“He must be 30-35 years of age…” I pondered, as I got chatting with a young pilot seated beside me on a recent evening flight. He was busy preparing for a flight simulation examination the following morning. When I dared to confirm it, he responded, “No! I am 26 now and started flying commercial jets two years ago!!”

For a moment, I was stunned just imagining that many of my regular flights across India are piloted by millennial ! I soon realized that, many leaders I Coach now are indeed in their 30s and early 40s. As I jogged my memory more, it occurred to me that, these millennial needed a more customized style of coaching than those from an older generation.

The millennial I have coached are highly ambitious, impatient to learn, value faster growth and make minimal efforts to build or strengthen their workplace relationships. Rarely do they seek help despite relatively better self-awareness.

Coaching millennials requires a radically different approach as –

– Leaders are only getting younger, particularly in emerging economies: Coaches will soon notice that many millennial will begin leading colleagues older than themselves apart from other millennial like them.

– Millennial are keen to know the answers than realize on their own: Coaches will struggle to have the typical Q&A-style discussion and will have to quickly resort to blending the intervention with facilitation/training-style concept learning. Instant gratification is the key to being convinced on best practices.

Their challenges are very distinct from the more experienced, and sometimes more mature, counterparts: Coaches should empathize more with the millennial’s’ concerns and issues. These could mostly border on having difficult relationships with the older generation or managing expectations across generations.

– While the older generation are often rigid, millennial are mostly stubborn: When millennial find that their efforts are paying off well, they will believe in the coaching process more. They will flex their thinking and related behaviors far better than others usually do.

To successfully coach millennials, Coaches must consciously grow their own awareness and adapt their coaching styles, sooner than later, as these young leaders are in a tearing hurry for quick wins!