013: Socially Smart: Things Gen Y Needs to Know that Schools Aren’t Teaching | Featuring Jenn Swanson

by Joe Sherwood on November 22, 2012

Socially Smart: Things Gen Y Needs to Know that Schools Aren't Teaching


In this episode, Jesse is joined by the host of the Communication Diva podcast as well as author of the e-book How to Be Professional in the Workplace, Jenn Swanson. Jenn teaches Human Relation Skills at the college-level part-time, and the other part of the time she works with high-school students in youth ministry. So she spends a lot of the time coaching, teaching, and thinking about helping young people succeed, especially people from Generation Y and Generation Z.

Together, Jenn and Jesse focus on some of the social and communication skills that Gen Y and even Gen Z can learn from older generations; skills that Jenn says schools are not teaching.  In examining these skills within the younger generations, she explains:

  • What are the characteristics of generation Y that set them to distinguish them in the marketplace?
  • Many Gen Y people list “excellent communication skills” on their resume, but employers reporting that they don’t actually communicate professionally; why is that?
  • Why is this a topic that Gen Y and younger adults need to pay attention to if they want to be leaders with influence?
  • Why is emotional intelligence (E IQ) for Gen Y just as important as skills involving writing and social media?
  • Why is this a topic that leadership needs to pay attention to?
  • Why does the communication problem seem to be getting worse?
  • How can leaders who are Gen X and Baby Boomers best connect with Gen Y and Z?

Resources Mentioned in This Episode

Communication Diva podcast

How to Be Professional in the Workplace by Jenn Swanson

Subscription Links


Your Feedback

If you like our show, please rate us on iTunes. That makes a huge difference in helping more people discover it. We love to know your thoughts about this episode. Please submit your comments below! You can also email comments to Jesse at [email protected], subscribe to him on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Christopher Battles November 24, 2012 at 9:57pm

So you are telling me I have to know the things I put down on my resume as knowing.

What I took from this is looking about I am presenting myself. There was a lot of little things throughout this episode.

Thank you Jesse and Jenn.

I do not have children and it made me start thinking about things I want to teach them.

K, bye


JennSwanson November 26, 2012 at 12:16pm

Thanks for the comments Christopher, glad you found it helpful. Of the little things you mentioned, was the most useful info for you?


Christopher Battles November 28, 2012 at 12:16pm

My pleasure to comment.
I redownloaded/listened to it yesterday after you asked the question and I got all the little things that add up to our overall presence. We should not judge a book by a cover, but we need to realize that our own cover does have a lot of who will want to be engage with us when it comes to work. As you mentioned even a ringtone. I continually look at my book cover. Yes it is not a “cookie cutter” business man, but it is still paid attention to. I see being consistent as important.

Also talking about our online presence… Everything I post on Facebook and Twitter is public. So even if I do not feel positive at the time, I will post something that is encouraging for myself and in turn for others. I do not want to be the friend online or in real life who is always expressing their struggles, that is not helpful.

We all lead, but where we lead others and how is important.

Thank you again for sharing your wisdom. I took a lot of knowledge from it.

K, bye


Jesse Lahey November 28, 2012 at 12:55pm

Christopher, I like how you summarized it … are we coming across in a way that is helpful to ourself and others.


JennSwanson November 29, 2012 at 12:22pm

Thanks Christopher for your insight, especially your thought about Facebook and Twitter.


Jesse Lahey November 27, 2012 at 10:12am

Christopher, thanks for listening! Am I recalling correctly that you use PocketCast to listen to our show? We have a PocketCast subscriber who is experiencing the following technical problem … is this happening to you too?

*”Every time you post a new show, three shows come in on my feed (the current one and the previous two). So, for example…when you posted #13, I got it in my feed, but then also #12 and #11 came in new again even though I had already listened/deleted previously. I use the PocketCasts app for listening – but no other show I subscribe to have this issue. “*


Christopher Battles November 28, 2012 at 12:01pm

Yes. I am just delete the prior two before downloading the newest one. I do not even think of it.
I forgot I wrote that.

K, bye


Dave Stachowiak November 27, 2012 at 12:08am

Jesse, thanks for the mention on the front end of the show – enjoyed listening to dialogue between you both. It was enriching during my run tonight! =)


Jesse Lahey November 27, 2012 at 5:21pm

Dave, thank you for your podcast episode 59: Seven Principles for Leading People Older Than You —
it definitely influenced my thinking on this discussion with Jenn Swanson. (And like you, I listened to it during a run, so it’s good to know we have something else in common). Thanks for listening!


Jesse Lahey December 13, 2012 at 7:48am

Here is a great perspective on engaging Gen Y:

How To Convince Gen Y To Believe In Your Cause And Your Company



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