Thank you for your comments Rajesh. The styles of directing, supporting and coaching are well known and I believe in different strokes for different folks too (see Rajesh's post)...
An interesting question that comes to mind is - At what frequency are these styles practiced and why?
I've noticed the frequency as: directing > supporting > coaching
Some leaders might reason that it is because of the level and distribution of talent and maturity in their team. It is true in various cases, but cannot be applied universally (more and more we're surrounded by talented professionals). Could the following be some reasons for it? Thoughts?
(a) the level of difficulty of these styles
directing < supporting < coaching
(b) leader's comfort factor
Most leaders started and grew in the organization as individual contributors and default to it (or achieving the goal itself) when faced with another question or goal
(c) how leaders are measured (what expectations are set for them)
You get what you measure... If you measure leader's output as tasks done, that's what they'll focus on and perhaps use directing more often to achieve those goals. On the other hand, if your measure is how they develop talent, they might flex their coaching muscle...
I'm trying to learn and practice coaching skills as well given the good talent pool in our organization. Please give me feedback on what has (has not) worked and feel free to suggest techniques that have worked well for you...