Recent research has shown how ‘Awe Walks’ can improve our mood and mental health. Are you full of awe? The research got volunteers to take selfies when out in nature over a period of time. After a while they noticed something interesting. And bear with me, this is related to GenZ.
What they noticed was that the group told to go and find awe in nature took different selfies by the end. The photos were more about the sky, trees, nature, with the people only small elements within it. And smiling big. The control group loomed front and centre of all their photos all the time.
What has this got to do with GenZ? What the researchers realised is that those subjects who went out and immersed themselves in the great outdoors had measurable improvements in their wellbeing. They looked at everything, marvelled at the shape of leaves, gazed ever upwards into the canopy and the clouds. Who does that without being told?
That’s right: children. Before they grow old and cynical and go along with their eyes fixed on the ground. Like us, except under unusual circumstances. A New York taxi driver will tell you he can easily tell the tourists from the locals: only the tourists look upwards.
So what? Apart from ‘Always Look Up’ being the mantra of adventurer and television present Ben Fogle, why should we care? Because this research is a reminder that getting even a bit older does bring experience and business knowledge that we can pass down, but along the way we also lose things.
GenZ in the workforce may be teens or early twenties, so they’re not open-mouthed children, but they’re still closer to a way of being, of thinking, than the rest of us are in the workplace. Yet we so often choose to ignore what they can teach us and remind us, and instead we focus solely on what we can teach them.
Reverse-mentoring doesn’t mean you have to sit there while someone just out of nappies lectures you about this week’s social media craze. There’s a mindset here that you can mine. Something fresh but which also sees things in a way that maybe you used to, about a hundred years ago when you started in this business.
We talk about bringing a fresh pair of eyes onto a project. Well, let’s do that literally. GenZers see things differently, without all the filters that we add over the years. And they’re not afraid to own the position, to say what they think and why, and to push for progress.
Bring GenZ in early to a project, not just to add a bit of modern gloss to something you’ve done many times before, but to start out in a different way, to end up at a different place – a better place. Taking a route we’d never have thought of. Or maybe we would have once. Now wouldn’t that we awesome.
Authors: Graham Scott and Guy Ellis
Publisher: The Message Medium
Pagination: 132 pages
Price: print £14.99 ($19.99);ebook £9.99 ($9.99)
Publication date: 31 July 2020
If you’d like a signed or personalised copy, please do contact us at email@example.com
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