“We as human beings are more alike than we are different. What changes from generation to generation is how we express our needs and preferences at work, and that expectations we have about our employers’ fulfillment of them.” –Lindsey Pollak, author of The Remix: How to Lead and Succeed in the Mulitgenerational Workplace
I recently interviewed New York Times bestselling author, Lindsey Pollak, for the Business Builders Show podcast. Her terrific new book The Remix is packed with insights on leading successfully in a workplace comprised of four distinctive but oddly similar generations. Yes, essential reading for managers, bosses, founders scaling their startups – really, anyone who is seeking to not only hire, but retain the best talent. And if you’re aspiring to lead others, you should read this book too as nothing adequately prepares you for management or leadership roles other than you efforts.
More than a few of Lindsey’s takeaways got a hearty “Oh YEAH!” from my network and relationship building heart:
- Chapter Two (which is ALL about common sense) highlights EMPATHY (a key element of connecting with others regardless of generation, geography or social media adoption).
- Assuming best intentions is also a Chapter Two takeaway. After a recent#BYDN presentation, I was asked about how and when to follow-up on an email (you know, the awkward period when you’ve not heard back on your original communication and you’ve sent one “hey, wanted to make sure you didn’t miss this in your inbox” email and now you’re wondering what to send next so you don’t appear to be an asshat). After giving a few suggestions, an attendee said “ or maybe the email recipient is not that into you”. True – and I like to assume best intentions for someone ignoring the first email (which is why I recommend always sending emails YOU would be happy to receive).
- Lindsey also recommends using AND not or as part of your success toolkit. Hell yes! This is also the advice Evan Nisselson shared in his #BYDN networking roadmap advice. To quote Evan: “To be successful these days, you need to not only think about what you’re interested in doing (or achieving); you need to think with and – as in “and what is the person I’m interested in meeting with interested in?””
- Chapter Four in The Remix contains a good reminder: Millennials and Gen Z have never known a world without the non-stop of the internet. That doesn’t mean “old school” ways of connecting (or sharing information) are irrelevant, it’s just that their entry point for connecting or communicating looks different that those of us from the rotary phone era.
- Remind yourself that all generations have been affected by digital technologies – not just Millenials and Gen Z. Don’t we all demand transparency – and get aggravated by incessant accessibility? We’re not all that different folks.
- In Chapter 6, Lindsey’s communication efficiency hack is COPE: create once, publish everywhere. Amen! Why do I love this one? Because we all have individual communication preferences (and effective communication aka networking is 2-way). Some of us will read an update on Instagram, while others will look to LinkedIn or Twitter or…you get my point, one size does not fit all when it comes to seeking and receiving information. To lead effectively you need to be heard. To network effectively you need to be heard. Saying something once in a single format (regardless of volume or urgency) is not an effective strategy.
- Finally, LISTENING. Key to networking is listening – and boom! Lindsey feels the same way about effective multigenerational leaders.
Find Lindsey’s Business Builders Show interview here (plus subscribe to the show so you don’t miss all the intriguing conversations to spark your career or business, including venture capital investor, Nisa Amoils, author of WTF Is Happening! Women Tech Founders On The Rise; Erin Lowry aka Broke Millennial; and the incomparable Kate White, best selling author of suspense novels and former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine).