Think back on your career and the managers you have had over the years. We all admit we had good managers, while others were not as good. But the question arises, what makes a manager, ‘good?’ When people answer that question, most come back saying that it has to do with the attitude and the style of the manager.
Here are 6 management styles, one can find at the workplace.
The directive manager orders the team around, sets high standards and disciplines those who do not meet the standard. When the manager is out of room, the team naturally stops work – concerned about the consequences of continuing without the micromanagement.
The authoritative manager, sets the vision for the team clearly and captivatingly, then steps back and allows the team to work. The leader will step in from to time to reiterate the vision if required.
The Affiliative manager takes time helping the team to bond. They often sit down for a coffee and share stories. Often the activity is not even commenced as the team gets caught up getting to know each other. More task focused team members often look around and get anxious when they can see other teams working. Sometimes, these task focused team members will leap in and take control, effectively ‘dismissing’ the manager.
The participative manager starts by asking all the team members what they would like to do, then voting on the options.
The pacesetting manager sets pace from the beginning. The team operates with high energy, engagement and motivation. The manager sets members tasks, but then takes these tasks off them if they are ‘not performing’ and gives them to someone else. Despite this, the team members remain engaged, seeing this as a consequence of the high standards set by the leader.
The coaching manager focuses on the learning experience. When a team member proves to be particularly good at a given task, the manager has them demonstrate and teach the others. The team gets absorbed in the learning process, but they also enjoy that they are engaged with, and are proud of their achievements.
It is fascinating to see that there is no best style. The most appropriate style will depend on the people (their experience, values, and motives) and the situation (long/short term focus). The key to be an effective leader is to have a broad repertoire of styles to use them appropriately.