If you are a manager, a coach, or a manager who (hopefully) coaches, the biggest help you can provide is offering support without undermining your employee or client's sense of self -responsibility.
It's easy to see "support" as jumping in and bailing out someone who is struggling with a situation. Instead, create an up-front agreement telling when you'll be available as a sounding board to sort out ideas or explore solutions to problems. That way, you serve as an energizer: enabling learning versus directing it.
There will be times when your seniority or position power will be needed to influence others in the organization. When that happens, provide your support. In organizational life, managers can often be most helpful by removing barriers for their people.
Successful On-The-Job Coaching: 3 Things To Do
1. Ask your employee to pinpoint issues and tasks where support is needed.
2. Let her know when when you're available to provide the needed support.
I just came across the next one as a result of a team diagnostic. The team leader thought there was some conflict within the team. He was right.
3. Make sure others on the team are working toward the same goal. Really.
My leader client had, unwittingly and without malice, laid out a plan of action that forced a few team members to focus on cost-cutting while others were focused on growth (it was a sales team). He resolved it quickly by pulling everyone together and re-visiting the larger goal (profitability) while facilitating a discussion with the account reps to identify how they could best support each other while hitting the individual and group targets. He offered about 30% of the solutions based on deep experience; the team members worked out the other 70% themselves.
What to take away: The combination of support and self-responsibility is the key to growing people. Make sure both are abundant.