Clear is Kind When It Comes to Leading Gen Z

Lora Haines Headshot
By: Lora Haines
Workshop, Webinar, and Coaching Extraordinaire

I cherish the moments when workshop participants approach me privately, seeking guidance and asking vulnerable questions. It is during these interactions that I realize how much trust and comfort we’ve fostered in the room through thoughtful facilitation and timely content. In the past two years, a clear trend has emerged: Individuals at all career levels and organizations are yearning for clarity.

From communication norms to career development, everyone seeks a well-paved path to navigate their professional challenges. Seasoned professionals grapple with the overwhelming number of messages they receive, leaders seek better ways to delegate workloads effectively, and young professionals yearn for transparent feedback from their superiors to help them build trust, grow in their career, and eventually earn that promotion. In a world full of distractions and rapid changes, clarity emerges as the key to successful career navigation.

I’ve found that a tool called the START model can help employees of all levels – and specifically Gen Z –  thrive in today’s fast-paced, often hybrid environment.

Clear is Kind

In partnering with dozens of clients on leadership and early career development training, I’ve adopted a mantra that supersedes – in my opinion – any other leadership principle: Clear is Kind.

Communication that appears crystal clear to you might be confusing to someone new to the role (That’s a reminder to avoid jargon). Effective delegation, which seems straightforward to you, may leave others with more questions than answers. Empathy and understanding play a vital role in achieving clarity. We spend hundreds of hours per year training leaders specifically on high EQ skills like empathy, resilience, and coaching, but the most basic and necessary skill needed as a leader is being able to set clear expectations.

The START Model

In our Leading Gen Z program, we introduce a device known as the START model to help leaders provide clear expectations when delegating. When assigning a task, consider the following:

By utilizing the START model, you can set clear expectations and pave the way for success in any task you delegate or undertake. If you find yourself longing for more communication from your leaders, use the START model to identify the specific questions or support you need. Remember, seeking clarity is not a sign of weakness, but a step towards growth and understanding.

As we navigate an ever-evolving landscape, clarity emerges as the cornerstone of success in both professional and personal realms. Embrace the power of clear communication and delegation, and you’ll find yourself thriving in our fast-paced, hybrid world. Let’s foster a culture where clarity is not just a goal, but a kindness we extend to ourselves and others.

For more valuable insights and resources, explore our programs, including They’re Here and They Meme Business: Leading Gen Z and We Can Work It Out: Collaborating Across Generations. Together, let’s embrace clarity and shape a brighter future for our careers and relationships.