Developing Others

  • Shares knowledge, skill, or expertise with others
  • Coaches others
  • Encourages and reinforces individual and professional development
Proficiency Levels – What it looks like
Being Developed
Provides instructions on how to follow procedures Instructs others in how to accomplish a task and provides safe opportunities in which to practice Provides guidance to others on ways of increasing their contribution to the mission, objectives, and values of the organization Identifies and plans development and mentoring activities for a functional area in alignment with the mission, vision, and values of the organization Sponsors and reviews long-term learning needs, career paths, and succession plans for organizational leaders
Checks that others understand instructions Provides constructive feedback Involves individuals in identifying developmental opportunities and provides feedback and recommendations Promotes and follows up on learning activities including assignments and cross-functional learning Assesses skills portfolio and organizational training plans to meet future business needs
Clarifies areas of difficulty and identifies where assistance can be obtained in the event of problems Clarifies areas of difficulty and risk Involves others in setting development plans Mentors others, providing personal insights Mentors and develops critical talent for the future including top team successors
Answers questions on areas of personal expertise Provides techniques and contact details for potential problems Allocates resources for learning Acts as sounding board/advisor for problem solving Sets objectives and accountabilities for developing individuals across the organization
Responds to requests for solutions to developmental problems Reviews and reinforces the execution of training and development plans
Provides counsel and guidance to senior business leaders

What it Doesn’t Look Like

  • Withholding knowledge or relevant communication
  • Assuming staff know what is expected of them regardless of assignment
  • Underutilizing staff due to a lack of awareness of their capabilities, goals and aspirations
  • Avoiding the sharing of feedback for improvement
  • Providing vague feedback on performance (possibly only during formal performance reviews)
  • Leaving responsibility for planning and seeking development activities solely in the hands of staff
  • Seeking out and providing development activities for only some staff
  • Sharing performance feedback only to staff

Questions to Consider

  • What each of my staff are working on and how they are performing and feeling about the assignment?
  • What does my staff need from me in terms of direction or support (time, resources, and encouragement) to reach their potential?
  • When did I last meet with each of my staff to discuss performance or their development plan? Is it time to check in with some staff?
  • What tasks can I delegate to staff to help expand their knowledge and skills?
  • How can I challenge my staff with new tasks or assignments?
  • What criteria am I basing my assessments of performance on?

Learning and Development Activities

Choose one or two activities that support your preferred learning style

Select activities by learning style
Doing Listening Observing Training Reading


  • Work with your staff to establish clear expectations for performance
  • Schedule and hold regular coaching conversations with staff
  • If you are avoiding sharing feedback to redirect behaviour or performance, ask yourself why.
  • People learn primarily through on the job application of skills with feedback. What projects or assignments can be leveraged to develop the capabilities of your staff?
  • Consider the future capabilities your department will need to succeed. Help your staff draft development plans that will be mutually beneficial.

With Peers

  • Discuss how development activities can be effectively incorporated into “business as usual”
  • If you are avoiding a “difficult” conversation with one of your staff ask a peer for advice who has successfully addressed the situation in the past.

With your Manager

  • Review the development strategy for your department and the individual growth of each of your staff that will be required to achieve future objectives
  • Ask your Manager to coach you, or support you in working a Coach.
Listening and Observing

Here are some ideas that can be pursued on the job, with some coordination. Use these reflective questions to gain more from your learning experience:

    • What are three key things I have learned from this experience?
    • What will I do differently in my work as a result of this experience?
  • Select a positive role model, someone who has had success in developing others. Observe them in action and determine what they do particularly well. Ask what they attribute their success to.
  • Participate as an observer to a conversation between a Coach and coachee. What did they do particularly well?
Training Programs

UBC Training Programs offered through Organization Development and Learning

  • Appreciative Leadership
  • In-Powering People & Teams
  • Introducing a Developmental Performance Support Process

For UBCO course offerings, please visit the Events page.

Consider working with a coach following training, to aid in anchoring your learning:


Choose to read one or two of the books listed below. Consider the reflective questions to enhance your learning:

    • What are the key points the author is making?
    • What are three key things I have learned from this reading?
    • What will I do differently in my work as a result of gaining this knowledge?
  • Coaching, Mentoring, and Managing: Breakthrough Strategies to Solve Performance Problems and Build Winning Teams, (2001), M. Holliday; Career Press. Provides hundreds of practical, easy-to-learn techniques every manager can use to coach employees to become more productive, positive, inspired and effective.
  • Developing Employees: Expert Solutions to Everyday Challenges, (2009), Harvard Business School Pre; Publisher same. Managing employee growth is critical to your organization’s success. To develop your employees effectively, you must have certain skills, such as the ability to seek out opportunities, set goals, and provide feedback. This book contains handy tools, self tests and real life examples to help hone your skills.
  • The Manager as Coach and Mentor, (1999), E. Parsloe; Beekman Publishing. Shows how and why coaching and mentoring are the simplest, most practical and cost-effective ways you can boost performance
  • Three Keys to Empowerment, (1999), K. Blanchard, J. P. Carlos, & W. A. Randolph; Berrett Koehler Publishing. Presents advice and strategies for companies who wish to implement a positive empowerment plan in the workplace to increase productivity, pride, and excitement

Additional Questions

Please contact your Human Resources Representative with any additional questions.

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