By now, no doubt you've seen the news related to Project Oxygen at Google, which aimed to figure out what constituted a good boss at Google.
They came up with the following list (courtesy of the New York Times, please hit the site for the full article):
That's a great list in my eyes, but true to what we know of the Google culture through the press, it would seem they stopped one step short - they forgot to tell managers to tell the truth.
Case in point - they told managers to avoid being sissys, but instead of telling them to remind employees what the company and team needs to accomplish, they actually say "focus on what the employee wants the team to achieve".
I realize this approach can work - but in tough coaching situations where the employee's view of themselves and others is out of whack, you've got to tell the truth. Sometimes you have to direct them related to what's required.
It seems that Google knows this by being brave enough to say "don't be a sissy". But it feels like they stopped a step short when they keep talking from an employee-centric point of view. That's consistent with the culture we think we know through the press.
I suspect the next stage of Google's growth in this area will modify #4 to "Don't be a Sissy: Tell the truth, even if it means you have to tell them what's required as a last resort and stand your ground".
Good coaches always engage the employee - but in any coaching situation they remind them of what the goal is, not necessarily what the employee wants the goal to be.