After you get through the first part of learning a new task, the leadership you need at that point is more like a coach – someone who will ask you the right questions, but let you apply what you have learned.
Unfortunately, at this point you may not have the enthusiasm you once had for that new task, so this leadership need will mean you need a coaching style.
A coach knows what you need to do, as well as how you need to do it. Even more important, however, is knowing that for you to learn your task exceptionally well you have to be able to ask questions and get immediate feedback in the process of doing the task.
Good, coach-like leadership lets you do and ask, but provides feedback when it is sought.
As you develop in your skills, you need to be able to ask questions because your don’t yet trust your assessment of the job you are doing. You might be doing the task exceptionally well, but you might also be making major blunders that will only be visible down the road a bit.
Coach-like leadership knows that the feedback must be appropriate and timely.
How do you, as someone who is trying to get the leadership you need, go about getting coach-like leadership from your boss?
1. Seek it out. However, you have to be smart in the way you approach your boss. This is because, while you are no longer a “newbie”, you aren’t yet a fully self-motivating expert. You don’t want to give you boss the idea that you haven’t learned anything, or haven’t made any progress in your development. You have. You just aren’t ready quite yet to be cut loose. A good boss, one who adapts her leadership style to the development level of direct-reports on the tasks they have been assigned, will understand that.Work Like Da Vinci: Gaining the Creative Advantage in Your Business and Career (Your Coach in a Box)
2. Ask Questions That Indicate Your Development. Remember, you aren’t a newbie. By this point in your development of your skills for the new task you have some knowledge and understanding of the task. You are trying to assess how much you have learned, so don’t ask questions as if you have no experience. State what you have done so far, pose you question, and see what your boss has to say.
3. Redirect As Needed. Once you have sought out feedback from your boss or asked a clarifying question, make the suggested change if it is offered by your boss. Persisting in doing something that isn’t working won’t win kudos from your boss. Making needed changes will.
4. Promise To Follow Up. When you seek feedback and get it from your boss, and when you make an adjustment, remember to follow up at a future time to let your boss know you have applied what was learned. You don’t have to know everything, but once you seek input, remember to let your boss know the outcome. This will build his confidence that you are on a path to improvement.LEAD . . . For God’s Sake!: A Parable for Finding the Heart of Leadership
Remember, the goal of this exercise is to get the leadership you need for the tasks you are assigned. Pursuing these steps moves you toward that goal.
That’s my thought. What do you think about getting coach-like leadership?