My generation is...misunderstood. Actually, I don't understand us all the way. We are a weird breed. We grew up as the internet was beginning to take over, which is a new thing for this world. Then there was social media, and now smart phones. We've become accustomed to wearing our hearts on our digital sleeves, but we are pretty darn oblivious to a lot of things. Here are a few of the things I have learned to avoid by being a Millennial in leadership, and I hope they help you out too.
PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE, FOOL
I'm so guilty of this, ask my husband. I pick up my phone the second I'm bored, and I get bored fast. I quickly realized that my habit of boredom-induced phone usage was even creeping into my conversations with people. That's not good. I would walk away from a conversation that ended abruptly only to realize I had gotten my phone out during the conversation, and then I would feel like such a turd. Most of the time I would pull it out innocently, you know, to google a fact, to make note of something to remember, something like that, but they didn't know that. I just looked like a total jerk. So our conversation ends quickly. Potential ministry to that person is lost. Then there have been other times where I would just get bored (usually in a group conversation) and start checking Facebook or Twitter. I was listening, don't get me wrong, I was just...multi-tasking.
I've made a serious conscious effort to avoid even touching my phone when I'm talking with someone now. If they approach me when my phone is in hand, I immediately try to set it down, or stick it in my pocket. If it's not in my hands, it's less tempting to check. Now I only pull out my phone in a conversation if it directly benefits the person I am talking to, and when I do, I explain why I'm pulling it out. For instance, sometimes we are setting up a meeting time and I want to add it to my calendar (if I don't I will forget about it), I explain to them why I'm pulling out my phone when I do. Once I explain, they usually give me a second to get everything saved, and then we continue our conversation and my phone goes back on the desk face-down or into my pocket.
This habit is so important to master because this behavior says so much about how you value the person you are chatting with. We tend to downplay our phones as a distraction because everyone does it, but we need to see that giving a person our undivided attention is a way that we can love a person well.