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Millennials and Their Spending Habits: How It’s Shaping the World

Millennials and Their Spending Habits: How It’s Shaping the World

Millennials, also known as Generation Y, the 80’s and 90’s kid or those born between 1980 and 2000 are slowly changing the world economy as we see it today. By far the largest generation comprising of more than 70 million individuals in the United States, overtaking the population of baby boomers, Millennials are the most influential and promising group in shaping the modern world.

Their influence felt in areas such as science, math, and arts is redefining various industries, creating waves of change, and breaking ‘traditional ways’ to cater their new way of thinking and ideologies.

Having been raised during the time of rapid technological growth, Millennials have the most influence over old generations and are considered the biggest trendsetters of our world today. Despite being career-driven, skilled, and highly educated, Millennials are often considered financially doomed and unstable.

Graduating and going into adulthood during the economic recession, Millennials spending habits are affecting the economy in large measures especially in areas of marketing, finance and technology.

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The Death of Ads

Decades ago all you need to do was pour your money into advertising and your brand is setup for success. However, today, this isn’t the case anymore. Millennials and their incessant craving for authenticity have come to understand how sneaky advertisements can be. More often than not, messages used by advertisers are known to trigger emotional rather than rational responses among consumers.

It’s no wonder Millennials don’t trust commercials, and are often the ones who avoid and despise adverts in Facebook and other websites. Although, not generalizing, a  baby boomer might fall prey to adverts masquerading as good deals all over the media, but a millennial will be wiser and will know even in just one look which advert is authentic or not. This is not only making advertising a lot harder for companies, it’s also making them reevaluate their traditional marketing methods.

Brands and Social Media

It should also come as no surprise that Millennials prefer brands that interact with consumers on digital channels. Nowadays, it’s almost customary for brands to have their own Facebook and Twitter pages. Millennials want brands to be participative in terms of their experience. They want to engage with brands to learn more about the products.

The thing is: Millennials value authenticity. Content is good, but lack of authenticity may lead them to draw back from trusting a company or a site. They want blogs that connect with people. This is why social media is as much a growing industry today more than it was decades ago.

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The Rise of Online Shopping

The traditional way of shopping is slowly becoming a thing of the past. The convenience of online stores is drawing Millennials and making it hard for in-store retailers to keep up with their digital competitors.

Millennials are so fond of purchasing online; they would gladly wait a few days to get their order delivered, than to march on to the nearest mall or supermarket. Online shopping also allows them to be selective and be able to review their options wisely.

Renting vs Owning a House

The fall of economy has made a major impact on Millennials, many of whom are still having a hard time paying off their student loans, living with their parents, or are currently underemployed. This makes renting homes a far better option to this generation.

Millennials who are now in their early 20’s or 30’s are on the phase where they’d like to get married and start a family. However, they can’t afford to both start a family and own a house at the same time. Traveling which is a common millennial dream prevents them to settle down and buy a house of their own. All this makes renting a far better option than owning a house. .

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Growth of the Sharing Economy

Much of the sharing economy’s growth can be attributed to the Millennials. Millennials find the sharing practice not only thrifty, it’s also a great way to reduce consumption and space in the world. Think about it, why would you need to buy a house if you’re going to travel all the time? Why would you buy a nice ride, if you can ride one for a cheaper option?

James O’Connell, CEO of JDP, explains this behavior of Millennials from a mental standpoint.

He says, “Millennials believe in making a difference with their spending habits… Companies like Uber and Airbnb are doing so well because their business plan taps into that mindset so completely.”

Brands and Their Positive Impact in the World        

By nature, Millennials are inherently cosmopolitan. Growing up on the period of globalization and boom of technology, they are more attuned and interested to global issues. Thus, they also love to view their purchases through a global lens. In a recent study, Millennials were found to purchase more environmentally or socially responsible products and love to donate their money and time on charity.

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Brands have to give back something to society. At least that’s how Millennials believes it should be. Millennials are tired of corporate greed, after the world’s recovery of one of its largest financial crisis – they want to see more sharing and giving.

Through their unique but progressive ways, Millennials are preparing the world for the future. Everyone has their own opinions about this generation – but one thing is for sure: they are calling the shots now and the world will just have to listen.

Featured photo credit: Bench Accounting via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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