Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Yesterday's facilitation of a local government management team reminded me of polarised management approaches: "Don't bring me problems - bring me solutions" is at one end of the scale and provides a sink-or-swim development opportunity. At the other end, the directive approach, where the manager tells their report what to do and how to do it, short circuits the development opportunity but gets the job done.

Somewhere between these two extremes lies what you might call the coaching approach: the manager supports the employee to find a way forward. This reduces the risk of error and failure, provides development for the employee and the manager, and fosters delegation, independance and, paradoxically, collaboration.

Clearly this won't work for all occasions, but perhaps it'll offer long-term growth possibilities for the whole organisation that the others can't?

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