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How to Coach Millennials

How to Coach Millennials

Every day more and more millennials enter the workforce. It is often said that millennials bring innovation, new perspectives and ideas for growth. As the new and largest generation of our workforce, millennials are calling for a new way of leadership. Do you know how to best leverage their potential and coach them effectively?

Millennials, born between early 1980s and 2000s, have much to contribute to the expansion and growth of your business. In this article I will share 5 key principles from my business and career coaching practice to attract, lead and motivate millennials in the workplace.

1. Provide structure and sharpen their focus

Prioritizing days and weeks in advance is part of every successful leader’s routine. However, this is something millennials don’t embrace so easily: to have everything scheduled. They enjoy being spontaneous and flexible.

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Offer them the flexibility they need, while still setting healthy boundaries and providing structure. Certain routines can be scheduled every day. Regular monthly and weekly meetings with a clear agenda and goals will help millennials to achieve long term goals and get organized.

Serve as a role model and inspire them to absorb your good working habits: how to organize your workspace, how to effectively schedule work and set realistic goals. Take some time to coach them on: how to use practical tools and methods to plan time wisely, streamline certain tasks, communicate with team members and lead workshops. This will not only sharpen their focus but also keep them on track with assigned projects.

2. Create opportunities for growth

Most millennials I’ve encountered are very self-confident and have a great “can do” attitude. That’s why millennials don’t need a manager but a great leader with coaching skills to inspire them. They don’t want simply a great title and a good check at the end of the month. They want to make a true contribution and work on something meaningful because their identity is often expressed through the work they do. Therefore assign them meaningful projects in which they can make an impact to the growth of the company and at the same time expand their current skills.

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Be warned: millennials are generally less responsive to an authoritarian leadership style. Being stern or commanding will bring no improvement in productivity of millennials and may yield undesired consequences for the company.

Millennials are eager to take a lead and show off their skills by running independent projects. They will feel limited if they are expected to work only within the specific frameworks. Independent projects empower and serve as an opportunity to fuel their passion, grow, and learn.

3. Encourage ‘quick wins’

Every new assignment can be exciting at the beginning. However if desired goals are not as timely realized as expected, millennials may lose their initial enthusiasm and feel anxious or even depressed.

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Setting ‘quick wins’’ is a countermeasure for burning-out. These are the goals that can be achieved before experiencing any sense of inefficacy. Based on my experience as a leadership coach I would recommend leaders devoting a few hours per week and month for joint reflection on current projects, progress and setting small attainable goals – ‘quick wins’ until next week and month. This simple exercise will keep millennials engaged and committed.

4. Foster an environment for learning

Millennials love flat hierarchies, honest feedback and having a transparent relationship with their authentic managers. Therefore, dedicate some time to review their progress and give constructive feedback. Stay in touch regularly, show interest and curiosity in their way of working; praise their progress; don’t be judgmental, but inspire them to aim higher. Reflect on how to coach them better and serve their thirst for knowledge.

5. Give opportunities to bolster their CVs

According to a recent study on the millennial workforce, 53% hiring managers find it challenging to retain the millennials. Your role as a leader is to support their growth, that’s why you need to learn when it’s the best time to let them go.  The ‘I want to work for the next 30 years in the same company’ trend is gone. The new wave has less long term commitment to one specific organization. Therefore, work with them to develop their skills and help them to enrich their CVs. Communicate clearly that even if they leave the organization, you will be there for them. In all my years of coaching, I’ve seen this loyalty returning.

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You and millennials: two different generations, tackling the same challenges but ending up creating a distinctive individual plan of action to deal with them. Use this difference to your advantage. This is a wake-up call for all leaders. Invest in millennials and give them the freedom they need. You will see surprising results.

Featured photo credit: Man Talking About Architecture Ideas via picjumbo.com

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Published on April 16, 2019

How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

When was the last time you did something for yourself?

Whether it was deciding to treat yourself with a little something or travel for some R&R, how often do you practice self-care?

Well, as good as above sounds, there’s a common misconception that many of us have about self-care: that it’s only about indulgence and enjoyment.

However, self-care goes far beyond indulgence. It’s actually about respecting your mind and body, understanding its limits, and being able to take care of every part of yourself, in a holistic way.

And, you really don’t have to go to extreme measures or do anything specific–like meditating or following a plant based diet–in order to practice self-care. You just have to make sure that what you’re doing is in your best interests.

So how can you make that happen?

Below are a few proven methods that will help you become a better version of you. Follow through with these regularly and you’ll be well on your way to living your very best life.

Listen to Yourself

The bulk of self-care is knowing yourself.

This means knowing your body’s limitations, and being in tune with your feelings, emotions and thoughts. So it’s important, then, to know who you are and what you want to do in life, in order to truly say that you know yourself. 

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What is your purpose?

Have you ever thought about this question?

Your purpose doesn’t have to remain the same throughout your life. What you found a purpose in at age 19 would likely be different at age 49.

In your current situation, think about the different roles that you have – as a working professional, a spouse, a partner, a parent, etc.

Do you feel like you are fulfilling your purpose through any of these roles?

All you have to do is ensure that what you’re chasing is meaningful to you; this will bring focus and motivation as you strive to achieve your goals.

If you have your purpose defined, then that’s awesome! You know what drives you and why.

But, if you don’t feel like you have a purpose nailed down, it’s good to start by asking why.

For example, why are you working in your particular job or industry? If the reason is vague or unclear, then your motivational energy will be the same. In which case, you may find yourself not having a direction for where you’re headed in life.

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If you’d like to learn more about finding your purpose, then I recommend you check out this article:

How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

Seek Out Continuous Education

Now, this may seem less common when you think of self-care, but lifelong learning is incredibly useful and an important component of taking care of yourself.

It’s Super Practical

Lifelong learning is extremely practical these days and does not require as much effort as it may have in the past. Long gone are the days when you could only find information on something by visiting a library. In this day of the internet, anything you can imagine is at your fingertips.

You don’t need to physically go to a learning institution to learn. You can watch Youtube videos to learn new skills, take online courses to earn a degree, and scroll through an endless amount of articles, books and journals from reputable news and informative sites.

When you’re constantly pushing yourself to learn and take up new things, your mental health also improves. Research shows that an active and engaged mind is responsible for diminishing age-related memory loss and improves overall cognitive abilities.

Your Confidence Will Skyrocket

You’ll also have improved self worth as it teaches you to step outside of your comfort zone, which will undoubtedly improve your confidence.

You’ll also connect better with others by expanding your knowledge base. Learning exposes you to a multitude of new ideas and perspectives that you may have otherwise never considered. This also increases your adaptability. Whether it’s at work or just wanting to adapt to society, your peers, and loved ones, life long learning prepares you to take on new challenges.

You’ll Be More Desired in the Job Market

Another obvious reason for continuous education, is that your employability will also increase.

With the ever changing economy, and huge influences from technology, social media, science etc., job descriptions today are moving targets. Assignments and roles change so quickly in response to changing business demands, it becomes a Herculean task to keep a job description database current.

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In years past, stability was a characteristic of the world of work. Procedures, information, jobs, and organizations were established and provided continuity. Education was completed in the first 14 to 22 years of one’s life, followed by a long career occasionally punctuated by short-term job training.

Today, however, jobs, companies, and technology are disappearing and being created simultaneously. To remain current and maintain a competitive advantage in the human capital marketplace, an individual is challenged to continually learn.

People return to school at every age to enrich their skills and knowledge for their current positions. Some even prepare themselves for new jobs or career changes, moving them forward into new opportunities and technology.

We can be assured that we will be challenged to continue to learn new tasks and information throughout our lives. Successful careers belong to flexible, curious learners who are prepared for opportunities because they know themselves and where they make their best contribution. As Peter Drucker, the father of modern management stated,

“Knowledge is choice.”

Lifelong learning also increases social awareness and perspective. To genuinely understand and empathize with others, increase social awareness, and foster strong interpersonal relationships, it’s important to seek out new perspectives. Enhancing the skills that positively impact emotional intelligence can bring even greater happiness and success, both personally and at work; and, this is all part of self-care.

Improve Your Habits (Both at Work and at Home)

Now, the last piece of advice I want to introduce to your self-care regimen, is to improve your habits.

Habits define who you are, and are built up over time. You are what you eat is a great example of this. If you make it a habit to eat foods that nourish your body, rather than make your body feel bad, then you will be much healthier overall.

Good Habits Allow You to Reach Your Goals

Since habits dictate your days and nights, such as waking up every morning to get to work before a certain time, or brushing your teeth before bedtime every night, they play a major role in whether we do or do not reach our goals.

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When you form habits that allow you to progress towards your goals, you’re automatically living a purposeful day, everyday.

Habits Make Your Time a Priority

How do you spend your free time? Do you opt to lounge on the couch watching Netflix passively, or do you engage in activities that support your purpose in life?

It’s natural to waste a lot of time during the day, but fostering good habits will make you set a pattern for how you spend your time and give you the choice of what you choose to spend your time on. By improving your habits, you’ll find that you can be a LOT more productive. When you create good habits, you become more efficient with your time and a lot less is wasted.

This in essence creates an overall positive influence on your life, allowing you to treat your mind and body well, which is why improving your habits are so important to self-care.

Your Well Being Comes First

We live in such a fast-paced society, where we are often so caught up in our work, families, maintaining our social lives, our studies and everything in between. It’s an understatement to say that life can get a little overwhelming at times.

If you’ve ever watched the safety video onboard a plane, you’ll know that they always ask for a parent or adult to put on the safety mask first, before tending to the child. This may sound selfish, but the fact is that if you truly want to ensure the child’s safety, then your safety needs to come first so that you can protect and care for the child without complications from your end.

The same goes for self-care. We need to ensure that our well being is priority, so that we can be the best for the people around us.

Listening to yourself, practicing lifelong learning and improving your habits are steps that you can take to ensure you’re constantly in the best state of mind, alongside the indulgence and rest that you reward yourself with.

Featured photo credit: Photo by Raychan on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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