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Now That's What I Call Coaching 10 - Generational Learning

Sleeve Notes

I have been fortunate in my senior years at school, career as a retail manager & latterly Facilitator & Coach to work & be with many different people from all walks of life.

I would like to think this has given me a more rounded view of the world.

When I first became a self employed coach, I was somewhat (naively) surprised when all that disappeared. (It can be quite a solitary business)

I had taken it for granted, having had it handed to me on a plate at school and in the corporate world I worked in . Now, if I want new intergenerational connections and experiences I need to go out and find them!

Benefits for all generations

  • Older generations can learn cultural & communication shifts from younger generations, cultivating a better understanding of one another and the world we live in today.

  • Older generations can help younger generations to make sense of the world by passing on what life has taught them.

  • Challenges ageism for both young and old. Offers the opportunity to find out what generations can gain from each other and reduces stereotypical thoughts & responses.

  • Creates greater potential for being inclusive, sharing knowledge, listening actively with a genuine interest in others.

  • We all feel more valued and recognised for our contribution in society.

  • Helps to create a greater understanding of what motivates and is important to individuals, no matter what their age. Knowing this reduces misunderstandings between the generations.

  • Stops us becoming stale in our attitudes and stuck in a rut.

  • Opens our world to new perspectives, ways of thinking & creates opportunities for new social interactions.

Tips for embracing intergenerational learning

  • Listen with an open mind.

  • Be curious, ask questions - Take time to really understand the other person's point of view.

  • Give the other person enough space to say what they want, before responding.

  • Endeavour to keep your pre-conceived thoughts & potential biases at bay.

  • Look for common ground, there is always something, whether you are 18 or 80.

  • Determine what is important for each other in this relationship.

  • See this as an opportunity to share how the world you live in has shaped your thinking, your skills and qualities and things you've learnt about yourself thus far.

  • Stop thinking about the age difference and start thinking about how you can share your collective knowledge.

  • Keep each other informed of what's working well and what could be done differently. Find a compromise. Hold each other to account. This keeps a relationship healthy and real.

  • Show empathy between generations. Each generation grew up with their own 'history'. This is where intergenerational support can be helpful in building bonds, better communication and stronger relationships.

  • Consider if your 'Comfort Zone' has turned into a 'Boring Zone'. Mixing up the generational conversation might be just the thing you need to open up your world.

  • Use opportunities at work, within family, at social functions etc to mix with others you perhaps wouldn't naturally gravitate towards, maybe even a Coach! :).

  • What's the cost of a conversation? might learn something new.

Generational Hits

"I see learning as a life long experience"

Being open to different experiences or indeed putting oneself into new situations throughout life can open up a whole new world of possibilities. It can be scary, exciting and all things in-between.

A lifelong learning mindset will help you to be curious about what could be. Very useful for generational conversations.

"Who could help me to understand this?"

Maybe it's technical skills, life lessons, going back to work, starting work, redundancy, difficult conversations, understanding what part you play in the world now, sharing how the past has shaped the world today...I could go on.

There are so many opportunities for generations to come together and share their thoughts, wisdom (everyone has wisdom!) and knowledge.

"Exploring cultural context is important"

Growing up in different eras means we have experienced our own selection of cultural & social norms and historical events. This will shape some of the language we use day to day.

We shouldn't take for granted that our cultural context will be familiar or accepted by different generations.

It is, however an opportunity to put 'our language' into context for those that don't understand it, supporting better communication going forward and preventing impulsive reactions.

Exploration of context is an opportunity for different generations to provide a safe environment for one another to be curious about things each might find hard to understand, without fear of ridicule or retribution.

If we are more educated about each others 'eras', we are more likely to be fully onboard with intergenerational learning and open to a greater variety of experiences. This applies to any perceived 'differences' we have.

One Hit Wonders

"I'll hold on to the knowledge I have, then others will have to come to me"


What are you afraid of?

What new things have you learnt recently?

What happens to you when the knowledge you are holding on to isn't needed anymore?

What skills, qualities and behaviours are you demonstrating by passing on your experience?

"I'm too young/too old, others won't be interested in what I have to say"


What evidence do you have to support this?

How do you know what interests them?

What is important for you to say?

Who is going to say it if you don't?

What fresh ideas can you bring to the table?

What tried and tested ideas can you bring to the table?

What have you learnt as a young adult that could be helpful to a mature adult?

What have you learnt as a mature adult that could be helpful to a young adult?

"We don't think/work/live the same way"


You say that like it's a bad thing!. What can you learn from one another?

What's the first step you can take to create better understanding?

What's stopping you from finding out more?

What do each of you value and believe in?

How can you use your differences to make a great team?

The Download

We do love a label!, I wonder if it makes some of us feel safe and comfortable being surrounded by our Millennials or Boomers or XYZ's?

To be fair, there is nothing wrong with a bit of comfort or safety.

After a time though, are we surrounded with the same thoughts, same opinions, same ideas...doesn't this get a bit boring?

For me, it's good to get out of that zone from time to time and explore new ways of thinking with people who look at life from a different perspective. I might not agree with them, I might not take away any advice, then again I might learn something new about myself and other people and have a more interesting perspective of the world than if I stayed in my generational bubble. Think about it...

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