How Customized Supervisor Coaching Maximizes Potential

An HR manager providing customized coaching to another HR manager.
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Have you ever wished you could have someone else’s skills, abilities, and/or talents?

What made you feel that way?

It could have been someone in your life who ignored your unique strengths or focused on your areas of weakness rather than your strengths.

Supervisors who honor and bring out the diversity of individuals build strong teams and succeed in the workplace.

Different Ways to Make Beautiful Music

I listened to a Tim Ferriss Show Podcast episode one day in which Stewart Copeland, Grammy Award-winning musician, and founding member of the band The Police, discussed the difference between eye musicians and ear musicians.

Eye musicians play by reading sheet music, whereas ear musicians play without it or “by ear.”  Both types of musicians are talented and capable of playing beautiful music, but the process they take to get there and the place from where they derive satisfaction are different.

Ear musicians get in a room with other musicians and start playing different riffs to see what evolves.  They get fulfillment from having the creative freedom to play around and find what notes work best.

Eye musicians take what a songwriter has put on paper and work it to perfection. Copeland states that their gratification comes from being part of a band or orchestra of unquestionable quality.

Business Translation

This struck a chord with me because there’s a parallel to this in businesses and organizations.  (Nice music pun, huh?)

There are those who enjoy collaborating with others to perform their work or come up with solutions to new problems and those who prefer to take instructions and hone their ability to do the work well.

As with musicians, both types of individuals can be high-performing and are useful (and even necessary) members of a team.

Successful supervisors understand individual differences and shine a light on what is good about each.  As a result, they build teams that contain individuals who are happy and are therefore more creative and productive.

Take a Flexible Coaching Approach

Being genuine and predictable are essential leadership qualities.  Micromanaging one day and taking a completely hands-off approach the next will cause confusion, stress, and reduced productivity.  These are just some reasons why I don’t recommend vacillating between different supervisory styles.

Instead, within your own style, there’s room to flex your coaching style to cater to the individual’s preferred way of working and motivations.  In this way, you are encouraging them to be comfortable exposing their true selves rather than conform to a unified shape.

When a person can work in the manner and environment that suits them, they are free to live up to their potential.


How do you determine what makes each team member unique and cater to it?

You can leave your answer in a comment below.

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