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As a millennial, I can vouch for others my age when I say technology has its perks. Perhaps a generational quirk but phone calls make me uneasy, face to face interaction is unnerving and some of my best work can be found in the inboxes of my mailing list. To those who don’t share the same fear of sounding foolish out loud or experiencing real-time disappointment, this may come across as strange. The truth is, with the advent of technology, the ability to shrink behind a screen and curate many aspects of one’s life has now become the norm. How then, do we grapple with the fear of confrontation in a world that makes it increasingly easier to hide?
Being in the business of people, HR360 Ltd. strives to support the creation of more human workforces, which invariably means being able to express oneself and gauge the needs of others. This has never been more relevant in a world where connecting is easy, but detaching is easier. As a remote worker, I began to realise that the more I relied on technology to suppress my discomfort of real time communication, the less equipped I was to deal with clients, peers and various stakeholders who did not share the same anxieties as me. Luckily, I was not alone and together with a peer of mine found practical tips that truly helped in overcoming this fear.
When in doubt, pick up the phone. I used to hide a lot behind my inbox; but when stakeholders were responding late, language was misinterpreted and deadlines came creeping in, avoidance became more of a hindrance. If you ever feel unsure about whether your message will come across with the desired intention, or if you want real time feedback due to pending deadlines - pick up the phone. Assumptions are timely, costly and exhausting and do nothing for the health of your bottom line.
If it scares you, you’re doing it right. The best way to get through discomfort it is to sit in it. Like anything, the ability to take feedback on the chin and use it to propel you forward is a skill that can only serve you well in future. Using technology to make our ideas more palatable to others does not build confidence, nor does it make us better at communicating our point with conviction. It only leads to repressing our true intentions in the hopes that we don’t feel the internal sting of being in a personal conflict. If you can become an expert at the things that make you most uncomfortable, imagine what you can achieve on a good day?
Rejection is a muscle - exercise it. All humans are afraid of rejection and like anyone who lacks experience or is new to an industry, the desire to achieve credibility as a professional is significant. When deciding whether to take the plunge and confront a situation without the aid of technology, ask yourself this: Will it make me braver? Will it make me better? If the answer to those is yes, then it’s a no brainer. Whether it’s doing research on the client at the other end or jotting down key points to keep you on track topically, finding ways to enter uncomfortable situations more equipped will keep you motivated to follow through - and you will come out more confident as a result.
How are you ensuring that your millennial hires are inspired, engaged and enabled to perform?
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There was once a time where the tough stuff in life was something we had to face in person. Whether it was a breakup, getting fired, or handling a problem, there wasn’t the opportunity to send it via text, email, or Facebook.