The Skill/Will Matrix

Choosing the Best Coaching Approach

The Skill/Will Matrix - Choosing the Best Coaching Approach

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Sometimes you need to guide your people directly.

Imagine that you coach two junior colleagues: Anita, who's experienced and motivated, and Patrick, who's enthusiastic but new to his role.

Both have been assigned new projects, but both are feeling frustrated. Anita has said, as nicely as she can, that she finds your advice patronizing, while Patrick is struggling to do what you suggest. It's clear that you need to rethink your approach to coaching them.

The Skill/Will Matrix can help you find the right coaching style in situations like these. It's designed to help you assess people's skill and motivation levels. You can then tailor your coaching to their needs, based on this assessment.

In this article, we'll look at the matrix in more detail, and we'll explore how you can use it effectively.

About the Tool

Coach and author Max Landsberg wrote about the Skill/Will Matrix (see figure 1, below) in his 2003 book, "The Tao of Coaching."

You can use the matrix to think about people's levels of skill and motivation, and, from this, choose the best coaching style for each of them....

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