Many believe that Generation Y is stuck in their own ways of communicating. We struggle to have and hold real face-to-face conversations across generations, especially with Millennials being so digitally connected. However, being able to hold a real conversation in the work environment is crucial for progression up the corporate ladder.
Listening can help develop very strong conversational skills. No one likes when someone only wants to talk about him or herself, so be polite and don’t interrupt. Be a sponge and absorb the information from others that is coming your way. No one is competing with you to be the best when you are in a conversation. There is no scorecard unless you have one hidden in your own pocket. There’s no need to respond to every point in a conversation, and your elder superiors will appreciate your level of restraint.
Focus less on technology, and more on face-to-face, real people time. Switch off your device and actually have a conversation in person with those around you. There is a lot to be said about the power of making eye contact, creating light humor in conversation, and using your tone to convey your points, three things which cannot be conveyed digitally. Finish reading this article and then turn of the devices for a bit.
If you don’t know what to say, at least be interested in what the other person is saying. If you don’t know how to respond, ask a question about what they are saying. Show you are interested and remember that asking questions will also help extend the conversation.
Use your confidence to share your emotions with others. We are better at building relationships than previous generations because we are a little less repressed, even in the workplace. Our generation also values social connections. Use this to your advantage. Embrace those who precede you on the corporate ladder.