Management Styles

Before we start; no one should adopt a management style but rather view them as catalogue of approaches to use when needed. First and foremost it’s about knowing who works for you. Aside from the obvious benefit of having this attitude has on the overall culture, you as a need to know what style to use with different types of people. These techniques are defined below and taken from this article.

Authoritative: This style is most useful for imparting the vision for the company. This is crucial for getting everyone to feel as though they are working toward something but tends to be personality centric. The value does not come from the personality though, it’s about making everyone in the feel like shared purpose. You don’t have to be the most charismatic person in the world to pull it off, and it certainly isn’t about showing off the authority inherent in the position. As long as passion for the purpose is put across and the line of “firm but fair” isn’t crossed it can be an effective style.

Affiliative: This is about team cohesion. This style aims to support staff with positive feedback and keeping staff happy, loyalty, and trust. This is a must for getting the most out of staff, as research has shown that felling valued and supported by managers and peers is crucial for motivation and avoiding churn.

Democratic: Make the team part of the planning and decision making process. They don’t have to have the final say but simply passing down decisions without context needlessly takes away control. Clearly, this works better with a skilled team that understand what is involved in delivering and is not a good approach when a quick decision is needed after a crisis, but used appropriately it can increase the feeling of ownership the team has over the entire project and also helps junior staff experience the thought and planning for higher level decisions.

Coaching: Building from the democratic styles ability to impart ownership and training, the coaching type is useful for steams with younger staff who want to learn. This is especially important for showing you want to help them grow in to more senior roles and so can be effective in long term planning, before delegating specific aims within a larger project.

These next to require a more situational approach to be effective. If you use these as a norm then you’re likely to encounter burnout and increased churn.

Pacesetting: The goal here is set a high quality of the work by leading by example to push for everyone to perform at high level in step with the leader. This style is best used with a group of high skilled workers to achieve a lot of work in a crisis or “crunch time” scenario.

Coercive: Emphasis here is on authoritative control. This is not a recommended long-term management strategy. It can work in crisis time but be very careful with someone who works like this because they are driven by their own anxiety to feel like everything is a crisis.

More resources

Signs someone might be about to leave

This isn’t so much focused on the wellbeing side. This is about the natural progression through a role in the broader career context. People will eventually want new challenges and opportunities and there is real value in the accumulate experience staff collect over time. It could be a good idea to keep an eye out

What issues to address between co-workers

By this we mean what problems can arise between peers that can have a toxic effect on the culture. It’s not just the management that set the cultural tone, the interaction between staff will shape the perception of the company environment. These are things the “easy wins” that you, as a manager, can try to

Red flags for staff and warning signs for managers

These are things I’ve heard consistently recommended to listen out for in employers and, as such, are things to avoid as managers and leaders. If you get the impression staff are viewed as replaceableIt’s fallacious reasoning on the part of the employer most of time. Either someone did a poor job selecting the new hire