A few days ago, I was talking with a leader, and he explained how important it was for him to support his team. A bit later, we reached a limit. We found a place where he didn’t want to go, where support suddenly seemed to him like being taken advantage of.
There was an effort he didn’t want to make. His instincts were telling him that this wasn’t appropriate for others to want or not know.
He might have been right, but we couldn’t know.
We only had his interpretation of the situation and within this, only his assumption of what support the team member was looking for and needed. Most certainly, the support, the leader, seeing himself in the situation of the team member, imagined he would have needed. There is also a probability that it was the support the team leader feared to be unable to provide.
Being result-oriented, the leader was focused on the solution and on knowing the answer. Not being able to provide an answer to the problem would have been hard on him. It raised the fear that others might lose their respect for him. It also raised the discomfort of having to admit that he might not know what to do.
His image of coaching was best described through his desire to be able to tell others what to do when they didn’t know.