In an “over-connected” society, professional millennials must develop communication skills extending far beyond text messages and emails.
The stereotype that millennials suffer from communication deficiencies is one that has baffled me throughout both my post-graduate education and early years in the business world.
Think of it this way:
If you were walking down the street and you bumped into a friend from college, would you send them an impersonal “Hello” text message or email with a corresponding emoji? No! In most cases you would stop what you are doing, shake hands or even share a quick hug and spark up a conversation. Pressed for time? Make them aware, share some small talk and make a plan to communicate further.
What then is the difference between bumping into someone on the street and bumping into a colleague, business partner or customer, via email at work?
In my opinion . . . nothing! Whether a connection is face to face, over the phone, on LinkedIn, or via email, it is still a connection. The person on the receiving end of that connection is not a robot, but a person, like you and me, who have interests, personalities and opinions.
From my personal experience, I have compiled a list of:
The Benefits of Connecting . . . and keeping it personal!
- Make yourself memorable. Don’t get lost in the jumble of names in an email address book; let your connection move you to the top of the contact list.
- Showing interest in the other person’s, life, family and interests will make them feel that you are not just there to close a deal or making a sale.
- Networking. Have you ever been invited to a party where you knew the host, but not many other guests? What tends to happen? The host introduces you to their friends, right? You never know when a connection can turn into a lucrative business contact, reference for a personal job search, or even a good friend!
- Turn those “maybes” into a “YES!” It is human nature for a connection to respond in a more positive manner when a personal connection is made and a relationship is developed. Make them want to say YES!
Millennials, let’s put the emoticons on the shelf for the time being and invest in connecting / building relationships – you will find a much greater return.
Written By: Amanda Keefe