Coaching for Inclusion

It’s not going to come as a surprise to anyone that there are differences between young people and older people.

It’s hardly going to be news that sometimes there are breakdowns in communication between the generations.

It’s definitely not going to shock you to learn that such breakdowns – when they happen in the workplace – can have a profound negative effect on staff welfare and on company productivity.

When a 17-year old joins a company, and is teamed with a 55-year old who has been on the staff for many years, there are going to be clashes of culture between the two, and in an organisation that fails to recognise and pre-empt these clashes this can lead to problems.

So how does coaching – and in particular the nurturing of a coaching culture – help to avoid such issues arising?

In a typical company in which coaching is the norm, the established staff member will be inclined to listen and to ask questions of the newcomer; making the younger person feel that they have a value.

The younger person will be encouraged to question the more experienced staffer; perhaps not just about work, but also about themselves, their life, family.

This then becomes a shared and reciprocal ‘trouble-free’ zone, in which both parties can explore the differences, the similarities and the oddities of each other’s lives.

In one case a teenager was spotted giving lessons in texting to a woman in her sixties who was later spotted pinging messages to her daughter while on a break. Not a major win in business terms perhaps…except for the phone service, but nonetheless a gain, as both she and her younger tutor had for a few moments reversed their roles of teacher and student, and had created a different, and perhaps better, bond.

The first step to creating a cross-generational coaching culture is to recognise that people of different ages have different identities and language, in just the same way as different ethnicities might, and that everyone, regardless of age, experience, background, or whatever has something to offer. However, they may not offer it unless they are invited to do so, and feel safe in so doing.

The coaching culture is among other things a place of safety, and an open invitation to share, and for that reason if for no other it is something we should all seek to introduce and to encourage.


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 Caitlin has made a real difference to my confidence and to the way I approach my business on a day to day basis.
John Baker, Regional Director, The Jockey Club
 It (coaching) unearthed a depth of confidence that I was beginning to question and enabled me to make a significant change within myself and my work.
Luke Joy-Smith, Managing Director - Somerset Social Enterprise
 I connected with my coach on our very first call and I believe that made the whole difference for me. I wish I could dig deeper on some of my remaining issues but unfortunately all good things have to end. I will definitely recommend coaching and have been already doing it for while. It definitely changed my life.
Stephanie Malka, Director NOC Service Engineering – EMEA
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Simon Gosney, Head of Learning and Development
 Tim has provided some high quality coaching support to me through a time of transition both in terms of job, career and organisational changes. He is a skilled and experienced executive coach who facilitated just the right mix of reflection, future visioning, challenge, compassion and stretch. I’d strongly recommend working with him if you are going through a career or organisation transition. Fun to work with, I always left my sessions with him feeling significantly clearer and more content with my overall direction of travel and next steps.
Neil Savage, Director of Organisational Development 2gether NHS Foundation Trust
 “I selected my coach on the basis that she had a completely different approach to my structured way of thinking. Katherine challenged me and took me way out of my comfort zone – scary and uncomfortable at times but eye-opening. These coaching sessions enabled me to see things from a very different perspective, gave me the time and space to reflect on my practice and provided practical tips and approaches as to how I can develop my performance.”
Zenobia Daar, Head of People, Governance & Performance
 Please continue with the programme. For a guy, like Paul, who does not use the word 'fantastic', who then uses must be really good!
Marissa Bartlett, Head of Organisational Development - Mid Sussex District Council
 Everyone learnt a lot about themselves and others. It was the first training in English that one of my mentors had done and it was really successful for him. We have all come away feeling more confident. I have been on many development programmes and I have to say it has been one of the best I have ever attended.
Radka Lankasova, HR Manager, DENSO MANUFACTURING CZECH s. r. o.
 Steve Delivered a professional, relaxed and engaging session. Relevance, interest and clarity of delivering allowed for a very productive outcome.
Andy Castle, VP of Network Operations and Engineering, EMEA
 I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with Steve. He encouraged me to look at how I view myself and my actions, to actively seek positive outcomes to every day situations. My perception of myself has certainly changed due to my conversations with Steve and I would highly recommend coaching sessions with Unlimited Potential.
Rik Roberts, Team Leader