Gen Ys, aka Millennials, communicate in digital language.
What does “going topless” mean to Gen Y employees? It means no laptops, no IPhones, no digital tools of any kind at business meetings.
Boomer bosses may see this as a plus — there will be no viewing Facebook, no checking email, no texting “I’m bored” to another meeting participant, no playing Words with Friends.
But Ys – at topless meetings – lose one of their most valuable skills: the ability to multi-task in their favored language — digital. And, that means there will be no information gathering done at warp speed, no intra-meeting brainstorming, and no note-taking that may serve as a catalyst for future creative thought.
Personally, I like digital tools at a meeting. If I need some info, an X or Y can supply it almost instantaneously. I can tell if I’m losing the group’s attention or if they’re ready to move on. And, after the meeting, as soon as I check my IPhone, I receive feedback, suggestions, and creative thoughts, sent to me, digitally, throughout the meeting.
One additional hint for multi-generational meetings — if there are Gen Ys at a meeting, don’t read too much into their facial expressions. Remember, they’re used to looking down at their IPhones, not at each other. Look for non-verbal cues in the faces of Gen Xers or Boomers.