“What Should I Do In this Case?”
If we look at these six parameters we can quickly discount many of them as not being important in this situation and therefore, not influential in our selection of the best management style. Evaluation of these parameters leads to the following conclusions:
1. The expertise lies with the manager, not with the employee.
2. There is no big risk.
3. The timeframe is not of concern.
4. The task complexity is not significant, at least not now.
5. The management style the direct report wants the manager to use is worth considering, but not nearly as much as item #6.
6. The manager wants the employee to feel empowered and what that means is that the manager wants the employee to learn how to think and make decisions on his own.
Therefore, an analysis of these six parameters leads us to conclude that the most important parameter is #6. It forces us to conclude that we must allow the employee to exercise judgment and responsibility, even if the employee is to make some mistakes. From my perspective the only choice is for the manager to coach the employee and coaching takes the form of the following five steps, (in this case):
1. The manager calls the employee into his office.
2. The manager asks the employee how the employee thinks he should proceed?
3. The manager continues to ask questions in an effort to guide the employee to think about topics that are important without the manager “telling” the employee what to do, what to think, or how to act.
4. The goal is for the manager to guide, coach, and question the employee and in this way point and guide the employee to the safe, effective, and successful actions.
5. By the time the tasks are completed, the employee will have successfully acted in furthering the technology, and the employee will have thought through the process as if it were all their own thinking. This is how you coach an employee to learn how to think “into” more powerful decision-making processes.