A good leader knows how to manage and how to coach and – most importantly – recognizes which is appropriate for a given situation.
Forbes contributor Holly Green explains that managing “involves a more directive, task-oriented style that should only be used under certain conditions,” such as a crisis situation or when someone is doing a task for the first time. She says coaching is best for developmental purposes; when someone may need guidance and support, but not direction.
“Knowing when to direct, delegate or develop is critical to managerial effectiveness,” she writes. “Determine which style is appropriate based on the task at hand rather than the individual.”
She lists the following guidelines for when an employee should be directed, delegated to or developed:
- Direct an employee if he/she is still learning the skills needed to complete a task, is new to the company or he/she is in a new role.
- Delegate to an employee if he/she has some experience in the role, a solid record of competence and has confidence in his or her abilities.
- Develop an employee who has extensive experience, is trying new approaches and is growing new competencies.
It is important that every leader know the appropriate times to direct, delegate and develop.