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3 Essential Ideas You Need to Successfully Engage Gen Z

Apr 29, 2020

By Jordan Francis

We've had hundreds of conversations with thousands of students over the last several years and in that, we have come to 3 essential values that can help you successfully engage Gen Z.

 

1) Everything with Gen Z has to be in Beta 

Their world is constantly changing and whatever does not work quickly becomes obsolete. We need to engage Gen Z in the same way. 

Things that don't work quickly need to be disposed of or developed into more viable ideas.

But how?

When a company puts a product or a service in beta, they have a test group that gives them constant feedback to improve their product or service.

If you are going to create something for Gen Z make sure that you're constantly interacting with them on everything that you create, gaining feedback.

You could go one better...

Have GenZers help you in the process of developing whatever you create from the beginning so their fingerprint is all over it.

One of the easiest ways to find out what somebody wants is to ask them. 

So ask...

 

2) Be Collaborative 

Gen Z loves to collaborate,

They don't just want to be told what is right and wrong, but they want to be an essential part of the process when coming deciding what right and wrong is.

They don't want to be led to an end that they think you have in mind for them, they want to join you in discovering what the end is.

That's why we're advocates of conversation with Gen Z!

When you come to the table with the intent of having genuine dialogue together, not enforcing your point of view, transformation can happen for both you and them! 

You can both walk away, better than before!

When you give this generation information (not orders), they'll make better decisions, if you don't give them the information they will experiment.

When talking with Gen Z about something important, share the different types of sources you have to back up the information you are presenting.

Blogs, YouTube videos, etc. 

Allowed them to sift through that information and to decide for themselves what is true and what is not.

We're all humans, right? Which one of us wants to be told what to do?

We'll do it because we work for a company and they pay us.

but we won't do it just because somebody tells us too, especially somebody who claims to love us.

If we want to influence, if we want to help, we should give wisdom and then step back. 

And we can't give that wisdom in a way that makes sense to us, it has to make sense to them.

If we don't we are just like those obnoxious people who go on vacation to another country and expect everyone to speak English.

 

3) Trust is the currency

If Gen Z does not believe they can trust you, then everything you do and say is in vain.

If they don't believe you care about them, that you love them, and that you have their best interests in mind you don't stand a chance.

This means we have to be patient and go through the process of building relationships that can sustain the types of conversations we need to have.

The closeness of a relationship can determine whether something is interpreted as offensive or helpful.

We've all had people who said things to us that may have been helpful, but the frailty of the relationship causes us not to hear well.

Somebody can say something to you, and if you don't know them, it can be extremely offensive.

But if you do know them, it could be very powerful and very transformative. 

It could help you see something that perhaps you're missing or help you go down a different path or a different road that you wouldn't have gone down otherwise.

You must build that trust first.

A 2lb relationship cannot withstand a 20lb correction.

We are responsible for helping prepare Gen Z for the world they will inherit. 

Our success or failure in this depends on our ability to give them what they need, not what we think they should have...

 

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