Have you noticed how young people are different? As a boomer, it’s been explained to me that they are digital natives and I am a digital refugee. Whatever it is, this generation of athletes, students and employees have grown up differently than us. They are motivated differently, see teaming differently and have different expectations of leaders and organizations.
So what are the generations who came before them (that’s most of us) to do? We still need to lead them and help them learn how to follow. I’m here to help.
I want to introduce you to the leadership/coaching skill, Meet…Point…Dance*. It was first coined by Rick Tamlyn, my friend and mentor. As an aside, Rick teaches meet…point…dance as a skill of a Bigger Game player. The Bigger Game is a powerful approach to life that Rick and his team teach. It’s a tool I use with my clients with great success. For our use, Meet…Point…Dance is shorthand to remind us to slow down and understand where the other person is before we jump into our story. That means we have to drop our assumptions – like this class will be like last year’s incoming freshmen or like our second child will react like the first born! The only assumption we can safely make is that they are a different sort. When you start with Meet, you’ll likely notice the “slowing down” nature of it. No charging headlong into a standard speech or practice plan. Instead, stop and look at the person in front of you and find out where they are – that’s the essence of Meet – understanding where the other person is.
Second, comes the Point. That’s where you share your vision of the future and of them – what’s possible, what’s expected, and what is celebrated. Then (here’s the secret to success), you Meet again. Notice how your message is landing. Notice their response. Then you can Dance between where they are and where you want them to go.
When Meet…Point…Dance becomes a go-to skill for you, you will find you know the members of your team better. You recognize the ones who are hungry to move forward, the ones who need more explanation, and those who are nervous. You are able to lead them as individuals and they will be more willing to follow. You will experience more success and fewer surprises. Just remember to meet and meet and meet as part of your dance. The Millennials are a willing bunch…especially when we see them as the unique people they are.
*Meet…Point…Dance is a skill of Bigger Game players. The Bigger Game was created to inspire executives, leaders and individuals to get out of their comfort zones and invent the life they want. Thanks to its creator, Rick Tamlyn (thebiggergame.com) for teaching us how to understand where other people were before we trying to get them to follow us.