Are You a Boss or a Coach???

Are You A Boss Or A Coach?

World-renowned best-selling author Brian Tracy says, “management is transactional, while leadership is transformational.” In any business there are typically two types of management styles, the coach management style and the boss management style. Coach management refers to a leadership style that emphasizes consideration for employee needs, personal and professional development, and engagement. Meanwhile, boss management refers to the more traditional top-down style in which employees follow directions given by a manager.

While some work environments are conducive to one management style over the other, coach management has become a prominent and valued management style for today’s employees.

Management typically consists of balancing some level of task direction with a consideration of the relationship between manager and employee.

Coach management style places greater weight on cultivating a relationship with employees and using that as the basis for professional development and engagement. A manager who coaches team members is one who can be found working among team-members. This management style encourages an open environment where feedback, suggestions for improvement, and participation are the norm. This style also often results in high levels of employee engagement.

Meanwhile, boss management places more weight on task direction, which requires direct communication with employees about their roles in projects and deadlines. These managers are focused on the completion of task-oriented activities and generally resent feedback, no matter how productive it may be. These managers often tend to be more critical, put out a lot of fires and always seem to be on edge. Employees tend to become dependent upon these managers because of their focus on tasks and deadlines and tendency to oversee all steps in any given project.

We have all experienced a variation of Boss vs. Coach types throughout our careers. The truth is, it may be quicker and easier to be “boss” than to coach. In between the two extremes is a manager that jumps in and helps when someone needs it and is authoritative when the situation calls for it. The best managers understand that great leadership requires a combination of both styles to create an open, strategy-sharing environment where everyone knows that the manager’s word is final.

So, are you a boss or a coach?


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