[vimeo id="77436466"] Millennials crave mentorship more than any other generation before them. Because Millennials value relationships, they are looking for someone to invest in them, listen to the things they’re going through, and give them advice. While many Millennials have a strong desire to be mentored, that doesn’t make it easy.
If we want to be effective mentors for Millennials, we need to learn how to guide them through the things they’re experiencing in a way they can relate to. We’ve all heard the stereotypes that define the Millennial generation. They can be restless and entitled. They’re dreamers who want to make a difference.
Because Millennials are wired differently, the way we mentor them will probably be different than the way we were mentored. If you want to make the greatest impact as a Millennial mentor, here are three things you need to know:
1. Give them the “why” behind the “what.” Many Millennials want people to tell them what they should do about a decision they have to make. Don’t simply tell them what they should do based on your personal experience. Focus on the bigger picture. The best way to invest in Millennials is to teach them the principle behind why they should make a certain decision more than telling them what they should do.
2. Make it team-oriented. Millennials are typically team-oriented. One opportunity is to gather together a group of Millennials and mentor them together. This gives you the chance to continue to guide them through their decisions, but it also allows them to share their ideas, challenges, and struggles with their peers. We’ve adopted this strategy with our SEU Connect groups and have seen incredible things happen as a result.
3. Set realistic expectations. Because they can be restless and expect instant gratification, great mentors need to help Millennials create realistic expectations. Define the rules and the wins of the mentoring experience. This will ensure that you’re able to make the most of your time together and your mentee doesn’t feel cheated or unimportant.
There’s a tremendous opportunity for you to help shape the next generation of leaders. However, if you want to be an effective mentor, you need to know what makes Millennials different and how that impacts their relationships.
Are you currently mentoring a Millennial? How is the relationship different than other mentoring relationships you’ve had? What are you doing to make it valuable?