What’s the Difference Between Coaching and Managing?

Right Management released a survey earlier this year revealing 68% of managers fail to engage their employees’ career development. That is a significant majority, so how do you manage effectively? Coaching is an essential part of it. If you don’t know how to coach, you may not be able to manage properly. Coaching is not just about direction but more about being personally invested in where the employee is headed.

What’s the difference between coaching and managing? Let’s explore…


Managing means to have control of, to take care of, make decisions about or todirect the professional career of someone. While you didn’t need the vocabulary lesson, managing initially feels like nothing more than simply being in charge and running the show.

70% of employee learning and development happens on the job, not through formal training programs. So when a manager is more focused on the output, the employee can be left to hang for failure. While you may be in control, you are not necessarily directing the career of your employee. By neglecting training and solely pushing for productivity, you can stress out new workers and potentially cost your company time and money.


According to Bersin by Deloitte organizations, coaching employees revealed a 13% stronger business result and 39% increase in stronger employees. One on one may seem like a pointless task however it could mean everything for the production of your team and business. Therefore, take the time to show the employee how things run, what’s expected and how to perform their job fully. Training your team not just on a surface level but showing them visually what needs to be done empowers them. The moment you begin to empower your employees, the moment they will start walking the walk in their leadership skills.

Where do I start?

I often am asked by my clients, ‘Who should I coach first?’ They assume I am going to tell them to coach the employees who are the most trouble, the least productive, or the ones who keep you up at night. Even though they do need coaching, if you put all your effort into coaching them, you risk losing your top performers. Your silence can be very LOUD to top talent.” Tim Hagen(@TimHagen), President and Chief Coaching Officer, SalesProgress.com

Like Tim said, don’t begin with your weakest employee. Instead you should be trying to focus on your top talent. Those who show real promise in leadership. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to take on all of them. Begin to coach one and encourage them to invest in another employee, and they in another.

Coaching is about inspiring your people to do and be more. It’s more than just working in a position and clocking out at 5 p.m. every day. It’s about the person. While it is important to make sure the company runs smoothly, the moment you start investing into your employees, you will see the company run the very way you envisioned.

Bio: Ryan Mead

Ryan Mead is the CEO and Founder of Vitru, an employee assessment tool that provides recruiters, hiring professionals, coaches and managers with the insights they need to manage their teams and make better hiring decisions. Powered by science, yet practical and easy to use for a variety of teams, Vitru work for organizations of all size. Want to learn more? Visit our blog or sign up for a freeteam building personality test account to assess your team today! Tweet me at@GoVitru.

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