Dr. Andrea Hollingsworth
Hollingsworth Consulting

People complain about millennials. “They won’t look away from their screens!” “They don’t know how to have a conversation!” “They want things immediately!” “Their attention span is four seconds!”

Part of me gets defensive. In terms of my birth year, I’m almost a millennial myself. And while screens are a significant part of my life, they truly connect me with people and opportunities that enrich, empower, and inspire me.

Another part of me wants to join the whine fest. I recently attended a social gathering where the twenty-something table was entirely still, silent, and downcast. The only real movement was the flying of thumbs across glowing devices. It made me sad. 

If you find yourself surrounded by people (of any age) who seem distracted, diffident, downcast, and dull, what should you do?

Simon Sinek thinks empathy and mentoring is a better response than whining. “Have a little empathy for the millennials around you, they were dealt a bad hand.” 

I’m not sure what Sinek means by “bad hand.” But I like the direction of his thought experiment: What if non-millennials started helping millennials find their confidence? Grow their patience? Boost their social skills? Improve their focus? What if the response was active care instead of judgy annoyance? 

Leadership means taking responsibility for seeing and developing the potential in people. It means investing in the promise of another’s greater happiness and success. This takes courage, time, and tons of heart. 

Who is underneath the device-tethered, impatient, unfocused, insecure, unmotivated, and socially awkward person in your life (millennial or not)? Is it a human being who could be one step closer to thriving? Well, then. Maybe you are just the one to help show them the way.

About Andrea

Dr. Andrea Hollingsworth is Founder and CEO of Hollingsworth Consulting, author of the bestselling book The Compassion Advantage (2024), and one of today’s leading global experts on compassionate leadership. Since 2008, she has been studying, speaking, and writing about the science and spirituality of human emotions and relationships. Her articles have been published more than a dozen times in peer-reviewed journals, and she has taught at prestigious institutions like Princeton, Boston University, and Loyola University Chicago. In addition, Dr. Andrea has delivered talks to audiences at some of the top-ranked universities in the world—including Cambridge University in England and Heidelberg University in Germany.

Dr. Andrea spends most of her time inspiring leaders and teams to use The Compassion Advantage to build supercharged organizations through cultures of care— especially in times of challenge and change. Andrea lives with her family in Minnesota where she cheers hard at her son’s soccer games and relishes every opportunity to visit the north shore of Lake Superior.