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April 26, 2007


Tom Johnson

As I was reading through your descriptions of each role, I asked myself, "Why is it important to understand the differences?" Then I came up with a possible answer: If I understand the need for each type of "helper" I can better understand my limitations in developing my staff. As an example, if one of my staff has a job that involves highly technical skills, and I don't have those skills myself, I won't be able to fill all these roles. I can coach or facilitate, but not train or mentor, since I haven't been there myself. I can help my employee understand my limitations as a leader and together we can find others to fill those roles. Further, under the assumption that managers usually don't have every possible skill that they would like their employee to possess, any manager can recognize their limited ability to train in some areas, but still coach, then go find a mentor or trainer.

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