Leadership Coaching: Are Millennials Really as Confident as They Appear to Be?

Managing Millennials

Leadership Coaching: Are Millennials Really as Confident as They Appear to Be?

“The Internet Makes You Think You Are Smarter Than You Really Are,” is the title of an article recently published by Harvard Business Review. It encapsulates the concern many business leaders have of Millennials being over-confident.

60% of CEOs, presidents, and business leaders reported frustrations in working with Millennial leaders in our recent Millennial Survey. Of the 271 responses, 34% cited confidence concerns, i.e. a prevailing know-it-all attitude.

Growing up with an internet of knowledge in their pockets, many Millennials outwardly exhibit abundant confidence. After all, they can easily find answers to anything on Google or YouTube. Or they can ask Alexa.

But, is the ability to locate information quickly and easily what’s really needed to grow your business and sales revenues?

It’s this the-internet-makes-you-think-you-are-smarter-than-you-are phenomenon that business and sales leaders are concerned about. This internet-confidence, that’s based simply on the ability to locate information, can be easily shaken when confronted with the real-world roadblocks.  Google, YouTube, or Alexa aren’t predicting everything that can go wrong in an endeavor.

This shakeable confidence is in contrast to a confidence that’s based on one’s own investment of mind, efforts, failures, successes, and learned experience. Millennial Leaders need a sustainable confidence that withstands the hard knocks of the everyday, real selling world.

Given these CEO concerns and the research by Yale, we have to ask: What does this mean for their future . . . and ours? Millennials will make up more than half the workforce less than three years from now. This is our resource pool for the future leaders of our businesses and sales teams. In order for our businesses and the economy to grow and thrive, experienced leaders must tap Millennial leaders’ strengths . . . and guide them to build deep-rooted confidence.

 Here are 3 strategies to use as you help your Millennial Leader build authentic confidence:

  1. Leverage their strengths

Leveraging your millennial leader’s strengths is a key competitive strategy to growing your business and your sales. In my book, Millennials Matter: Proven Strategies for Building Your Next-Gen Leader, I discuss the benefits of using informal two-way mentoring to build a professional relationship in which you and your Millennial Leader can learn from each other. For example, experienced leaders can turn to Millennials to learn about technology and to tap thinking outside of traditional paradigms. 

  1. Encourage a disciplined, action-oriented mindset

Real growth and change happen when we stop making excuses and choose to take responsibility to find sustainable solutions. You can help your Millennial Leader develop a disciplined action-oriented mindset that fuels long-term, unshakable confidence. Encourage him or her to change negative thinking into these productive mantras:

  • I take full responsibility for my actions and behaviors.
  • I don’t waste time complaining and blaming others.
  • I create action plans that move me forward in achieving my goals.
  1. Prioritize the work they are doing now

Millennials often have a need for instant gratification that prevents them from focusing on the potential importance of their present situation. Help your Millennial Leader to gain confidence that the work they are doing now, matters. You can do this by:

  • Helping emerging leaders convert their long-term vision into bite-sized goals, so that they gain confidence in their abilities with each step.

Millennials Matter is packed full of practical, rubber-meets-the-road tips and ideas that you can use as you step up and become even more engaged with your Millennial sales professional and leader.  Make a life-changing difference in their life by coaching and mentoring them to gain authentic confidence that’s more than just internet-confidence.

Leadership Lesson: Your mentoring can help the Millennial you coach to gain confidence through wisdom, insight and experience.

Leadership Question: How can you help your Millennial overcome the challenges that sabotage authentic confidence?

Millennials Matter
The way you mentor and coach Millennials, especially your up-and-coming leaders, will directly impact your business and organization. What can you do differently in 2018? Order Millennials Matter Now.

Copyright 2017, Danita Bye.

4 Comments
  • marnie Ochs-Raleigh
    Posted at 22:20h, 11 December Reply

    Great article! We have a few millennials on staff and I also have 3 kids that fall into this age category. I am often surprised to hear people categorizing all millennials into the same negative thought process. There are some absolutely amazing young people that are starving the be mentored, they want to be better than their peers and are really tired of being judged unfairly. These are excellent tips on working with not only this age group, but a much broader classification. Great article on leadership in general!

    • Danita
      Posted at 22:55h, 11 December Reply

      Thanks, Marnie. When I talk with my 3 kids and their friends, I’m impressed. I’m pretty certain one of them will be president of the USA and do a great job at it 🙂 There is so much potential. And, you’re right…they are starving for our wisdom, insights and perspectives. Even more, they are hungry for relationships. We live in a stratified society – and the want to hear from others if we will honor and respect them.

  • Emone Mack
    Posted at 04:30h, 22 March Reply

    What type of survey was used to conduct this study?

    • Danita
      Posted at 09:58h, 18 May Reply

      We used a system called Survey Monkey.

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