Why is it hard to be a Connector Manager?
Managers today have too many tasks to accomplish and very little time at hand, to provide a constant stream of feedback to their employees. This pushes the developmental conversations managers are supposed to have with their employees, to the bottom of their priority lists. Managers need to allot more time in developing their subordinates as organizations are changing frequently and employees need to keep themselves upgraded.
A research study conducted by Gartner suggests that there are four distinct types of managers, including:
1. Teacher Managers
2. Always-on Managers
3. Connector Managers
4. Cheerleader Managers
The researchers at Gartner delved deeper into their study and found that the coaching style employed by Connector Managers was the best amongst the aforementioned four categories. Connector Managers provide feedback to their employees in the areas of their expertise. When these managers find themselves to be inadequate in providing feedback, they connect their employees with others on the team or in the organization.
Connector Managers spend the most time of the four categories of managers to assess the skills, needs, and interests of their employees. In the real world, where managers have to deal with time-sensitive tasks and pressure, this approach would be difficult to adopt by all managers. Furthermore, encouraging managers to adopt this form of approach may require a shift in mindset. This is mainly because, it requires the managers to shed their role of being directive, shift towards being self-aware of their expertise, and assist employees to connect with people who can better guide them. This shift from a traditional mindset to a self-aware and employee-focused approach is the most difficult aspect of adhering to the Connected Manager approach. Factors such as these, make it hard for managers to adopt the approach of Connected Managers.
One key point that managers can take from this study is that they should focus more on the quality of their interaction with their employees rather than the frequency of developmental conversations. Another important takeaway from the study is, that even though it is hard to be a Connector Manager, it is the approach to go for while coaching employees, to ensure success.