Being born between 1982 and 2002 makes you a millennial (generation Y).
Whether you like that or not depends on your perspective. Simon Sinek tells us that these young people were dealt a bad hand and that they have been misled about life and about themselves (you are special). They got addicted to social media and gaming. They want the summit, but they won’t climb the mountain. Their education has led to feeling entitled, to impatience and eventually to a lack of social skills and selfconfidence. For in real life there is no instant gratification and nothing comes for free. Some students think Sinek is overgeneralizing, but he may point out a trend.
In my coaching I meet students from this generation. I think they are promising, and young too. In this complex and competitive world they seem to need more time than previous generations for growing up. More time to socially mature and find their direction in life. Some have little selfconfidence, and little awareness of the impression they make upon other people. Selfreflection and feedback are relatively new to them.
As a coach I am basically non-judgemental, I am mild and patient with students. I invite them to reflect upon their thoughts and behaviours, ask ‘nasty’ questions and give them tips, directions, exercises and assignments. I stimulate them to breathe coherently, to relax at times, to live a healthy life, to play outside, to discover their emotions, and to share experiences, even the difficult and vulnerable ones. This enhances their selfconfidence and resilience, and they learn to deal with stressors more effectively.
I also work with them on developmental tasks for young adults, such as identity development, independence, mature relationships and sense of purpose. I don’t make things easy for them, since I think they are promising. And if they were dealt a bad hand, this is the right time to develop and learn. This development is not done after eight or ten coaching conversations. For in real life there is no instant gratification and nothing comes for free. But with a slight change of course now they may eventually end up in a different world.
At least I am very glad with their steep learning curve, and they are glad with the giant steps they make in such a short period. After all they are the generation that will shape the new millennium.