In this article on management styles, Fred Wilson showcases the top 5 Management styles available.
The methodology of getting all stakeholders within an organization on a common platform in an effort to utilize their skills and abilities for the betterment of the organization is known as effective organization management.
In a nutshell, management is responsible for utilizing different management styles and the manpower under their disposal to get the best possible results.
So, what are Management Styles?
Every manager has a distinct way of managing the team that they are supervising. The way in which a manager or a supervisor handles the staff and team reporting to them is known as management styles.
Likewise, you could define management styles as the methodologies, capabilities and techniques managers utilize in managing situations and expressing leadership within an organization. The structure of the organization and employees that operate within that company, also affect the management’s style of working.
While there are many management styles in theory, what I’ve discovered based on reading lots of research on management styles is that what differentiates top-performing managers from moderately successful managers is that successful managers sort of play chess while the moderate managers play checkers.
You must be thinking; what is the writer implying in this write-up? Well, as it turns out, checkers pieces are confined to a specific movement pattern. It is in parallel motion, which denotes a restricted style of management where employees don’t have a lot of liberties at their disposal.
On the other hand, chess pieces have different capabilities as they can move in different directions and at different pace levels. Their movement is limited too but in their own respective way. As compared to checkers, chess pieces have more room and movement areas across the battlefield.
On that note, the top managers have the capacity to utilize the staff at their disposal in a way that maximizes productivity and the results for the department and eventually the organization.
How Management Styles Impact an Organization?
When an individual in any field is making the decision of joining an organization; the first thing they consider along the salary and the perks is who will be their line manager/supervisor and what is their reputation. If the management styles they are implementing are in line with the individual’s goals and aspirations, then in most cases, they make up their mind on joining the organization.
Effective and efficient management styles can greatly improve the productivity of organizations.
There are multiple management styles proposed by theorists. However, we’ll be covering the top five in this article. Each of these styles has its pros and cons, and managers can use more than one style while supervising their teams.
Management Style #1: Autocratic
This is an example of an authoritative or directive style of management styles. In this style, the power to make decisions lays completely in the hands of the leader.
They make all policy-level decisions. Giving concrete directions and expecting complete obedience, this management style is a hallmark of a manager who most employees would dread currently.
Such managers create work routines and tasks for employees and the employees must subsequently show complete obedience to such supervisors.
A major part of the autocratic management style involves:
- Supervisors do not take into considerations ideas and suggestions of their employees
- Employees make decisions after pre-approval of their line manager
- Policy statements and direction is provided by the autocratic leader only
- A hallmark of autocratic management style is that employees in most cases lack motivation
- An advantage of autocratic management styles is that decisions are made at a faster pace
Management Styles #2: Democratic Way of Working
In such management styles types, the democratic leader through participation achieves consensus. Therefore, in a nutshell, it is the 180-degree opposite of Autocratic management styles. The phrase most common to such leaders might sound something like “What do you think about this?”
This style of leadership and management styles types helps in building and fostering teamwork and building ownership within the team on company and department objectives. The flipside to such management styles is that it’s hard to operate it in situations where there is a time constraint as obtaining feedback of employees and building a decision based on this is time-consuming.
Democratic management styles include and revolve around:
- Superiors normally welcome feedback and input from their employees
- Employees have enough leeway with their supervisors to brainstorm important company objective setting and milestone achievements
- Promotes healthy communication between all layers of the organization
- Supervisors do give a mindful hearing of their subordinates before making a decision
Management Styles #3: Coaching
Coaching is a management style that takes into consideration employees’ needs, training assessment plus motivation. Even though there are other management styles that can be adopted readily i.e. like the boss approach; managing through coaching style is becoming increasingly popular in the workplace.
The key points which support the coaching way of management styles include:
- Relationship vs Task: Coaching management styles place great weight on building a good rapport with employees and utilizing that as the basis for task motivation.
- Crisis vs Calm: Coaching way of leading is most suitable when the organization is operating on a status quo basis where the leaders within the group can have ample time and resources to train their employees.
- Orientation for Time Framing: Coaches have the tendency of maintaining a long-term goal and vision for their organization in mind while making a decision.
Management Styles #4: Pace Setting
This is an example of a leader who sets extremely high standards for himself and subsequently requires a lot from his team as well. This way of working and leading within a function only works if an entire department is a well-oiled machine and with the right frame of mind to deliver the objectives for their leader.
Otherwise, pace-setting leaders may disseminate an organization. Such management styles normally have a negative impact on the overall organizational culture like a coercive leader. If I had to summarize such a management style, it would be “An obsession for doing things better and faster; and expecting the same from everyone within the team”.
Management Styles # 5: Affiliative
In these management styles, employees are grouped together based on teamwork and create harmony between people. If there is broken trust within your organization & your employees than the affiliative management style is the one to utilize.
One major obstacle though when implementing the affiliative way of working is employees may think that mediocrity will be acceptable to the supervisors. To sum up the affiliative management style; this style works best when you want to motivate employees. As this is a requirement for most organizations; this management style is often adopted by most leaders.
Which Style Is Best for You?
When choosing the management style that that will work best for you, try and make sure the style aligns with your skills, experience, personality, as well as the needs of your team and the culture of your organization.
Simply sticking to a management style that you are used to is an inflexible way of dealing with this and can lead to difficulties.
To be a successful manager you need to make sure you are flexible in the style that you choose to adopt. Different situations call for a different style of management to lead.
Different scenarios and different projects may call for a diverse style of management.
You may also find that you need to be extremely flexible in your management style. It implies that you need to adopt a different style of management for certain team members as compared to the style you choose to adopt for others.
For example, a junior employee, or someone unfamiliar with the job may need a more authoritarian style so they do not make mistakes while learning the trade.
You can then maybe switch up the style you manage those employees when they become more comfortable with their responsibilities and the job at hand.
In comparison, someone who has worked with you for a while, or is more senior and has more experience and knowledge may not need such a stern style of management and can be left to their own devices in sorts.
These employees can be given more leeway in their responsibilities and can be allowed to choose the way they want to finish a task.
If you were to have the same stern style of management for them this would showcase there is a lack of trust. This in turn leads to a decrease in productivity and also a decreased sense of engagement for employees.
Employees who feel they are not trusted or that their work does not matter are more likely to take days off, or in the future are unlikely to stay with the company at hand, as it does not show a good career growth opportunity.
Therefore, you must learn to switch between styles to fit the person and the situation. Great managers can craft their approach according to the audience at hand.
Management is a constantly evolving phenomenon in today’s day and age. We have to improvise, and cannot stick to one management style by taking it as a benchmark. We would love to hear your feedback based on your experience in the industry.