I am a fairly experienced manager. I have worked in several different companies and am nicely settled at my current job. I learned Situational Leadership® II at my last company and I have been using it with my ten direct reports. It is working out well.
My company has recently instituted a set of manager competencies that I will be held accountable for. I’m running into a problem with one of them—Coaching for Development.
Here is how it is defined on our HR website:
This is actually my favorite part of the job—except with two people on my team who don’t seem to care at all about developing themselves. I have tried to encourage them but they refuse to engage in conversations about their own growth and careers.
They are both very good at what they do. I really need them in their roles but I don’t see them doing anything outside their job description any time soon. I am tired of pushing and prodding them and they are also getting cranky about it. I am frustrated. –Tired of Pushing
Stop. Just stop. I so appreciate your care and diligence—but seriously, you have led these horses to water and you just cannot make them drink. People are ready to grow when they are ready and not a moment sooner.
Communicate to your two recalcitrant folks that when they are ready to develop themselves you are at their service for direction and support, and leave it at that.
If the time comes that staying relevant in their jobs requires them to grow, let them know that they will need to change their attitude or risk losing their jobs. This is usually a powerful motivator, but even then not powerful enough for some. Your employees have an obligation to meet you at least halfway when it comes to development. Until then, relax and expend your energy on those who value it.
About the author
Madeleine Homan-Blanchard is a master certified coach, author, speaker, and cofounder of Blanchard Coaching Services. Madeleine’s Advice for the Well Intentioned Manager is a regular Saturday feature for a very select group: well intentioned managers. Leadership is hard—and the more you care, the harder it gets. Join us here each week for insight, resources, and conversation.
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