Leading…Developing…Really?

“I have found it quite challenging and stressful”

“Why is this?”

“My managers don’t give me any support. When I ask them for advice or tips or information on how to do something they refer me to my colleagues, but my colleagues don’t have the answers either!”

“How does this make you feel?”

“I like a challenge but this is making me feel discouraged and I am starting to feel like I am not meant for this role!”

This is a scenario which redently came to light when chatting with a bright, eager and promising customer experience consultant who started their role in an organisation 3 months ago

My question to you the reader: If thing’s don’t change soon, how long do you think it will be before they resign?

This short but significantly important  interaction got me pondering about today’s title

Leading…Developing…Really?

A key part of my work with leaders revolves around helping them identify and understand the way they lead and the impact this has on individuals, teams and ultimately performance. The above interaction strongly smacks of a management team that

1) Is either lazy

or

2) Believe they are adopting a Coaching Style (Leaders modus operandi: Develops people for the future)  (Refer: Daniel Goleman, Primal Leadership http://www.amazon.co.uk/Primal-Leadership-Learning-Emotional-Intelligence/dp/1591391849 …

You come to your own conclusions :0)

As an executive and life coach I am going to look at this from point 2) Believe they are adopting a Coaching Style 

And herein lies the problem – Passing your people (who don’t have the experience or competence)  onto others who don’t have the answers, experience or competence to provide development support is not Leadership or Development but abdication and as can be seen from the scenario can and will cause you serious and far-reaching consequences

So how to employ a Coaching Style of leadership? Below are 5 best practices which have served my clients well

 1. Identify and understand your team members learning style, personality type & goals and provide development support which best meets these needs.

2. Support the individual in creating a SWOT analysis of the skills/knowledge required to do their role and succeed at their objectives

3. Ensure that the colleagues you refer them to – for advice/guidance/mentoring/shadowing – are role models in their respective areas and are aware and committed to acting as development partners

4. Ensure that the individual has the ability and support to properly access and utilize any tools you refer them to

5. Make yourself available (as required and agreed) and give the person what they need

Applying these 5 best practices will ensure that you are on the path to truly leading in a coaching style and not simply abdicating and will provide you with a happy, motivated and capable colleague.

Do the right thing!

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