GEN Z, born to Disrupt, Disturb, and Reformulate.
Allow us shed some more light on how to connect with Gen Z.
I will share some principles on how to connect with Gen Zers or the iGeneration as they are also called. But first let me explain a few things about Gen Zers.
You cannot connect with what you cannot define. Every true and lasting connection begins first with an understanding of the subject or object as the case maybe. While I will not write as someone who has already discovered all about the Gen Zers I will attempt to share some of the profound things that are true to them. By the way, trust me, you can never know enough of a generation especially when it’s a type that keeps evolving.
Sometime ago, while in a discussion with some of my Gen Z friends one of them said to me “you guys (referring to both G-X and G-Y) sometimes think you know us but you know no jack and that is why you will keep having issues with us because you want us to be you and we can’t.” That struck me. I didn’t argue it, we continued our gist but I kept it to heart.
Gen Zers are non conformist, They don’t thrive in a traditional or a command and control structure where they are expected to just do as told. Infact, if you want to rile or anger a Gen Z, give him/her a project and tell them “this is how we used to do it…” You would have killed every creativity and passion with that statement. They were born to disrupt, disturb and reformulate every existing structure they find themselves. They are naturally not patient especially in an atmosphere where they feel boxed in. They feel they deserve to be treated specially and can be aggressive about their goals.
These four things will things will help you in maximizing the unsual talents of Gen Z in your organization
Create an environement where they free to use their creativity on any task given to them
Give them leadership role and continually affirm them, letting them know you trust them and that your door is always open to guide should they need you.
Our research has shown Gen Z still values physical contact as the best way to connect. So. be intentional about paying attention to and knowing them. Ask questions about their life, emotions and sometimes struggles. You will be amazed the amount of learnings you will get from them.
Allow them make their mistakes, don’t judge them only teach them how to feedback.
3 WAY LEADERS CAN CONNECT WITH GEN Z IN THEIR ORGANISATION.
1. Become a friend, not a boss – Gen Zs don’t want a “boss”, they want a friend. They do everything through friendship.
2. Be A Safe Place – Safety is the foundation on which strong connection is built. Gen Zers, particularly in Africa have enough to deal with emotionally, hence, they are constantly gravitating towards those who they believe accepts them irrespective of their weaknesses and can also make them safe. If you want to connect with them You must feel what they feel, see what they see and hear what they hear.
3. Respect their Model – You must learn to respect their model of life and work, you don’t have to necessarily accept it. To think this generation is broken is to develop an attitude to want to fix them which is what many leaders and organisations are doing. To connect with a person or group you must first understand and accept that people are fine and are right where they need to be. You cannot connect with people you feel or believe something is wrong with. When you think and see Gen Zers as problematic you are throwing out vibes which the universe will pick and transmit to them. The result you get is conscious resistance. So change your thinking and respect their model. Allow them to define and own their journey but be there to guide and guard when they need you.