Practice Leadership Scenarios: What is your leadership approach?

Two of your direct reports are struggling. What is your approach to coaching Rose? What is your approach to coaching Ingrid? 


See Karen Maxwell Powell, General Manager of Insight Experience, explain the difference in directive vs. developmental approaches. 



So, what would you do? 

"My coaching approach with Ingrid would be primarily developmental (second option from the right). Ingrid is a seasoned and experienced member of the team. I would meet with Ingrid to understand why she is missing the new goals and see if she has important feedback about the changes recently implemented. After listening to Ingrid, I’d communicate the importance of the new metrics and ask her to commit to them. I’d follow up with Ingrid in one month to confirm she is complying with and supporting the new metrics."

“My coaching approach to Rose would be on the directive slide of the scale (second circle from left.)  Rose is eager, smart, and creative, all attributes to be encouraged. However, she is new in the role and seemingly new to a professional environment.  She needs to clearly understand the impact of her current actions on others in the organization — and on her possibilities for continued success.  I would clearly outline the examples below and use inquiry to help her identify her own next steps. If Rose lacks the ability to do this, I would become quite directive and lay out what needs to change and why.”

"My developmental approach for Ingrid would have two parts: First, I would be curious about what’s holding Ingrid back. She may have insights that have been overlooked in implementing the change, or she may believe the new approach requires new skills. I would ask her questions to understand the underlying cause. Second, I’d enlist Ingrid’s role as a veteran on the team to be an informal leader of the changes; she is a role model for others because of her knowledge and experience. We’d agree on a date to check back in on progress."

"As a leader, I really appreciate Rose’s enthusiasm and go-getting attitude. The challenge is that she is just starting her working world career and doesn’t know what she doesn’t know. My coaching approach would be primarily directive but with developmental undertones.  Specifically, I would set up a schedule of quick coaching check-ins with her to provide specific recommendations for what 'good' looks like in terms of both her work product and her interactions with others."
"My coaching approach for Ingrid would be an even split of directive/developmental (middle option). Ingrid is clearly not engaged with the recent changes, and I would need performers like her encouraging others. I would like to meet with Ingrid to understand what she needs in order to engage with the changes. My coaching approach would, I hope, encourage Ingrid to share her feedback. We could discuss how she can become engaged and motivated by this different approach. Due to her subject matter expertise and tenure at the company, I would then use a more direct approach to explain how she is an important part of hitting these targets and that I would like her help to engage others in these changes."

Explore more ideas for developing new leaders here