The Manager’s Role: Air Traffic Controller to Cheerleader [541 words]

Are you a manager or curious about taking on a manager’s role? Your company probably expects you to improve your team’s performance, boost your team members’ morale, and coach your employees. You’re asked to wear a lot of hats in working with your team.

But have they trained you on all those skills? Or even communicated those expectations to you? Chances are, you don’t have the tools or training that would make you successful in all of these roles. Think for a moment about all the different “jobs” you have.

The Manager’s Role

Air Traffic Controller

Job description: Assign and monitor the work, coordinate dozens of moving parts, look for problems, and intervene before something crashes.

This is the most basic definition of the manager’s role. Managers have to delegate the work that comes to them. Frequently, you also need to assign people for extra work and special projects. When the direction changes or a team member gets sick, you’re back to square one. You may feel like you can’t keep track of it all. And how will you know if someone needs help?

Coach / Cheerleader

Job description: Know everyone’s strengths and what motivates them. Keep morale high while constantly pushing team members to perform at higher levels. Never let anyone lose sight of the goal.

According to the Association for Talent Development (ATD), coaching from managers leads to improved performance of individuals and teams. High-performing companies train their managers in coaching skills and hold them accountable. But most of us got promoted to management roles because we were good at our old jobs. We may not be prepared to have deep conversations with our employees about their goals and limiting beliefs!

Mediator / Diplomat

Job description: Manage expectations from above, below, and all around. Help everyone see one another’s value. Resolve conflict, sometimes before it even starts.

Let’s face it, half of your team is below average. (Or, at least, below the team’s average.) But they each think they’re the star player. When conflicts arise, how do you protect everyone’s egos, work, and relationships? For that matter, how do you know they’re telling you what’s really going on?

You’re Not Alone

Whatever role you’re playing today, you’re not alone. All managers are expected to delegate, assign, and monitor work. Ninety percent of companies also expect their managers to coach team members. And, because team members interact with each other, managers spend about 20 percent of their time mediating conflicts.

Still, all these demands on your time and attention can be exhausting.

What If…?

What if you had a crystal ball that told you…

  • How well your team members are performing on their tasks?
  • What your team members actually want to accomplish?
  • How your team members perceive the performance of the team?
  • How your team members perceive your performance as their manager?

What if—just by asking the right question—you could improve team cohesion and company culture?

What if you always had the right words to coach your employee, whether they’re struggling, striving, or thriving?

Lead at Any Level is offering a new tool—FREE FOR A LIMITED TRIAL PERIOD—that does all these things and more! If you manage a team of three people or more, schedule your free consultation today!

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Amy C. Waninger Author Bio

Amy C. Waninger is the Founder & CEO of Lead at Any Level, where she improves employee engagement and retention for companies that promote from within. Amy offers assessments, advisory services, and training on essential skills for inclusive leaders. She is the author of eight books. Learn more at

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One response to “The Manager’s Role: Air Traffic Controller to Cheerleader [541 words]”
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