Coaching Millenials

Tim Dean

Tim Deanby Tim Dean,

Millennials.  The word conjures up a wide range of stereotypes.  From narcissistic praise junkies who expect immediate rewards to multi-tasking entrepreneurs who want to make a real difference in the world, Millennials have been the topic of dozens of articles for some time now.  And they should be.  As of 2015, Millennials represent the largest generation in terms of population size and number of employees in the workplace.

When it comes to Millennials, we have heard the labels: entitled, lazy, distracted, pampered, have no social skills, will be the downfall of society.  Despite these “predictions,” Millennials actually have a lot more in common with prior generations than many realize.  For example, a multi-decade research survey confirmed that each generation, including Millennials, desires the same intrinsic values: meaningful work, learning opportunities, and being challenged.

One area where Millennials possess a different perception than older generations is coaching.  Instead of viewing coaching as a reactive, ‘something-is-wrong’ last resort, Millennials welcome coaching as an extension of their upbringing and consider the process a part of their continued growth.  As I have learned first-hand, Millennials like to be coached and, in fact, have been coached one way or the other their entire lives.

As my Millennial clients have shared, they want to establish and convey a more honest and individual identity.  They also regularly seek out self-development opportunities and want to discuss goals that are, at times, out of sync with conventional wisdom and a career/life path they had been raised to follow.  Combine this mindset with their unwavering desire to better our world, and you can begin to understand how Millennials are uniquely poised to bring about monumental change and will become tomorrow’s next great leaders.

Read the Coaching Millennials chapter in Coaching Perspectives V for more.

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