Beyond text: Communication and Gen Z — Part one: Starting out strong
October 7, 2015
Today’s college students—part of Generation Z—spend countless hours connected to electronic devices and disconnected to other people. This disconnection to others affects students’ communication skills. This three-part webinar series, Beyond text: Communication and Gen Z, features Andrea McEwen Henderson (https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreamcewen), former National Account Manager for College Recruiter, and Bethany Wallace, (https://www.linkedin.com/in/bethanywallace), English Instructor at the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville. College Recruiter is pleased to introduce Bethany as its new part-time Content Manager; Bethany will join the team as a full-time member in 2016.
This webinar series provides college students and recent college graduates with information and understanding regarding the key role communication skills play in future career success. Part 1, Starting out strong, addresses why communication skills matter and how students and graduates can begin the process of acquiring vital communication skills today.
The audience will understand why Generation Z/traditional-aged college students may lack communication skills and why acquiring them is crucial.
The audience will receive tips on improving communication skills as college students.
The audience will learn how to develop an action plan for improving communication skills.
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How would you define great communication skills?
Great communication skills allow one to communicate effectively and appropriately in any given context with absolute ease.
Why do today’s college students, most of whom are part of Generation Z, need to be concerned about developing communication skills?
The reason Generation Z students need to be concerned about communication skills is because research shows that Gen Z students are so connected to technology that they tend to have lower emotional intelligence levels. While Gen Z students have many assets, communication skills don’t make the list. This is mainly because the amount of face to face interactions have decreased in communities, not providing Generation Z enough opportunities to interact. Gen Z students should be concerned because communication skills are really needed later in the workplace.
When do students need to start concerning themselves with developing communication skills?
They need to start learning these skills as soon as possible. Communication skills are not something we learn overnight, and the more we practice, the better we get.
How should current college students develop an action plan for improving their communication skills?
Get a mentor, someone the student respects and who would be willing to guide the student through the process of acquiring soft skills.
Take advantage of career services and communications workshops or classes.
Get off campus and interact with people. Look for opportunities to connect with people face-to-face.
What about recent college graduates who missed out on opportunities to develop communication skills while they were in college? What can they do to catch up at this point and to develop those crucial communication skills?
Try to connect with the alumni office or young professionals organizations.
Get involved in things that will force them to get out there and talk to people.
Get off the phone and talk to people in person.
If you could share three words of wisdom with college students regarding communication, what would you say?
Ask people about themselves. This gets the focus on the other person and takes away the pressure to talk. It also allows us to showcase our listening skills.
Think of networking as trying to build a relationship, not a gain.
Understand that we all make mistakes in communication, and be humble enough to admit mistakes and apologize to others.
Bethany Wallace, Content Manager for College Recruiter, and English Instructor at the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville, looks forward to joining the College Recruiter team full-time in 2016. Follow Bethany on Twitter at @wallacembethany, on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/bethanywallace, or on WordPress at http://justwheat.wordpress.com.