Boomers and Gen X’s think about Zen. Millennials don’t like Zen, far too passe’. They like Xhil (pronounced zil) a term so new that it’s not even in Wikipedia. Where does it come from, and what does it mean?
Xhil comes from exhilarating, or perhaps exhilarated. When Millennials get engaged, they get that Xhil feeling. Zen, on the other hand, is about disengaging and retreating into oneself, not what Millennials like to do. So, here is a guide to what is and is not Xhil, if you want to engage Millennials:
- Learning new things that increase a Millennial’s market value is Xhil; plateauing is not Xhil.
- Being helpful is Xhil; being kind without really being helpful is not Xhil.
- Texting is Xhil; email is not Xhil.
- Recognizing great work and behavior is Xhil; rigid performance management is not Xhil.
- An open door policy is Xhil; making a Millennial work through your assistant is not Xhil.
- Open access to people irrespective of formal hierarchy is Xhil; needing a manager’s permission to talk to people is not Xhil.
- Gmail is Xhil if not overused; Aol (the email domain, not the company) is not Xhil.
- Challenging, stretch assignments are Xhil, following rules that add little value is not Xhil.
- Hard work is Xhil; face time is not Xhil.
- Teamwork and collaboration are Xhil; turf battles are not Xhil.
- Thinking out-of-the-box is Xhil; constrained processes based on Boomer perspectives are not Xhil.
- Good use of language in important communications is Xhil; texting in proper grammar is not Xhil.
- Dressing well for clients is Xhil; dressing well for bosses is not Xhil.
- Creativity and innovation are Xhil; endless debate is not Xhil.
- Bringing a new concept to reality is Xhil; bureaucracy is not Xhil.
- Mobil devices are Xhil; paper is not Xhil.
- Meaningful actions are Xhil; speeches are not Xhil.
- Inclusion is Xhil; even thinking about being exclusive is not Xhil.
- Human rights are Xhil; imperialism is not Xhil.
- Integrity is Xhil; cheating is not Xhil.
- Authenticity is Xhil; being political is not Xhil.
- Green, including money, is Xhil; fracking is not Xhil.
- Substance is Xhil; form over substance is not Xhil.
- Reality is Xhil; perception is not Xhil.
Boomers writing about Millennials is not Xhil. Ouch!!!