Those in leadership understand that the way in which their management teams lead staff is a driving factor behind what the team will accomplish. A person’s management style has a significant impact on how productive the team is, and the company’s bottom line.
Just like there are different leadership styles, there’s no universal approach or standard when it comes to management styles. There are several ways to approach management, and ultimately it depends on the organization’s goals, and experiences and expectations of the team.
So if there is no universal management style, what are the different techniques? Do some tend to work better than others? Do some management styles produce stronger teams? In this post, we’ll talk about the four popular management styles, which vary from highly autocratic to extremely participative. And, with a better understanding of these styles, you can help your management team appropriately apply these techniques given the situation or specific need.
Those who utilize the Autocratic Influence, or a “commanding management style,” tend to take a single-minded approach when making decisions. This management style also creates an individualistic model for tasks, which depending on the work team structure can be a benefit. Autocratic managers do run the risk of being too controlling, which can lead to poor morale for employees and impede a culture of collaboration.
The coaching management style focuses on employee development. A manager utilizing the coaching style spends significant time training, evaluating and coaching employees to achieve success. While this management style is generally positive, if taken to the extreme, coaching can be perceived as micromanaging. Additionally, while this style doesn’t necessarily contradict teamwork, it does tend to focus more on one-on-one development.
Participative management, also known as democratic management, intentionally seeks input from staff in the decision making process. This management style is open, and makes employees feel valued and heard. The participative management style also greatly supports the notion of teamwork because both collaboration and conflict resolution are emphasized.
The Affiliative management style is primarily focused on developing a strong team, and harmonious work culture. This style is most effective when the organizational structure includes work teams with a direct report or leader. An Affiliative leader will encourage open communication and collaboration above all else. One risk of this style is that harmony is often viewed as the most important factor, even over performance and accountability. Therefore, this style is best used when a manager blends it with another management style, such as the coaching style.
While each of these management styles has something unique to offer, not every style will suit the needs of your organization. Additionally, as your team changes over time, or your organization’s goals change, management styles need to be fluid. Do you know your management team’s leadership styles? Do you need some assistance in this area?