“I don’t want to be coached by my mother.” How might generational differences have an impact on coach supervision? Peter Duffell and Natalia de Estevan-Ubeda report   Generational differences are becoming increasingly relevant across society. Our research examines which differences are prevalent, and how they may show up in coach supervision.   Research To help us frame our initial enquiry, we reviewed the literature on generational characterisations and differences in the workplace. We looked at three areas: What characterises the different generations, including cultural values, organisational behaviours, communication and workstyle preferences, and each generation’s relationship with technology (Birkman, 2016) How […]

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When Gen X coaches met Gen Z students to express assumptions, they found more similarities than differences. Surely our humanity needs to come first? by Lindsay Wittenberg There were some significant differences in the session I ran at the Coaching at Work conference on 4 July. Perhaps most obvious was that the session featured 11 female guests. Nine were students aged 16 or 17 from Rosebery School in Surrey, UK, two attended in their capacity as these students’ teachers, all had had some training in coaching. Both teachers stood out from the norm. One, Victoria Niroomand-Rad, has created and implemented Student […]

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Coaching at Work conference 2018 – Working with and learning from the younger generations – Lindsay Wittenberg, Victoria Niroomand-Rad and guests

By Molly Hall One unusual session at the Coaching at Work annual conference on 4 July saw coaches, young female students and their teacher come together in a lively exploration of assumptions different generations hold about one another, potential differences and common ground between the generations, and offered coaches a chance to try out coaching students. The session was facilitated by Lindsay Wittenberg, with secondary school teacher Victoria Niroomand-Rad, with the aim of exploring “what connects us, what divides us, and how to make connections”, said Wittenberg. They were joined by two female students from a London school, all of […]

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Members of newer generations are not the independent, innovative creatures many think they are – they need more support, stability, structure and inclusion than previous generations, according to a large-scale European study. “We assume for no reason that they [Gen Y and Z] are the bright young things. Organisations expect people to be more agile and innovative, but people want less of this,” said David Ringwood, vice president of client development, EMEA, Management Research Group, which conducted the study. The study was carried out among nearly 9,000 individuals in Europe, examining differences in motivation between four generations: Baby Boomers, Gen […]

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Like any other generational group, Gen Y is uniquely shaped by its historical context. It is only by understanding, respecting and addressing such generational differences in the working environment, that coaches can establish a successful relationship.

There is no consensus on the exact birthdate of Generation Y (Gen Y), but various publications and research studies give it as between 1982 and 2002 (Baby Boomers: 1946-1963, Gen X: 1963-1977 and late Gen X: 1977-1982).

Each generational group has a distinct set of values: how they view authority, their orientation to the world, loyalty, expectations of their leadership and ideal work environment. Each is uniquely shaped by its historical context. These formative influences have enduring effects and bring something new to the workforce, underscoring our need to understand, respect and regularly address generational differences in working practices.

Gen Y at work

A major challenge is an apparent mismatch between what employers want – and the world can offer – and what Gen Y want to do

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