The importance of connectors in management

The importance of connectors in management

Research by Gartner identified four key types of manager, and so-called connectors stood out.

The most effective managers are “connectors.” That is, they give feedback when they can, and the rest of the time, they connect employees with other people who are better equipped to help them.

That is the conclusion of a Gartner study of 7,300 employees and managers, plus interviews and surveys with HR executives, published in May.

According to the survey, so-called connector managers are comfortable admitting to their own inadequacy at times and “recognize that many skills are best taught by people other than themselves.”

The other three types of managers identified by the study are teacher managers, who lead based on their own knowledge and experience; always-on managers, who provide continual coaching and feedback; and cheerleader managers, who are more hands-off when it comes to employee development.

Yet according to the research, employees coached by the connector group are three times as likely as employees coached by other types of managers to be high performers.

According to a separate analysis of the study by, connectors succeed because they focus on the quality, rather than quantity, of time spent on employee development. Connectors send their employees directly to the people who have built their thought leadership and become subject matter experts, and as a result, their employees get the guidance they need and perform better.

Gartner says that employees can identify connector managers by looking for people who “invest time to diagnose and understand individual employee needs” and who “help employees get more value from their development connections.


About the Author:

Paul Imison
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