If you’ve been in work for even a nanosecond, you will have noticed that there are various styles that different managers display, sometimes depending upon the situation. Sometimes, individuals have a strong preference for one particular style, and it is when the context or the circumstance dictates that an alternative style is called for, that you being to see whether you have a strong or a weak manager in your midsts!
There are 6 commonly recognised management styles. They are:
This is a rather coercive style which seeks instant compliance and appears quite bossy. You will notice it from a style and tone of voice which dictates “do as I say or beware” and you hear it from those who are high on the control spectrum. They seem to think folk are motivated by orders or even threats and their whole turn of conversation, features these sorts of overtones.
This is REALLY EFFECTIVE in time of crisis or when its very risky not to follow orders, so it definitely has its place. Unfortunately, its REALLY INEFFECTIVE when the workforce is skilled or used to acting on their own initiative, as they soon become resentful and very frustrated with what they see, as micromanagement.
This is a visionary style and usually provides more of a long-term direction for the workforce. It’s characterised by being firm but fair and provides motivation through clear standards, credibility and integrity. These managers earn respect and apply fairness at every point. They are highly knowledgeable and often have specialist authority in any workplace.
This is REALLY INEFFECTIVE when staff need development, or the vision is vague as people won’t follow it if they don’t believe in it, no matter how much the manager knows about it.
This manager primarily creates harmony in the workplace, horizontally and vertically. They are very people oriented and always put people before task. They have a tendency to avoid conflict but are excellent motivational managers and they can often pick a project up off its knees when its stalled. This style is HIGHLY EFFECTIVE when combined with other styles and is the one most often matched with others. They are born counsellors or mediators. LESS EFFECTIVE in times of crisis or when performance needs tackling.
The Democrat builds commitment and consensus with the workforce. They are the manager that most seeks out and uses diversity in the team and always values everyone’s voice and input. They are very good indeed at motivating by rewarding individual and team efforts. They are great team builders and VERY EFFECTIVE in steady work environments. If close supervision is required, or a crisis appears, these make for pretty poor leaders in these circumstances.
Got to love these ones! They are profoundly driven, wanting to be first, fastest, highest, best achievers. Exhausting usually! They very often resort to doing things themselves, in the vein hope that others will follow. Highly motivated themselves, expects very high standards of everyone around them. Great when they are managing experts or highly competent teams who desire and require very little direction indeed. HOPELESS when the goal or workload is dependent on the efforts of others who require direction, coercion, or explanation.
This manager loves long-term development of others. They make it their mission in life! A very developmental manager, they help and encourage others to develop their strengths and weaknesses in order to reach personal potential. Always seeking and providing developmental opportunities and recognises when others are motivated by improvement and recognition of all kinds. They are less effective if the manager themselves are inexperienced and this type of manager grows from experience and self development. They love translating their experience into the benefit of others.
Of course, you can now see how circumstances and/or context will best require different styles in any one manager. The best managers can see what is required of any situation and adapt accordingly. Sounds simple, but it takes years of practice to flip between styles and deliver it effectively.
Have you seen style-flipping or have you seen when others have struggled to suit the style to the situation? How has these styles made you feel when you’ve been in particular team situations? Please do let me know.