What Type of Manager Are You?

August 22, 2019

Contributor: Jackie Wiles

Every manager is one of four types, but Connector managers stand out for their ability to drive employee performance. Take the Gartner quiz and find out where you fall.

The coaching mandate for managers is clear: Enable others to develop skills, attitudes or behaviors to help them maximize their performance in their current roles or future careers. Gartner research shows, however, that neither managers nor employees are happy with the efficacy of coaching today. 

  • 70% of employees say they haven’t mastered the skills they need for their current jobs
  • 45% of managers say they lack confidence to develop employees on the skills they need today.

“Each type of manager is represented by many people you know — and one of these types is you”

Gartner undertook a multiyear study of thousands of employees, managers and senior leaders around a simple question: “What are the best managers doing to develop employees in today’s workplace?” 

Learn more: Building Connector Managers

4 manager types, not created equal

The research showed every manager falls into one of four types — and each profile occurs in almost exactly one-quarter of the manager population across industries, geographies and workplace demographics.

“Ultimately, our study tested the conventional wisdom of what it means to be a manager and found that the approach to coaching and development that most organizations are promoting today — the Always-On manager approach — actually does more harm than good,” says Jaime Roca, Senior Vice President, Gartner. 

Only the Connector manager approach had an outsized positive impact on employee performance.

Connector managers boost employee performance by up to 26% and more than triple the likelihood that the employees they coach will be high performers. They also boost employees’ discretionary effort by up to 38%, and can improve employee engagement by up to 40%. Connectors drive these critical outcomes regardless of industry, function or region.

Gartner research shows every manager is one of four types - a teacher, a cheerleader, an always-on manager or a connector

Know what type of manager you are

“Each type of manager is represented by many people you know — and one of these types is you,” says Sari Wilde, Managing Vice President, Gartner. “But the Connector manager is characterized by behaviors and experiences that can be learned, even by those who are not naturally disposed to the approach.” 

The first step is to recognize what type of manager you are now. Find out for yourself by taking the Gartner quiz. The 13 questions take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. The result will show you what type of manager you are based on your coaching behaviors and help you determine whether your coaching approach is producing optimal results.

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