“But, I don’t have the time to coach James,” Marie complained. “He should be able to figure this out on his own. I’m a manager, not a mentor, we have work to do. I don’t have time to be a counselor to everyone on the team. Can’t I just send him to training?”
“Interesting use of mixed metaphors,” I replied. “Let’s look carefully at the four managerial processes you used in the same sentence.”
- Coaching – is a process where you work with the team member to fully understand the role, the scope of the role, required behaviors, supportive habits to get the work done.
- Mentoring – is a process, usually performed, not by the manager, but the manager-once-removed (MOR) to help the team member discover their own potential, and seek opportunities to apply that potential in training, stretch projects and career ladder progress over time.
- Training – is a process, usually prior to an expected behavior to learn, step by step, the mechanics of that behavior and the skill required to competently engage in that behavior.
- Counseling – is a process where a manager only has a limited scope. Usually centered around a personal, issue, the manager may seek to clarify, share a similar experience and then, if appropriate, refer to a professional skilled and experienced at assisting people with those types of issues. Don’t play amateur psychologist.
“All of these processes are valuable, but the application will depend on the context.”