The Key Difference between a Coach and a Manager

There are many managerial styles that supervisors can use when overseeing their subordinates and staff. Some people will tend to be more collaborative so that they appear to work alongside their people, solving problems, preventing future issues, meeting current needs and so on. Other people, however, will be somewhat more totalitarian, handing down pronouncements from above, and accepting no resistance or push back from businessman-1240109subordinates. And then, there are people who are somewhere in between. One of the benefits of business coaching is that it can help a company determine the supervisorial styles of its key people, and make changes so that they can produce better outcomes while also taking care of the staff properly. Often, it helps to make a distinction between supervisors who are coaches and those who are typical managers. Here are the key differences between the two.


Who Decides What to Do?


A typical manager will respond to this question by basically saying that it’s the manager who decides what should be done. He will point to his authority based on the organisational chart, or she will mention her job title and job description. Of course, it is true that a leader has the final say on what people should do, but typical managers take this too far. A manager will tend to give subordinates a list of things to do, based on the manager’s own understanding. Because a manager has this frame of mind, he is less likely to listen to what subordinates have to say, or she will simply shrug off their concerns, focusing on what she thinks is best. This is a problem because it leads to inefficient outcomes and is one of the things that business coaching is designed to address.


Instead of handing down instructions or to-do lists from on high, a coach will take the time to listen to what employees have to say. This is more labour and time intensive, but it’s worth it because subordinates can bring additional observations and insights to the table, which the supervisor may not have considered otherwise. Instead of telling people what to do, a coach encourages them to suggest the tasks that need to be done in order to achieve positive outcomes. What a business coach does is point out to supervisors that when subordinates suggest a plan of action, they are more likely to be committed to it’s because it’s their own idea.


What Happens When a Problem Arises?


Many people are familiar with the response of a typical manager to a crisis. Employees joke about how a manager will swoop in, make a lot of noise about the problem, point a finger at the people responsible, and then proceed to make a mess of solving it. One of the reasons this happens is because a typical manager takes action based on incomplete information. Because he does not have the habit of listening to subordinates, he doesn’t have a full grasp of the context and depth of the problem, or she won’t receive suggestions from the people who are in the best position to know what to do. If you find that this is how your supervisors respond to a crisis, then it’s a clear indication of why you need a business coach for your firm.


In sharp contrast, a coach will deal with problems more efficiently. Since he is less concerned with assigning blame, the team can focus its attention on getting to the true root of what happened, and the best means for fixing it. Because a coach is willing to listen and receive suggestions, the team will have many good ideas for how to address the problem and can tackle it from different sides and in different ways simultaneously. And since the suggestions are coming from employees, they feel that they have a greater stake in fixing things. This focus on efficient problem solving is another example of what business coaches do.

For more business productivity tips contact Scott Whitehead at Zest City today.