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Putting the Support back into Technical Support

Posted by on March 16th, 2006 with 0 Comments

I led a workshop today at our office in Yokohama, Japan.
The workshop is called, “Coaching for Technical Support Engineers”.

In the class we discuss the Situational Leadership Model, which points out that there are four stages of development.
Without explaining the model (go here for some details), a coach needs to provide varying levels of direction and support, depending on what stage of development the coaching target is at.

Typically, in our company, we excel at ‘Directive’ coaching, and do less well at ‘Supportive’ coaching. The problem with that scenario is that many of your employees won’t grow to self-sufficiency.

What’s interesting is that our field offices really feel this conflict.
They feel that they are at a level of development where they require support, not direction, from HQ.
Unfortunately, our culture (along with the natural inclination to want to control things that are far away) drives us to over-direct.

The answer? Well, we need to train the coachee to say, “Wait. I don’t need direction here. I just need your support.”

Then? Well, then we have to support them…

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