Generation Y (the 18-36 year old demographic) is now an extrinsic part of the fabric of our businesses; many are already in management roles. They have expectations of constant feedback, mentoring and direction. They thrive on open collaboration and in flat organisational hierarchies; they demand clear career pathways and rapid progress, alongside a good work-life balance. Combine this with an ease with 24/7 digital communication and networking and a strong sense of entitlement and you have a different set of coaching challenges.
Gen Y clients may not be content with one goal per coaching session - they might want to tackle three or four. They are hungry for knowledge and input, so are comfortable with blurred edges between non-directive coaching, mentoring and consulting. They are very performance-focused, so are happy with being held accountable for tough performance goals. This throws up some rich challenges for coaches (many of whom are not from Gen Y!), in terms of developing new coaching styles and approaches that really work for Gen Y.
Today’s coach, Mark Dailey, is a Partner at strategic communications consultancy Madano (where 65% of the team fall into the Gen Y cohort) and has led a diverse professional life. After 12 years as a hardcore TV journalist, largely for CBC TV in his native Canada, he moved to Hong Kong and became a senior communications strategist in the HK Government under Chris Patten. He followed that with 10 years in four different City banks, before merging his interests in communications and people at Madano and qualifying as a Meyler Campbell coach in 2013. Comfortable with working in partnership with a wide range of clients, Mark finds his Gen Y clients particularly invigorating. This Fishbowl looks set to be equally energising.