Situation is that my direct has had several complaints lodged against him regarding the way he treats employees.  The biggest item is that he is too controlling and domineriing.  There are a number of behaviors that contribute to this.  He is a very smart guy and doesn't empower his employees as much as I would like.  Any thoughts on how I might coach him to overcome this?  His interpersonal relations, if not changed, will limit his growth.

Andrew J Baer's picture

There's a number of underlying reasons why he might be domineering, the most common being he's impatient or he's insecure.  

Review the DISC and delegation podcasts before going over to the coaching podcasts.  When coaching, you can give examples of the benefits of delegation vs. the short drop in performance that happen when you push down a task. 

In particular, I would advise giving him explicit tasks, intent, and goals that encourage coordination and delegation.  You can also try forcing him to delegate to the floor by increasing his workload with the clear guidance that he use his teammates to cover the areas that he is not good at.   

katehorstman's picture
Admin Role Badge


It might help if you were a bit more specific about his behavior. Coaching is usually a long-term commitment that takes over 3 months and is very clearly planned out to improve skills of the direct. Without knowing exactly what you are trying to fix, its hard to advise you. I have included the cast for coaching soft skills below. That might help. What I wonder is, are you coaching to standard? Or simply trying to improve behavior? It sounds serious if there are complaints, but your question sounds like you’re working towards his future. This is a good attitude to have! 

For trying to improve behavior in general, I would say that feedback is your most powerful tool. If you need to, systemic feedback might be helpful too. I have included the casts for these below. If you can pinpoint behaviors you want to see change, you can give very specific feedback to that point. 

Coaching would entail a plan of action to address behaviors. If the goal was something such as improving relationships, you could make an action plan that included increased communication, changes in word choice, lack of complaints lodged. But this is very hard to lay out with more details. Can you provide more information?