May 27, 2019

Be a Coach, Not a Critic: 11 Things Great Managers Never Say


Managers do more than simply make sure things get done — though, of course, they do that.

But beyond keeping tabs on employees, a manager’s most important duty is to unlock full employee performance potential. Under great managers, teams thrive. Under poor managers, teams crash and burn.

In fact, managers account for 70 percent of the variance in employee engagement levels, according to Gallup. In other words: More often than not, the difference between an engaged team that delivers and a disengaged team that underperforms is the manager.

How does a manager ensure theirs is a team that is motivated and ready to excel? It all comes to down to a management style centered on coaching. Managers who coach their employees — who actively work with their direct reports to refine strengths and compensate for weaknesses — are managers whose teams get results.

For more insight into what it means to be the kind of manager who coaches instead of criticizing, check out this new infographic from Headway Capital for a handy compare-and-contrast session:


Read more in Management Styles

Matthew Kosinski is the managing editor of