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Great leaders blend coaching with other leader behaviors to get the best results. Here are two key situations where leading with coaching is the wrong move.

situational mastery for managers supervisors and workers Manual

Once the manager shares exactly what needs to be done and by when, he or she should check for understanding. Managers can signal a change by informing individuals they are going to try something new.

Set the stage, get permission to coach and check in frequently to ensure this new way of leading is hitting the mark. Trust: Trust is a foundation for any coaching relationship. Getting people to talk openly and honestly about their needs, motivations and skill level takes patience, practice and trust.

It is important to begin by being very clear about objectives and goals.

Interview Question: Tell me about a time you handled a difficult situation

If a manager notices that coaching is going off track, they should examine their own motivations and beliefs. Erickson said she has found these five factors to be critical to coaching success in leaders and in professional coaches. Action: Development is good. Development with focused action is better.


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The purpose behind great coaching is to influence some kind of change in mindset and behavior. Encourage others to take specific actions that are focused on achieving a desired outcome. This moves coaching beyond much disdained naval gazing to a strategy with real bottom-line impact.

Accountability: Leaders who use coaching skills help others commit to behavior change. Even with the best of intentions, people get sidetracked, work gets reprioritized, and sometimes life just gets in the way. Using coaching to hold people accountable can help them overcome obstacles. However, an external coach brings unbiased perspective that is rich with learnings from different contexts.

Whether a leader is focused on his own development and growth or is determined to help others to grow, coaching is a methodology that should be thoughtfully and carefully applied. Leaders have a responsibility to achieve positive business outcomes. Developing others so they can contribute to those outcomes is a critical part of that responsibility, and it should not to be taken lightly. Coaching effectively supports long-term, sustained employee development. Instead, consider the higher engagement levels, trusting relationships and financial health to be gained from a shift to a coaching culture — and say yes.

Another more tragic example is that of parent and child. Authority works when the child is young.

situational mastery for managers supervisors and workers Manual

So if the parent has not already done so when the kid is young, the parent decides to yell louder and threaten the use of punishment. This also works for a while. But then, for many children, the yelling and punishment stop working but the parent keeps using it anyway. At the group level, one would like to think that a standard style would work.

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However, groups are not homogeneous, they vary according to their stage of development, the personalities that make up the group and even the nature of the task. If only this were true. Most individuals get this one right, there is no best style for the individual. We have all had experiences where what works for one does not work for the other. Almost everybody gets this one right. While we all realize the importance of role flexibility, few people are likely to do so.


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If you got all five, you are doing pretty well—you must not have fallen asleep in your first college class on management. You already understand what many have yet to figure out—that the situation is an important element in the choice of a leadership style.

What Is a Leadership Style?

If all groups are the same, all individuals act with one mind and situations did not vary, one could perfect and optimize one style and the situational leadership aspect of transformational leadership would be much simplier, much easier. Leaders must adapt, they must be flexible if they are to be effective in their exercise of influence. Aesop said this very well in one of his fables thousands of years ago.

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The story goes:. But cleansing his feathers as often as he would, he could not change their color. Image by h. Notice that the leader is clearly identified. The subordinates look all the same.