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Leading a Team: The Manager's Role in Teamwork (Part 2)

Leading a Team: The Manager's Role in Teamwork (Part 2)

Webcast Details

  • Gallup Called to Coach Webcast Series
  • Season 8, Episode 3
  • Listen as Cathy DeWeese explains what moving from boss to coach means for managers, and shares about the 5 traits of great managers and how these affect teamwork.
  • Interested in learning more on this topic? Read more about how to improve teamwork in the workplace.

Cathy DeWeese, Senior Workplace Consultant at Gallup, was our guest on a recent Called to Coach. In Part 2 of the webcast series on managers and their teams, Cathy spoke about the manager's role in fostering teamwork, including how managers can move from boss to coach. In addition, she provided insights on the 5 traits of great managers from Gallup's It's the Manager book: Motivation, Workstyle, Initiation, Collaboration and Thought process.

Access Part 1 of the webcast series on managers and their teams, plus Part 3 and Part 4 of this 4-part series.

Below is a full transcript of the conversation, including time stamps. Full audio and video are posted above.

We've created the ultimate guide to improving teamwork in the workplace!

Jim Collison 0:00

I am Jim Collison and live from the Gallup offices here in Omaha, Nebraska, this is Gallup's Called to Coach, recorded on January 10, 2020.

Jim Collison 0:20

Called to Coach is a resource for those who want to help others discover and use their strengths. We have Gallup experts and independent strengths coaches share tactics, insights and strategies to help coaches maximize the talent of individuals, teams and organizations around the world. If you are listening live, love to have you send us or log into our chat room. It's just a link available in the video window above. Or if you're listening to the recorded version after the fact, you can send us an email, any questions: And don't forget to subscribe if you're on -- if you're listening on YouTube. There's a little subscription button right down there below. Subscribe to us there; that way you get notified whenever we create new content. Easiest way to stay up with it. If it's in the podcast, we'd just love to have you subscribe. Search Gallup Webcasts from any podcast app; get subscribed as well. Cathy DeWeese is our guest today. Cathy is a Senior Workplace Consultant at Gallup. And Cathy, great to have you on Called to Coach. Welcome!

Cathy DeWeese 1:09

Well thanks, Jim. It's great to be here.

Jim Collison 1:11

We want to get to know -- we want to get to know you a little bit because we've had you on some internal calls, or we've had you on some internal learning stuff, but not on a -- on a public facing Called to Coach. So in one minute, kind of tell us, give us your resume, so to speak, here at Gallup.

Cathy DeWeese 1:26

OK. Well, thanks again for having me. And I do have a bit of a cold. So I'm going to try to find my mute button if I cough. So let's see. I've been at Gallup -- I just celebrated my 29th anniversary in December. So I've been an executive coach for about 19 years. And prior to that, I was a manager here at Gallup for about 10. So I get to, you know, for the last 19 years, I get to work with coaches and managers and leaders, and I do a lot of client coaching and then I also help to coach and mentor our Gallup coaches internally. So ...

Jim Collison 1:59

Yeah, a lot of them experience -- 29 years -- you were 4 or 5, I think, when you started here at Gallup.

Cathy DeWeese 2:03

I was! We didn't have those child labor laws back then.

Jim Collison 2:07

A long time doing that. We've kind of brought you in as the expert. As we as we kind of think about the the the traits, the talent, the the manager itself, we spent a bunch of time with Adam and the first very first session of this, kind of talking about the "why" -- what do managers actually do? But as we think about this, the role of a manager on a team and those individual traits, right, of a manager themselves. Why -- why is that important? As you think about all the coaching that you've done, why is it important that we focus on the manager themselves in this and some of those traits?

Cathy DeWeese 2:40

Well, gosh, let's just think about the role of a manager. What an incredible responsibility this -- this person has! We think about they're responsible for the performance of their team, for the culture, for the brand, for the values. They're responsible for your most important resource, the people. And you think about, you know, they are the glue that holds the team together. They're the talent scout. They're passionate about finding the right fit for the right role. They're the liaison. They're the bridge between leadership kind of strategy and vision. And actually the front lines of the work getting done and customers being served and whatever you're producing, whatever your, whatever your organization is doing, they're that bridge.

Cathy DeWeese 3:23

And so we want to, you know, there's, they're just super, they're so important. When you think about, too, they account for 70% of employee engagement! Let's say that again: 70% of employee engagement. And we've, we've known this for years, but people -- when they leave -- people talk about they leave managers, they don't leave organizations, or jobs, typically. And because they can go somewhere else, maybe be doing the same thing. But they're leaving something, right? They're leaving a culture, they're leaving, they're leaving something else, and they're missing something and they're searching for something else somewhere else.

Jim Collison 3:59

Cathy, when, when we talk about a manager, and we've spent some time -- you know, we recently released It's the Manager last year. It has done very, very well and it's kind of become a, kind of become a must for managers. And it's not a book that you read beginning to end, right? It's got 52 chapters, all on different subjects. There's a section in there called "Boss to Coach." And let's just take a quick second when -- what do we mean when we say a manager is a coach? I think for some folks, we probably need to define that a little bit. What do we mean when we say Boss to Coach?

Cathy DeWeese 4:32

Sure. Well, what our research shows is that is what people want in a manager. They don't want a boss anymore; they want a coach. So what does that look like? What are they wanting? I think about a coach as someone who's authentic. They're genuine. And they are genuinely interested in people. They, they like people; they care about people, and they want to see people get better and develop and grow. So they have a vest -- they intentionally want to spend time investing in that talent. And I joke with sometimes with, with people, and I'll say, you know, "We're not managing chairs; we're managing people!" So, you know, I work with people who are -- people are messy. People have, you know, thoughts and feelings and emotions and motivations. And if you don't like that, if you don't get excited about that, if you're not engaged with that every day or find that fascinating and want to make a difference and make an impact, that, you know, being a manager, you might find it a little difficult; might find it a little draining.

Cathy DeWeese 5:36

But a boss to coach, you know, when I think about a manager being a coach, again, it's someone who's going to take the time to actively invest in their team. They're, you know, they have -- they coach people. They see people as individuals. They see their individuals as people with individual talents and individual motivations. And they like that; they like those individual differences and they like trying to figure that out a little bit. And they want to spend time helping people figure out their own talents; figure out how it positions well within the matrix or within the grouping of the team. And then they really get a kick out of kind of seeing, creating the environment, giving the tools and the resources and materials and the -- and letting people "fly"; letting people kind of take their talents and go.

Cathy DeWeese 6:25

But if I think about a coach, it's a person who takes intentional time, too, checking in, and understands that every interaction they have with the people on their team is an opportunity for either positive interaction or negative interaction. And they choose to be -- they choose to make it more of a positive interaction. I think, you know, if I think about being a coach, too, they value -- they value people; they value their talent; they value what people bring to the table; and they appreciate it. And they recognize it and they help to celebrate it. They help to position it for opportunity for -- to do more of what that person does best.

Jim Collison 7:02

As we kind of take some time to lead into these traits, these qualities. Does this mean, when we say boss to coach, does this mean that the the job of the manager of getting people to do things, of influencing them in a way to get things done? Is -- are those days over? Does, does that mean they don't have to do that anymore? Right? Is that what we're saying?

Cathy DeWeese 7:24

Absolutely not! That's your job as a manager is to get work done through people, and the right people and the right fit. And in a way that really values and honors and respects people. So what we're saying is, that's one of your jobs. That's one of the things that you are responsible for. And what we're hoping is that you like doing that; that you have the natural talent to do that, but that's part of the job. You got to get work done through people.

Jim Collison 7:52

Yeah, it's still -- Maika, we were chatting about this in the Facebook group just yesterday. And Maika is a great example -- that if you were on an airplane and the airplane was having trouble, engine trouble, the pilot would not come to the back of the airplane and start asking for advice: "How do you think we should handle this?" right? in those situations. However, we do know from from a lot of the data, a lot of the research we want, and we spent the very first session talk -- talking a lot about the reasons why we do this.

Jim Collison 8:22

But the workforce today is looking for some different things from its managers. And so we not only have to just get things done, but we've got to get the -- we got to get people done through work, right, as well. And we got to work on on the people that we have with us. Managers, and all people, but managers in particular ... Well, before I say this, let me back up to this. Often (in) organizations, management becomes the reward for great work done in other areas. Maybe the best sales manager becomes a manager, or maybe the best -- or the best salesperson becomes a manager, or the best technology person, right? Why does that not always work? And what are we looking for in a manager, other than just maybe their performance was great in sales or in technology or whatever?

Cathy DeWeese 9:07

Gosh, well, first of all, that's kind of a recipe for disaster. Because the talent that's needed to be a great salesperson is a very, very different talent that's needed to be a great manager. So -- there are "rare birds" out there who have both: who've been successful salespeople and then go on to be successful sales managers. But that talent is such a treasure and very rare. Ideally, the talent that it takes to be sales doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to be a great manager; doesn't mean you're necessarily thinking about investing in people and things like that. So, and I think other organizations sometimes make the mistake too of promoting because of tenure -- well, the person has been in the role for the longest. But that doesn't always work either, because they might have been in the role for the longest because they're doing a very good job or, you know, for a lot of different reasons. But it doesn't mean then that they're going to be effective at spotting talent, developing talent and placing that talent into roles where they can really perform at their best. So I think it's really -- what organizations need to do is they need to select for talent for managers. And that's really what those 5 traits are.

Jim Collison 10:12

Yeah. Let's dig into those 5 as we think about it. And what we're going to do today is spend time looking at these 5. By the way, they're available at chapter 30 inside It's the Manager. These are outlines. So if you have that book -- if you don't have it, get it. If you do have it, get on chapter 30. This is what we're going to talk about: Motivation, Workstyle, Initiation, Collaboration, Thought process. We're going to spend -- and Cathy, the experience, you've seen a lot of this in your coaching. And so we're going to spend a little bit of time about these, how this -- how you've seen this work. So as we think about Motivation, what does excellence look like for managers in this area of Motivation?

Cathy DeWeese 10:49

I think Motivation's two things. I think that the manager themselves is a highly motivated person. They understand why they're in the role, what they enjoy about it. And they can recognize what -- even if you, if you kind of weave strengths into it, you kind of -- they recognize what strengths that they're utilizing that kind of motivate them in this role of manager.

Cathy DeWeese 11:08

But if you think about their, their, then effect on the team, great managers are just great motivators. They understand the individual differences in the people around them; they understand that people are different, that people are motivated in different ways. They're interested to find out what those differences are.

Cathy DeWeese 11:27

I think that they are, they are just, you know, if you think about, even our research shows that only 2 in 10 employees can strongly agree that they are managed in a way that motivates them to do quality work. 2 in 10! So if you think about a manager, if you just focused on, Let me understand my people; let me understand why they do what they do, what motivates them at work, what drains them at work; and spent just some intentional time there trying to line up what they get paid to do with how it feeds their Motivation. And if you spent some time aligning the individual's Motivations to the organization's goals and mission, imagine what that would do for the person!

Jim Collison 12:12

Yeah. Can you, can you give us an example? Like where have you seen that? If you were to kind of give us the persona of a person where you've seen this work well in an organization, what does that actually look like?

Cathy DeWeese 12:22

Oh, gosh, I was thinking about a manager I was working with and she was looking, she needed a new customer service role. You know, she's filling a new customer service role. And she had two employees, who she was looking at. And she was, she was talking about, you know, she said, "I can teach them how to use the computer and the phones." She said, "I need to find somebody who likes helping people. I need to find somebody who enjoys talking to people and enjoys solving their problems."

Cathy DeWeese 12:51

And so if you think about the real-life aspect, you know, she's looking for someone who wants to be a customer service rep, who's motivated to do that. And so she asked some of her questions, when she was doing her hiring, she's asking, you know, the two candidates, just about tell me some about your favorite, you know, experiences with clients and customers and da-da-da-da-da. And she said, I was listening for the passion. And she was really listening for their Motivation around it. So, and because she, she had -- she, she selected one person, and she said she, you could just tell; it just came out of her. She was so motivated; she was so excited. She loved to do it. So she put her in this role where she got to do that every day. That was her job. And so it fed her Motivation. And she liked coming to work and she was a great performer because she could spot that. So I think that's what, it really, I mean, that happens all the time, though.

Jim Collison 13:40

And not only an internal drive, but an -- to be able to create this vortex of, of activity or this vortex of productivity to have their workers to have the folks they're working with be able to be highly productive. This is why strengths are so important in this, right, and understanding who they are and what makes them move, and what their, what their -- they get excited about and what gets them motivated, and where can they be the most productive, right? It's about understanding both the internal and external drivers that exist on the team to create that going -- what motivates them?

Jim Collison 14:10

So when we think about this, this idea of Workstyle, right, we, in the book, it says, Setting goals and arranging resources for the team to excel. Give us -- where have you seen that work well? What does that look like on a real person, when we think about that goal setting -- which is a very important topic; we're all setting goals here at Gallup right now. Today's -- today's the last day for it, right, and we're all grippin' over it. But those, those great managers, how do they help those teams do that when we think about this work-style component?

Cathy DeWeese 14:36

I think they're very clear about expectations. They know what needs to happen. They know what needs to get done by when. And they're very clear about it. I think that they have a natural, innate sense of kind of bringing some organization, some structure, some prioritization to the role. But then they have a way of kind of looking at the whole workflow and setting up a good process and then probably a good system around kind of follow-up and check-ins that are right for the people, so they don't feel like they're being micromanaged. But still, I think, ensure accountability and ensure that deadlines are being met and that priorities are being accomplished. So I think Workstyle is really about how do you plan your work and work your plan? Not just, not for self -- well, for self, but also now, what's more important is how do you set that up for the team so that they can be as productive as possible?

Jim Collison 15:26

That, that ties into the third, which is Initiation, or, I like to say, more influence, right, influencing others to act -- really the job of a manager: to, to move people in a positive direction for productivity purposes. When we think of that in a managing role, how have you really seen that work? Managers can just tell people what to do, but Cathy, I'm sure you have seen some great examples of where it's more than just telling them but bringing them along in the process.

Cathy DeWeese 15:52


Jim Collison 15:52

Can you talk a little bit about that?

Cathy DeWeese 15:53

You bet. I think, you know, that area of Initiation is really about influencing -- get people to do what you need them to do. And also, it's really about how do you face resistance? When you face an obstacle or if you face resistance, whether resistance could be people; it could be a process; it could be something else. But what, what do you do in the face of that?

Cathy DeWeese 16:12

So if I think about, what does it really look like? It really looks like a person who, first of all, knows their own power, I think, knows how they influence -- what's their natural tendency? Are they -- sometimes influence can take some different flavors. Sometimes it can be a little bit more of an information influencer, where you take information and you build a strong case and you're very, you're the smartest person on this, you know, in the room on that topic. Are you able to -- it's almost like attorney-esque, where you build a strong case; you present facts after facts; and people kind of stop and listen and think, "Well, why would I disagree with that? That totally makes sense."

Cathy DeWeese 16:45

Or you could be a relationship influencer, where people just like working with you. You do nice things for them; they do nice things for you. And you kind of influence through the strength of the positive kind of relationships that you've built with them over time and the bonds that you've created. And if I think about Initiation, too, and kind of that ability to influence, in real life and also in a manager's world, it looks like, Hey, I have to have a tough accountability conversation. I have to -- this person -- and sometimes it's easier if a person is doing (I don't know about easy, that's probably not the right word). Some people have a, I think an affinity for, or they're kind of drawn to a situation like that, because maybe they have an opportunity to teach; maybe they have an opportunity to kind of, if the person is doing something that's incorrect, you know, they have a chance to kind of fix or to solve.

Cathy DeWeese 17:36

But if I think about just that ability to have those tough conversations, some managers -- it's tricky for some people, because they don't, they don't necessarily like it. It is kind of disruptive; it's a little uncomfortable. It provokes some, you know, anxiety or some ugly feelings inside. And so they're not sure what to do with that. And so sometimes, they might go into that situation, but because they're a little awkward at it, or they haven't really identified where it's coming from, they might handle it maybe not in the best possible way. Sometimes because they don't like it, they kind of step away from it, and they avoid it, and they hope it just kind of works out on its own.

Cathy DeWeese 18:15

I think what doesn't work is when you don't address it, because those types of problems or those types of situations can just manifest -- they tend to just fester. And it just tends to kind of really affect the whole team. So what turned out to be maybe an issue with one person now has started to kind of bleed into and affect the rest of the group. And so I think managers need to understand -- what's, what's my own talent here? How am I going to recognize the situation that I need to step into? And then how, you know, either practice their words before they're going to, you know, what they're going to say ahead of time, and then maybe kind of download afterwards.

Cathy DeWeese 18:56

But figure out a way to use your talents to either address that situation, kind of initiate change, or, you know, if you have a tough message, how many times do managers have a tough message? Something's -- there's been a policy change or something's coming down the road that they have to now spread to the rest of the team. And they understand this is maybe going to upset some folks or, you know, kind of disrupt them in some way. How's that manager going to still present that message in a way that it doesn't disrupt the team and just cause all kinds of unnecessary angst and issues?

Cathy DeWeese 18:57

Yeah, yeah. It's the hard part of -- I think the hardest part of managing, by the way, is that being able to handle conflict, and what do you do with that? Our [COO] Jane Miller says all the time, "Conflict creates clarity." And I love that idea because it gets away from -- I think sometimes we think conflict's bad. And it's, it actually can be a really good thing on a team because it -- when people are forced to pick sides and defend something, it clarifies things very, very quickly.

Jim Collison 20:01

So instead of run -- instead of running away from it, you begin to run to it. Like you mentioned, not everyone can do that. I think that's one of those important traits is, how can you or can you handle conflict in these situations? And how do you work with that to make it a productive, a productive part of the team? Right? Because the team, ultimately, the fourth one is Collaboration, right? The team has to work kind of together and be committed to working together. We know that when that question 8 (Q08) in the Q12, which is [Fellow employees are] Committed to quality work, is really a team question, right? How they feel about -- how does it, how does a manager, a great manager, really, in the spirit of Collaboration, how have you seen that work well, of getting the team, the team bond to stick?

Cathy DeWeese 20:42

Well, if you think about conflict, you know -- teams that handle conflict in a in a positive way, there's some trust. And so if you go into Collaboration, that manager is talented in the ability to create trust, to create an environment where people care about each other. They know about each other. They respect each other. They value each other. This Collaboration is really about how does that manager build relationships? And how do they maintain those relationships over time?

Cathy DeWeese 21:08

And the best managers are active in that. They don't just let it -- they don't just let it happen. It's just not, you know, we don't just kind of throw it out there. People aren't just, you know, just self-cleaning ovens: "We're going to push a button and just something magic is going to happen." Those managers are are purposeful and intentional with using their own talents to help to build and maintain relationships over time, and kind of foster those relationships amongst their team, and also help each other appreciate each other's differences. Because to your point, differences, difference isn't bad. Conflict doesn't have to be bad; it can bring clarity. Differences aren't bad. Together, we can kind of leverage each other's differences to be even more effective over time.

Cathy DeWeese 21:44

That's what a manager does is they, they -- and they you know what, the other thing about Collaboration is, they spend time just getting to know people. They spend intentional time. We talk about, you know, having, there's 5 different coaching conversations that a manager can have. And one of those is just a quick connect. I call it "rounding." Just -- and you can do this with your remote teams; you can do that with teams who are, you know, present with you. But just check in. Is it a quick IM? Is it a quick email? Is it just a quick walk around the floor? Is it a different, a different way to go get your water, you know, so that you walk by different people on your different way to, to go to the cafeteria? Whatever it is, but do a quick connect. Be very intentional about that, though. People need to hear you and see you and know that you're, that you're a part of their life in some way, but in a way that's right for them.

Cathy DeWeese 22:37

You know, so we talk about those 5 coaching conversations. Another one is really just having a regular check-in with people; just kind of a status update. But, you know, I was joking with a manager once because he was, he was talking about these these two people on his team. And he said one person wants to meet with him once a month. And he said one person wants to meet with him once a day. And he asked me, he said, "Which one do I do?" And I said, what's right for the people? Meet with the one once a month and meet with the other one once a day. I said, If you meet with the one once a month, every day, he's gonna think you're micromanaging him, and he's gonna quit. And if you make the one every day, if you meet with him once a month, he's gonna think you're ignoring him and he could quit.

Cathy DeWeese 23:15

So do what's right for people. And that's what the best managers do. They understand those individual differences and they, they spend intentional time just connecting with people and understand -- and of course you're connecting about work too. I mean, you've got things that you have to be talking about. So that, you know, those those can be intentional kind of progress updates and status and project updates and things like that. But also just be real. Weave in your authenticity; just be real with people.

Jim Collison 23:39

I am way better at the "quick connect" management style than I am about the sit-down, formal "Let's, let's do this!" Right? And sometimes I found I was so effective at it that the sit-down times were kind of boring. Because I was like, we've already talked about all these things during our, during our quick connect times, or even just, you know, out front -- I like to be -- that's my management style. That's what works really well for me. I'm actually, as a manager, very clear to folks that I'm managing, "That is my style. I want you to know, that's my style. If that doesn't work well for you, I can do other things. But I will default to that, because that's the talent that I have."

Jim Collison 24:14

Finally, as we think about Thought process, and this may be, as we think about it from a management perspective, this may be the most unclear. So Cathy, give us a little clarity around, when we think about, what does this, what does this mean, when we think about Thought process?

Cathy DeWeese 24:27

I think about though process as a kind of a management mindset. They look at their team; they look at the work that needs to be done; they look at the organization kind of through a different lens. Thought process is really how do you gather information? How do you analyze it? How do you strategize with it, and what do you do with it? And what do you do with it to solve problems, maybe create ideas, maybe create goals and action plans. But if I think about Thought process, it's like this management mindset of, Let me look at this not just from the individual perspective, but also from the perspective of the team. So how is this going to interrelate and, and look to the group? But also then able to take a step back and look at it from an organizational perspective; they kind of see how their team interacts and interplays with the other teams in the organization.

Cathy DeWeese 25:13

And they can even take a couple of steps, a couple of more steps back and kind of think about how the organization plays out into the bigger picture: into the community, into the economy and, you know, into their state and into their country. So I think about Thought process so just as an ability to, you know, how is that manager gathering information? How are they processing it? And then what are they doing with that information? And again, you kind of have to aim it. Maybe it's around a goal-setting; maybe it's around a process; maybe it's around a development plan for a person. But that's, that's the way I think about that Thought process.

Jim Collison 25:44

Good way to wrap this up. This time always goes very, very fast. Cathy, thanks for taking the time today to work through these again. This is from chapter 30 of It's the Manager and kind of see this as a companion guide. We'd love to have you go back and read through that chapter. Some great information in there. And we've added to it as well. Cathy, thanks for taking the time today to be a part of it; if you'd hang tight for me one second, we'll wrap this as well.

Jim Collison 26:08

With that, we'll remind everyone to take full advantages of all the resources we have available now on Gallup Access. Just go to We are building an entire series around teams and managers this year. In both the podcast and YouTube descriptions, we've placed the link to the full show notes and transcriptions; as well, this will include any links we've mentioned here. That's going to be available today in that description. So scroll down if you're watching this on YouTube, or if you're doing it in a podcast, get back over to Those links will be available there as well. If you want to follow us on YouTube, you can do that as well. Just go to YouTube and search "CliftonStrengths." If you want to find our podcast, go to any podcast app and search for Gallup Webcasts. If you want to sign up for the new CliftonStrengths community newsletter that is out there, that is the at the bottom of every post that we are making for this series. If your organization is struggling to implement anything we discussed or if you have any questions at all, we'd love to chat with you about it. Send us an email: You can also see a complete list of all our courses, including the brand new Boss to Coach course that will be coming later here. And they're available on our courses page. Just head out to and you can sign up right from that page. And if you want to follow these live webcasts, we have Part 3 and 4 of the series are coming up next week. If you want to join us for that, head out to, get signed up there. We'll send you a notification before this thing starts, as well as a follow-up after we're done so you can get all the information we have here. Join us for the 2020 Gallup at Work Summit, June 3, I'm sorry, June 1, 2 and 3 here in Omaha. More information on that: And of course, join us on social and our Facebook group: Or you can join us on LinkedIn. Search CliftonStrengths trained coaches; don't have to be that, but that's kind of where the conversation is going on, there in that group. You can search for that on LinkedIn and I will let you in that group as well. We want to thank you for joining us today. With that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

Cathy DeWeese's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Individualization, Arranger, Maximizer, Input and Relator.

Learn more about using CliftonStrengths to help yourself and others succeed:

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