How well do you communicate?
The debate about clear and effective communication continues to rage on in the general media. Do people read articles, books, and other long-form media, or do they only digest information in 30-second sound bites or 140-character tweets? What media outlets can be trusted, and which ones have a hidden agenda? Does correct spelling really matter? Do millennials read and watch news only on their phones?
As I mentioned in July, I was one of about 30 professionals speaking with high school females about career options. The event was even more incredible than I expected. I met girls from around the world who’d recently moved to the United States, and their ambitious goals inspired each of the professional women in attendance to give candid guidance on career choices.
The conversation turned to much more than career choices, however. The professional team was from a host of backgrounds—law, media, ministry, fitness, marketing, you name it. At the conclusion of the event, a few key themes bubbled to the top.
- Communication—written and verbal—is exceptionally important. Each of these young ladies was quickly learning English, and they all realized that their ability to communicate was vital to their acceptance, education, and eventual success. They each agreed that learning the language, and learning it well, was at the top of their list.
- Education would open many doors for them. Most of them were just starting high school (and were quite nervous about it) and they already had their sights set on college. Questions ranged from what high school classes would help them get into a good college to how to decide which degree to pursue. Every single one of them wanted to go to college; many wanted to obtain professional degrees in medicine, engineering, teaching, or other areas.
- Having a mentor or adult guide is important. Some of the girls wanted to be an architect because an uncle was an architect. A couple of the girls I met wanted to become attorneys because they’d been inspired by the women they were spending time with at “girl camp” during the summer. The concept of having a guide to hold their hand clicked with most of these girls—they knew they’d need some extra help beyond parental support or a high school counselor.
Each young lady was focused on integrating into her community and school, and her ability to clearly and effectively communicate was paramount. They’d all prepared questions for the professionals in the room, many of which were thoughtful—and sometimes hard to answer.
This group of Generation Z girls is going to conquer the world someday, especially as they hone their ability to get their point across in many formats.