On this day 240 years ago, thirteen colonies broke away from Great Britain, forming a new nation, the United States of America. The earned independence and freedom we celebrate today is what makes the U S so incredible. Like the founding fathers, launchbox views independence as a necessary trait for next generation leaders.
The problem is that millions of millennials may not really understand independence. It’s not their fault. Think about it: although they ooze independence they may not actually get it. Here are some of the astounding facts:
- for the first time since 1880, young adults ages 18 to 34 are more likely to live with a parent than in any other arrangement.
- 25 percent of people ages 25 to 29 live with a parent, up from 18 percent a decade ago
- 43 percent of millennials aged 30 to 33 are still financially dependent on their parents
In his international best seller, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey brilliantly describes the process of maturation: dependence → independence → interdependence.
- Dependence is the stage where we are reliant on others to take care of us, a state of weakness and powerlessness. Called childhood.
- As we grow into adulthood and learn to do things on our own, we become capable of taking care of ourselves and start becoming independent. Called young workforce (millennials).
- Once we learn independence, we then become ripe for working at the highest level where the greatest human achievements occur: interdependence. This is where independent, capable individuals come together as a team to achieve a common goal or purpose. Like the connection of Youth and Experience. And this is where the magic happens. Called teams.
But before any group of individuals or organization can achieve interdependence, all members of a team must first learn to be independent. So let’s be grateful this 4th of July and demonstrate it by giving. Giving the commitment to teach our young millennials in and out of the workforce how to become a become confident communicators, and as a result, independent rock stars that deliver for the Team.
1.) Teach them how to communicate by using the WIFThem method
When I first heard that millennials were bringing their parents along for job interviews, I almost lost it. But this sad truth reveals that many millennials simply don’t know how to communicate. They don’t know how to showcase their skillset in a manner both relevant and valuable to whomever they’re speaking to.
At launchbox, we use the WIFThem approach. WIFThem stands for “What’s in it for them?” In other words, effective communicators understand how to deliver information in a way that’s relevant and important to the person they’re speaking to. Here’s an example of a statement without, and then with, WIFThem:
Average communicator: “I can analyze a spreadsheet.”
WIFThem communicator: “I can process complex, quantitative data and info to help leaders give detailed advice to clients and managers.”
See the difference? By teaching millennials to use the WIFThem approach, they learn to communicate how their attributes will be of meaning and value. Let’s do us all a favor and make sure no more parents are attending their millennial (adult!) kid’s interviews.
2.) Show them how to deliver their story
We all must be in the story business. The best speeches and business books present ideas and lessons through stories. The best commercials and advertisements convince us to buy certain products because the stories they tell resonate with us on an emotional level.
At launchbox, we ask three important questions that help people of all ages identify who they are so they can communicate their story effectively and powerfully:
Who am I?
What is my experience?
What value do I bring?
The answer to these questions can manifest in a variety of ways. But regardless of the answer, these questions will help someone uncover their identity and core. By answering these questions (however that looks for you personally) you are already on your way to delivering a powerful story.
Effective communication is key for a person to become independent and any company to become interdependent. As you celebrate the independence of the United States of America today, utilize these concepts in your home or workplace to develop independent, high performing millennials today!
Want to learn more about how to communicate effectively, deliver your story and become an independent all star? Grab a copy of Chasing Relevance: 6 Steps to Understand, Engage and Maximize Next Generation Leaders in the Workplace.
 Clair, Ben St. “Seven Habits Study Guide/Paradigms and Principles.” – Wikibooks, Open Books for an Open World. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 July 2016.
 2 Clair, Ben St. “Seven Habits Study Guide/Paradigms and Principles.” – Wikibooks, Open Books for an Open World. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 July 2016.
 Henderson, J. Maureen. Forbes. Forbes Magazine, n.d. Web. 03 July 2016.