready to take us on.  Good for them! We need them.

They have been derided for being entitled and self-absorbed. However, millennials are now a little older, a little wiser, and making their way up the corporate ladder as they become comfortable in their own skin. They are taking on leadership roles as professionals, shedding their student loan debt, buying homes, starting families, and planning for the less-distant future.

What does this mean for the millennial generation and for all of us?  A lot! What defining characteristics of their generation will stay and what will change as they evolve?  And what aspects of their generational culture will they bring with them into their 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond?

What Will Stay the Same Millennials Will Stay Frugal

You know your grandfather who hasn’t bought a new pair of underwear since 1967 and he only bought them because your grandma threatened to leave him if he didn’t? Of course you do, that is almost everyone’s grandpa!

The point is, old habits die hard. And after almost two decades of scrapping their way out of student debt, millennials are sure to bring their frugal mindset that has helped them survive (days of living on Ramen and Oreos) with them into adulthood and beyond.

In their 20s and 30s, millennials have shown that a good deal beats all else. Nothing—not brand recognition, not social cache—will distract them from an opportunity to save a few bucks and not be wasteful. What they do love is customer loyalty programs, price matching, and any other cost-slashing schemes that can provide value to them and to the world.

They hate to waste, like to recycle, always turn the lights off, save water, and care about the future of the world.

Much like your grandfather’s underwear, we expect millennials to proudly take these frugal and waste prevention traits well into their twilight years.

Seamless Work Life Balance

When millennials finally take the reins over the workplace, you can expect work life balance—a la Scandinavian countries–to be a priority. Paid maternity, flexible working hours, working remotely, paid vacations, and child care allowances are only going to become more prevalent as these types of benefits shift from office perks to office requirements.

Employers who are interested in attracting top talent should heed the early signs of this trend now and begin making preparations for the inevitable. What is currently the low grumble of a large minority will soon be the majority of workplaces as millennials expect that their life and work be integrated as seamlessly as possible. Employers who orient themselves in this way will win out, leaving those too stubborn or unwilling to change in the dust.

Experience-Focused

Millennials have never been much for the designer brands and the social cache that comes from spending on material goods. Instead, they have always chosen to spend on experiences.

According to a study conducted by Harris,  3 out of 4 millennials would prefer to spend on an experience than on a material good and 77% report their best memories are from enjoying a live event. That is about a strong a preference as any.

We see this trend of experiential spending continuing into the future. Millennials will continue to use their money for experiences: travel, outdoor adventures, live music, craft beer and coffee, and other experiential spending.

How Millennials Will Change They Will Become Slightly More Conservative

Like any generation, what starts out as a group of hippies hell-bent on changing the world ends up looking more like an Intel staff photo from 1985. As they get older, generations tend to become a little more conservative, a little less interested in challenging norms, and a little weary of younger generations.

We foresee millennials going a similar route. They will likely reel in their liberal values a bit, staying more liberal than their parents but more conservative than their children’s generation. This will mean that millennials will likely face the same predicament when they become senior staff that Boomers have when facing millennials: large generational gaps…

They Will Have Families… Finally!

With the last student loan payments lifted off their shoulders, millennials will enjoy the sweet, sweet victory of moving out of their parent’s homes… and taking on a home mortgage.

Though millennials are well behind their parents timeline to adulthood, early indications suggest that they will head down more conventional paths. This will, finally, include buying homes, becoming proactive over their finances, and having children.

Reaching the milestones of homeownership and parenthood will also mean millennials will be making equally adult-like purchases. For certain sectors, this will mean 80 million new customers and some sectors are already looking to corner the market. For example, Home Depot has begun providing tutorials focused around first time homeowners. Banks have also caught on, using their brick and mortar locations to provide personalized finance advice to its millennial customers who are realizing the importance of personal finance for the first time.

From Mentee to Mentor

Millennials entered the workforce as a generation that had a unique craving for learning, professional development, and opportunities to glean wisdom from more senior staff. These now young and energetic mentees will slowly replace their mentors. The millennials will become the mentors to Gen Z and the generations that follow. And we expect them to do a good job of it. After all, millennials were the generation that famously placed professional development above salary in terms of workplace perks. We don’t foresee this group pulling up the ladder behind them.

Millennials are a force to be reckoned with as more and more enter full-on adulthood. Such a large group of people hitting adulthood will create incredible opportunity for both businesses and employers, as well as pose a great risk for those not agile enough to adjust to a new consumer market.

Make sure you know how to attract, retain, and engage them as customers and employees.  We do at launchbox365. http://launchbox365.com

Sign up for a free consultation on how to improve your relationships with Millennials and Gen Z.  dannegroni.com/socialconnect

The post Millennials are the Power! Are we safe yet? You bet we are! appeared first on launchbox.

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USE OUR ASP HACK

Here on the blog, we often talk about how important it is for business leaders to provide professional development opportunities for their Millennial staff. And not just Millennial staff, but ALL their staff! Guess what? Research proves that learning, well, is the new learning! Millennials are demanding it at work and in the marketplace. They want experiences that teach them and what’s more, only 13 percent of companies report they are “excellent” at building global leaders. That’s a disappointing statistic. So the question becomes, how can we help millennials help themselves?

Millennials don’t need to wait for their companies to establish mentorship programs or leadership training. Millennials can be their own best coach and can start preparing themselves for current or future leadership roles right now. Today! Yes, today.

As we know to be true, millennials are very motivated to learn and to develop leadership skills when given a chance. Like all of us, they just need to know where to start!
Here is a simple framework to help set you on your way to becoming your own best leadership coach.  Since everyone loves a good acronym, we call this framework ASP.

Here’s how you do it.

(A) Assess Yourself as a Leader

To start, you need to become aware and assess who you are as a leader today. This requires that you view yourself with an objective, third-person perspective similar to the way a boss might evaluate you.

To achieve that, we turn to LEADERSHIP JOURNALING.

Writing things down is a uniquely powerful tool and can give us insights into ourselves that we never knew before. Becoming your own best coach requires you to act and to take the initiative.  This exercise is a clear and structured way to identify your strengths and apply focusing on strategies as a leader to own your personal and professional life.

Here’s what you do: sit down with a notepad or blank document on your computer and for 30-minutes, write freely about how you see yourself as a leader. Your writing can be messy and jumbled; the goal here is simply to discover what you feel your strengths and weaknesses are as a leader.  As a matter of fact, throw out as much as you can and see what you get.

If you need some help getting started, here are a few simple questions you can begin answering about yourself. These questions work whether you are already in a leadership role or you are preparing yourself for a future leadership role. They are:

  1. What are your greatest strengths?
  2. How do your strengths help you lead?
  3. What holds you back from being a leader?
  4. When are you at your very best as a leader?
  5. What is one big challenge you have overcome using your strengths and how were you being a leader in that instance?
  6. When was a time that you fell short as a leader?
  7. What did you learn?
  8. How would you do things differently using your strengths?

After 30-minutes, if you answer honestly about yourself as a leader, then you’ll begin to see a pattern of your leadership style splattered across the page. With your LEADERSHIP JOURNAL done it is time to give it a read through and truly understand how to apply your strengths together with what is holding you back from living your strengths to create real results and start crushing it.

(S) Strengths Focus

Start by reading through your LEADERSHIP JOURNAL a few times and pay close attention to your answers (especially for questions 5 – 8). Those are where your areas for improvement are likely lurking.

Based on your responses, you should notice a few things about yourself as a leader that you could improve.  If not, work harder, get a buddy to look at it and really push what you can do to be better, think of yourself as the best coach you ever had and act like that.  As you read, make a bullet list below your LEADERSHIP JOURNAL of at least five things about yourself as a leader you would like to move to the next level.

Once you have your list complete, it’s time to start focusing on objectives to hack.

Five things is too many to focus on improving at once. Instead, pick the top two characteristics or areas of improvement that you think will have the greatest impact on your daily work life. As an example, let’s say you chose to focus on improving your strength of activation or execution by working on patience and organization as your tools to master your work.  You might actually learn to breathe, or digest before reacting so as be seen as a leader of teams instead of an individual contributor.

Now, below your bullet list of strengths you want to improve, list three to four leaders who you would consider to be exceptional in those areas (try to make sure at least one of those four is in your industry or field).

With your list of leaders ready, it is time to do some research. Your job is to answer one focus question: how do these people excel in the areas that you are looking to improve through hacking tips?

Your research into this question should include listening to their podcast, reading their interviews, reading their biographies, or even trying to speak with them directly. Make sure your effort to answer the focus question is purposeful: that means writing down notes, marking pages, and highlighting interviews.

By the end of your research, you should have compiled notes of wisdom about how successful people have strengthened their skills to make it a superpower.  For example, you may now know that Tim Ferris is a big fan of Stoicism to stay calm or that Sheryl Sandberg uses a notebook to keep her thoughts organized.

With your awareness, focus on improving strengths and getting the tools you need. In time, you will start to acquire wisdom in hand. Be ready to put your new found wisdom into action.

(P)  Practice What You Have Learned

Some of the tips you gathered in your research will be sill, not fit your personality, or simply won’t apply. That is okay! You want to narrow down all of your notes to a few tools/resources/approaches that you think can provide real solutions for you. Or actually, convert them to a language that allows you to adopt them and practice all the time.

Now below your research notes, synthesize your notes into a bullet list. This time pick out the two or three nuggets of wisdom you think will be most effective for helping you apply and develop your strengths through trial and error: PRACTICE.

Once you have your two to three point PRACTICE bullet list, it is time for the most important step: to make a concerted effort to apply the strategies to improve as a leader.

Some of this wisdom may work and you will be excited to add it to your repertoire. That is great! But some of it won’t work, and that is okay too. You can always go back and identify other nuggets of wisdom from your notes, research other leaders with the same process, and continue to try new things. That is how you (PRACTICE) learn and improve!

It may seem like a lot of work, but make sure you have fun with it.  If you adopt this ASP process or MINDSET with each new learning experience, you will crush it.

The post 3 Easy Steps to Millennials Becoming Their Own Best Leadership Coach appeared first on launchbox.

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Because they will “crush it” by learning the number one life work/skill: Relationship Building.

Hollywood’s depiction of the sales profession certainly hasn’t done salespeople any favors. Moreover, all of us are guilty of stereotypes.  Are you familiar with this one? Sales people are depicted as either magically gifted, manipulative or sleezy, shallow, pushy sheisters.  All give inaccurate depictions of the profession for young millennials.

Those stereotypes have seeped into our perception of the sales profession as a whole. Great salespeople spend their days driving in revenue to pay everyone’s salary while often being looked down upon or feeling less than. It is insane!  These sales people are usually the best relationship builders there are.  They learn to serve and provide value to others by invoking trust and protection for all of their clients.  They are the ultimate connectors and influencers.  Does this sound like a good thing or a bad thing to you?

To clear the air around sales and highlight the importance of sales as a profession, it is important to bust some of the common myths around sales and replace them with a healthy dose of reality.  Here are some of the worst myths about sales and then the reality of why these skills are sorely being overlooked by the education system, Universities, Colleges, Graduate Programs, and the Workplace.

Myth #1: Sales is… icky and inauthentic…

There is a stigma around sales that you don’t find being attached to other professions. We describe people who seem sleazy as being like a “used car salesmen.” We describe poorly executed sales tactics as ones that a “door-to-door salesman” would use. Even the word “sales” is seen as a dirty word, often replaced in org charts by euphemisms like “account managers” and “client advisors.” In reality, it’s crucial for businesses to develop, build relationships with, and close lifetime customers to be able to operate!

THE TRUTH:
Sales is critical to the lifeblood of every business. That should be a no brainer.

The difference in 2018 is that consumers are much more savvy and informed than they used to be. Those old, blunt, aggressive sales tactics of the old days simply don’t work anymore.  We need authenticity.

Sales today isn’t about tricking old ladies to buy shoddy vacuum cleaners.  All sales professionals have become the chief storytellers for their companies.  Their job isn’t to convince or trick people into purchasing their product.  Their job is to use their relationship powers of trust, dedication, and service to forge organic, genuine relationships with the types of people who could really benefit from their product or service.  That is about providing real value in a way that serves the audience.  Imagine that!  And it works!  I 100% guarantee it.

That distinction is important. Anyone can try to pressure and trick consumers into short-term sales numbers. But that approach to sales is so 1960. To be a truly effective salesperson in 2018 you are required to be a special and gifted person; one who can both connect with consumers and also build relationships and communities around their product or service.  More particularly, any professional, whether it’s a doctor, lawyer, accountant, consultant, server at a restaurant, or a clerk at a store, needs to be able to sell and build relationships with anyone.  The skill of relationship building and story-telling applies to anyone selling a service or a product.  We all are involved in acquiring customers or sales.  However, my thesis is that it’s not really “selling” that’s important, it’s that building relationships is.  How do we shift mindset to use relationship development skills for good and not the evil of the perceived used car sales person or ambulance chaser attorney. Relationship Based Selling

Those special few who can build relationships well are the masters of the universe (and their communities and businesses).  Not limited by age, gender, color, or religion these influencers or “sales people” are the most coveted by companies and entrepreneurs alike.

Myth #2: The Customers Come On Their Own

For some reason, sales or relationship development is misunderstood and many times is often seen as an afterthought.  In reality, getting folks to buy services or products from you is an art.

Business leaders sometimes seem to believe that either their services (themselves) or their product is so uniquely attractive that selling it will be the easy part. Their product is so great that as soon as consumers see it, they will come rushing to buy!  Recently at a workshop I was asked if it is different now than in the past and whether we can expect our phone to just ring and be an order taker.  Again, really?  Don’t you know the answer to that question?  Even Google has sales people.

THE TRUTH:
Consumers clambering for a new products and services rarely happens without an effective sales/relationship development team operating in the background.

The truth is, sales today is incredibly complicated because of the speed of the world, technology, and accessibility which creates real competition from anywhere.  For innovative products and services consumers need to understand why they need the product in the first place and then trust who and where they will get it from.  For less innovative products, there is likely already fierce competition and plenty of noise that needs to be cut through. And there have never been more people, products, and services in every market vying for consumer’s attention, all day long through just about every mode, right to your mobile device and all.

It is a unique person who has the storytelling ability mentioned in Myth #1, with the analytic and data-driven approach to crack the code of a complicated world. Those people are difficult to find. To land sales superstars, businesses must make a serious, but necessary, investment in teaching relationship building skills!

Companies that skimp on an investment in relationship building “sales” skills are dooming their business from the beginning.  You need to teach these skills to employees for customer engagement.  It works and it will be the most coveted skill of the new world operated mostly by software, technology and robots.  Relationship skills will set real leaders apart!

Myth #3: People Either Have Sales Skills Or They Don’t

Unlike other areas of business, business leaders seem to think people either have an innate ability to sell or they don’t. Depictions of the uniquely talented sales person who can work wonders with only a wink and a smile has penetrated deep into our culture.

Because of this, salespeople are often asked to drive in revenue without the proper tools and resources. If they succeed, they have the magic sales “it” factor. And if they fail? They just don’t have “it” to make it in sales.

THE TRUTH:
The truth is some of that is bull*&^%. It’s true that certain people may be more charismatic or extroverted than others and this can help them (though it can hurt them as much as help them). However, sales or relationship development is a skill that is acquired, crafted, and sharpened  through years of practice and experience. There is no magic here: people need the time, tools, and opportunities to hone their skills. Without that support (the support provided to other areas of the business), relationships will die out and sales will flounder. Without sales, so will the business.

Myth  #4:  Sales is Easy and for the Dumb Folks

When the top 10 lists are released predicting the best and signature careers of the future, they often name data analysts, engineers, developers, coders, technologists, and software geniuses. Nonetheless, as all this technology overwhelms us, it is clear that there will also be a huge need for great service businesses and professionals, as well managers and leaders for all these tech workers.  Nonetheless, why do we often think that the sales profession is for the non-technical folks that are not that smart?   You’ve heard the old saying someone who has a great personality, so they should probably go into sales, and usually it is not a compliment.  It translates to their not smart enough for all the other “technical or hard” stuff, but are good with people.

THE TRUTH:
My experience has demonstrated that the most successful people are great with people because, well, people are customers and people are employees. In fact, the best leaders understand how to build relationships at their core.  They understand their audience and how to create trust with the different aspects of stakeholders they encounter.  The reason being is people buy from, follow, marry, bond with, give to, create with, and spend time with people they like and trust.  Dale Carnegie said it in 1936, and he still remains correct. The more things change,  the more they stay the same.  In fact Josh Bersin’s predictions for 2018 will be a throwback to “soft skills” ruling the workplace and relationship building techniques being the number one area to improve engagement in the workplace.

In summary, the real deal truth is that the generations comprising those under 37, Digital Natives, Next Gen Leaders, Gen Z, Milillennials they will, no matter how described, understand this and execute it better than any generations yet.  They are smart, real, authentic, and bold enough to challenge and they will make America whole.  So what’s standing in the way of us learning how to sell/build relationships and learning that building relationships is the number one life/work skill to becoming a true card carrying salesperson?  You are.  So get out of your own way and learn how to build relationships and kick ass at sales.  At launchbox we are on mission to spread that gospel and teach those skills: knowing how to build relationships is the number one life/work skill to have and it also means you understand the Platinum Rule:  Treat others the way they want to be treated, because it ain’t about you, it’s about the value you provide to others and the impact you make happen.

We challenge the workplace to solve how to mentor, teach, and live their culture by that rule and make everyone proud of being a salesperson and any other position as long as they live focusing on building relationships..

The post Why it is smart to encourage your millennial to become a salesperson or at least act like one appeared first on launchbox.

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