Leadership is a Conversation
I recently had coffee with a millennial client who is a bright, creative, deep thinker with interests and talents broader than a color palette, and her Mom, a friend and former colleague of mine. I asked my client for her opinion on what Millennials expect from their Leadership Coach. She thought about the question for a moment before responding:
“Empathy. We want a Coach who acknowledges that the challenges we’re facing are legitimate and real. Although you may have done this ten times already, for us, it is the first time. If I had to put it into one word, it would be: empathy.”
Millennials want a Leadership Coach who will listen to them, who respects them. Millennials want a Coach who challenges them to dig deeply for the answers because we both know they have the knowledge or can obtain it; we both know they can adapt quickly to work with their own unique style and the situation for which they’re preparing. Millennials want a Coach who believes in them and their ability to achieve their goals and make a difference. And guess what? So do non-Millennials.
Millennial leaders want what every person who is bold enough to engage in coaching wants: they want to work with a Coach who “gets them.” They want a Leadership Coach who recognizes their strengths and acknowledges that the challenges they’re facing are legitimate and very real. This is particularly true for Millennials who may be facing–for the first time—the challenges that all leaders may encounter. It is also very true for any person engaging in behavior change at any level.
Behavior change involves working in the complicated layers of the individual, which is why we love coaching to do this– because you can talk with each individual and find out what the layers are all about.
Similar, Yet Different
What we find in coaching Millennial leaders is that the vehicles they use and prefer may vary. The where and the when may be different from what previous generations were raised on. Millennials generally prefer to text instead of email, for example. The vehicles and frequency of communication can be different so it’s best to be open and flexible—and have a conversation about preferences; things happen so much faster; things happen in a moment . . . because they can.
Coaching and Leading Across Generations is a series of experiential workshops created with colleague Linda DeLuca. Interested in bringing this experience to your leaders? Contact us