In the past few years, coaching has become a popular topic in the lean community. There is a lot of good advice out there about how to become a better coach and I too touched on the topic in a post back in 2014 called “Say Goodbye to the Report Out.”
Organizationally, I believe that the coaching role needs to be fulfilled by the supervisor. Too often the role of the supervisor is one where they are expected to have the answer to all problems and to provide direction by telling their subordinates what to do — the “answer person.” And a major reason for that behavior is embedded in the oft-misguided beliefs around the supervisor and subordinate.
My whiteboard video tries to explain this organizational dynamic and suggest the changes that need to take place to create trust in the supervisor/subordinate relationship that leads to subordinates taking increased responsibility for improvement and problem solving.
Take a look and ask yourself: “What is the nature of the supervisor/subordinate relationship in my organization?” I think you’ll see many opportunities to improve the trust and performance of your organization by understanding the role of the supervisor as coach.