By Michael Mellen
When supervising, parenting, advising, mentoring, or coaching, when the other person seems to be on the right track, I often have one more thought, idea, or tweak to consider. Or two more. Or three. Even when I know the person I’m talking with has a good idea, I still sense that extra little something that might make all the difference and I share and share again. Sharing isn’t so harmful, maybe it’s even helpful in the moment. However, people start to count on me for an extra idea, for advice, for having an answer, and they start to trust themselves a little less. Without much effort, I’m doing their work, coming up with their ideas, trusting in me instead of in them. I’m getting in the way of them owning their work.
Imagine that a staff person comes to you with a challenge. They share the challenge with you and you ask, “How are you thinking of handling this challenge?” Your team member shares an idea. If you’re like me, and this idea is decent, you will share all the ways in which their approach works and ways in which it might work even better. This approach seems to be successful.
However, there’s another option. Use “My Scale of Close Enough.”
Michael Mellen is an executive, organizational, and personal coach and the founder of Iron & Sage. He works with individuals and organizations to create space for growth, innovation, and possibility.