The Directive Coach
Clients can build skills using a variety of techniques and methods. They should review the following list of helpful activities with the Career coach to determine the best approach.
- On-the-job mentoring. One of the most widely used and most effective means of developing employees is mentoring. It is the day-to-day responsibility of the manager or mentor to impart skills and knowledge, to answer questions, to review work, to discuss progress or lack of progress, and to provide general direction. Working through an actual problem as it develops will increase insight into how to handle similar problems the next time.
- Guided experience. Similar to mentoring, guided experience puts emphasis on an individual’s special development needs. Individuals need to provide specific information on the developmental need and someone, usually a manager, observes their interaction in the role while providing very specific feedback as they go.
- Understudy training. Preparation of a person to assume the responsibilities of another person, either as a substitute or replacement.
- Job rotation. Job rotation offers a good opportunity to broaden knowledge and experience, as well as to gain appreciation of viewpoints and interrelationships of various organizational groups.
- Project, Committee, or Task Force Assignment. Giving an individual a problem to resolve is an excellent developmental technique. A committee or task force assignment helps to determine how well an individual can work with others, and identifies leadership and organizational skills.
- Special Assignments. Special assignments are great opportunities to show developmental progress and/or gain experience. For example, an individual takes the place of a manager on vacation or on leave for an illness. Or, the individual might know someone who is taking leave and asks to “fill the role” on a volunteer basis to gain experience.
- Management Development Programs. Formal development programs can augment skills by providing both useful information and practice in a classroom setting.
- Technical Education Programs. Formal technical programs may be available to clients that are tailored to their specific function.
- Job Expansion. Expansion of the scope of an individual’s current job to include greater responsibility and a wider variety of tasks will help them acquire valuable skills and knowledge.
- Attendance in Staff Meetings. For effective development to take place, attendance at staff meetings must occur. Such exposure will give individuals greater knowledge and perspective of their role.
- Serving as an Instructor, Conference Leader, or Trainer. One of the most valuable ways to obtain knowledge, broaden one’s scope, and clarify one’s thinking is to teach others. Such training responsibility puts individuals in touch with many new operations, processes, and problems.
- Help from Specialists in the Organization. Individuals should find opportunities to speak with knowledge experts when additional information is needed.
- Studying Materials, Books, and other Materials. Individuals should seek information to learn more about a subject.
- Formal Education. Pursuing formal education is an excellent method if time and resources are not constraints.