The Coaching Effect Blog

The Coaching Effect Blog

    The Differences Between a Manager, Leader, & Coach

    by Anna Schott / July 6, 2020

    Photo by Hattie Kingsley Photography

    The B2B Revenue Executive Experience Podcast recently interviewed EcSell Institute's President, Sarah Wirth, on the topic of managing vs. coaching and the impact leaders have on team performance.

    And with the onset of Covid-19 and return to work policies being implemented, now more than ever are organizations perking up to the importance of leadership development and coaching. 

    EcSell has been the leading organization in metric-based performance coaching since 2008 collecting over 150,000 coaching interactions in the workplace and knows what it takes to turn a manager or leader into a high-performance coach. 

    In this podcast, Sarah breaks it down explaining why coaches get better results than managers. You can also expect to hear about: 

    • The difference between a manager and a coach
    • Why effective coaching means pushing people out of their comfort zone
    • Why great coaches build trust first

    Here's a condensed version of this podcast adapted from Value Selling Associates's podcast show notes: 

    How to Differentiate a Manager from a Coach

    The Manager

    Managing is about execution, the x's and o's if you will. It’s making sure people get things done. Managers come up with a process, a list of priorities and you make sure they get accomplished.

    The Leader

    You could also be a leader. You look at the big picture, marrying your strategy, goals, mission and vision for the future.

    The Coach

    But to be a coach, you have to handle the day-to-day interactions, motivating and supporting people. 

    In short, you need to really understand your people and build deep relationships with them. You need to know what they need to accomplish and help them figure out ways to get it done. 

    Coaching means being willing to take a back seat where you don't have to be the one that comes up with the answer. Effective coaching conversations take more time.”

    How the best leaders coach 

    Instead of telling people how things should be done, effective coaches ask them how they think things should be done. They help them see alternatives, reflect on mistakes and find room for improvement. They help them think through problems on their own.

    A great coach is invested in the growth of their people. But for people to grow, they need to be pushed out of their comfort zone. 

    If we're doing the same things that we've always been doing, we may be executing it well, but we're probably not learning anything new.” 
    We all know we learn more from being uncomfortable, from making mistakes and trying new things. This can be illustrated through The Growth Rings and this TEDx Talk: 

    High performing Coaches earn trust

    Of course, pushing people out of their comfort zone isn’t something you can do in a vacuum. There needs to be a foundation of trust for this to work. 

    "If somebody feels like you know them, you really understand who they are and you have their best interests at heart, then when you challenge them and push them, they know it's for their benefit.”

    This trust is absolutely important to build because giving criticism and pushing people into challenging situations is a lot like pushing them into a pool: Trust is the difference between a funny anecdote and a county-wide manhunt. 

    If you liked this content, consider subscribing to The B2B Revenue Executive Experience Podcast, follow Sarah on LinkedIn, and subscribe to EcSell Institute's leadership newsletter. The podcast can be found on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify. 

    And for more coaching and leadership research and insights, download the first chapter of the best-selling book, The Coaching Effect. 

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    Tags: Employee Engagement Leadership Development Coaching Sales People Best Practices for Leaders & Managers

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    Anna Schott

    Anna Schott

    Anna Schott served as Ecsell Institute's Director of Marketing.