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Remember These Realities when Leading and Teaching Generation iY

October 6th, 2010

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Remember These Realities as You Lead and Teach Generation iY.

1. Generation iY learns on a “need to know” basis.
Don’t just jump into your topic, take time to explain the relevance of it. Why should they listen? We must create incentive for them to believe they need to know what we are communicating.

2. Remember that “schemas” frame their world -- so use them.
When students encounter new information, they attempt to relate it to something they already know. They process new data via their present experiences and understanding. Get familiar with their schemas. 

3. The less predictable your words, the more memorable they will be.
Once you summarize your point, ask if it is a cliché? Find a fresh way to say it, with a new twist. Spend as much time on the “how” of your delivery as you do the “what” of our content.

4. The first few minutes must grab their head or their heart, if you want sustain their interest.
Be quick to get to some content, or reveal your own heart. Provide a reason for them to listen. Share your story. Be transparent. Take them on a journey -- enlist them quickly to join you on this journey of learning.

5. The best learning occurs in a social context.
Russian psychologist, Lev Vygotsky, held the theory of social constructivism. He confirmed that people learn best in community and relationship with a mentor or fellow students. Worldview emerges from interaction.

6. The more “in your face” your words are, the more trust you will earn.
They love to “speak their mind” and tend to believe communicators who are blunt in the same way. Don’t be afraid to be forthright and truthful. This earns trust.

7. If you challenge the status quo, they will hunger to take a journey with you.
They have high expectations of themselves and of anyone “up front.” Challenge the norm. This doesn’t mean you’re a rebel or renegade -- but simply that you’re re-thinking assumptions from the past.

8. They grew up loving images, so give them a metaphor.
They’re world is MTV, video games, photos, DVDs, and the Internet -- you must have a picture, too. Dr. Len Sweet suggests that images are the language of the 21st century, not words.

9. Utilize proximal development by pairing them with coaches.
Youth accelerate their learning by associating with a more capable partner, peer or mentor. By learning together, they experience growth first-hand but can also learn through observing an advanced partner.

10.  Once you know your message, find a way to twist it to exceed their expectations.
Think about movies that stick, or popular novels; they excel by adding another layer of story. The story becomes great because it includes an unexpected layer to exceed our expectations.

11. For your message to remembered, keep the pace of change high & call them to change.
Change is key. Their world is changing fast. Generation iY doesn’t sit still for very long and they expect to change their world. Your communication must reflect this. Your talk must be full of changes.

12. It’s best to teach less for more.
Although this sounds contradictory, it isn’t. To be remembered, plunge into one central theme. Don’t attempt to deliver a large variety of topics. Generation iY has a filter and will screen out most of it.

13.  Remember, young people today are both high-performance and high maintenance.
Walk the delicate balance between nurture and challenge. Help them “own” your message via relationship. If you can earn their trust through feedback and support, they will perform in extraordinary ways.

14. Generation iY hungers to participate in something very important & almost impossible.
Their greatest incentive for learning may be the challenge of a project that is very important and almost impossible to accomplish. They love growing toward a goal when it is significant.


Want more? More information on how to lead and teach this generation well can be found in Tim's newest book Generation iY -- Click on the "Buy Now" tab on the left side of the screen to get a copy today!


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