PrintLogin to download pdfWhen to coach and when to take control? [KI]

Here’s an interesting question – “Can you implement a new process without telling people what to do?”

This question was specifically asked in a discussion around how to create the processes necessary to drive OEE in a factory. Specifically carrying out tactical OEE reviews using our LineView system.

I think it’s possible to get long term change through great leadership, and all great leaders have a time when they’re very directive and also know when to change that behaviour to be supportive. When they are directive it’s done in a way that creates certainty and safety to grow rather than fear and superiority.

For me there are 2 elements to the answer of this question:

– When to direct/coach/delegate to develop skill: refer to Blanchard’s Situational Leadership model

– How that approach comes across to the team – the energy that you show up with when directing/coaching

When to be directive: If we refer to the two right hand boxes of Blanchard’s leadership model below:

  1. When an individual is low competence, D1, (not carried out this task before) then you can’t coach them on how to get better as they don’t have the basics. Therefore the role of the leader is to be extremely clear about the what, how, and why for the process to build initial skill. E.g. if you wanted to teach me to snowboard you can’t be non-directive in your teaching as I’ve never done it before, I need to be told how to stop/start/fall/use the lifts.

2.When I start to develop some competence and base ability you can then start to take a step back to coach and develop and to be less directive and tell. The coaching phase. A great leader is still very directive about the what and very supportive over the how but ultimately decisions sit with the leader.

How to be directive:

  1. When implementing a new process, initially it needs to be very tell to get them started. The tell is around what they will do, how they will do it, when they will do it, and to a great extent on the why they will do it.
  2. This tell could be done from a world of “I’m great I know everything you must do what I say”…..which will get resistance in most cases, especially if we have some negative associations with being taught “school-style”.
  3. This tell could be done from a world of “here’s a way that I know will help you get the results that you want, let me show you how it works”…..which will get a different level of response

My goal when implementing change is to be very clear and directive in a way that feel supportive and helpful whilst also creating a massive need to implement.

Click on the image below to expand:

Take a quiz to find out how much you remember