When you’re first thrown into a management position, how do you handle workflow, delegation, and conflict resolution? Managers have different styles for taking on some of the more difficult aspects of leadership while others “let things be.” But how do you know which style is right for your team?
Quality leadership involves finding a balance between knowing when to be “tough” on team members with deadlines and when to offer flexibility.
Effective managers know how to improve efficiency and morale at the same time, and when it’s done right, top executives and bosses notice. To help you find ultimate career success, here are the 7 different types of managers and how you can decide which is best for you.
This one is considered the most “old-fashioned,” so we’ll get this out of the way right at the beginning. This is a leader who is in complete control over everyone else, leaving little room for flexibility or input from others.
There are benefits to this style. Decisions are made rather quickly, and deadlines are more likely to be met. Resources and instructions are very clear and there is little to no confusion in following orders. This doesn’t mean that ongoing training and education isn’t provided for workers, however, and it also doesn’t mean they don’t have opportunities to grow.
Unless there is a special circumstance, any instructions given by autocratic leaders should be followed to the letter. In many cases, this truly could mean the difference between life or death. For instance, when a Head Surgeon is giving directions to a surgical student there is absolutely no room for error or veering outside of the strict structure of the requirements. Employees who seek creative positions are far less likely to respond to autocratic leadership.
Who uses the autocratic management style?
- High ranking military officers
- Police officers or first responders
- Medical professionals overseeing students or nurses
- Leaders in manufacturing and heavy industry
For a business to be truly productive, there must be a certain amount of trust in a fellow co-worker. In opposition to autocratic managers, affiliative managers are more relationship-focused. They are best at resolving issues or conflicts between team members and keeping up employee morale.
Affiliative managers are also good at recognizing the skillsets of each individual. So if a project goes off the rails, this type of manager can identify what tasks a person is best at and assign new roles or responsibilities as needed.
Extroverts particularly thrive in building relationships in the office. They know how to guide others through stressful situations to preserve a harmonious and happy work environment.
Who uses the affiliative management style?
- Human resources managers
- Therapists, counselors, and psychiatrists
Coaches aren’t just for athletics. Professionals know how to use coaching techniques in the workplace to bring out an employee’s natural strengths.
This style relies much on encouragement, but also plenty of feedback as well. Sometimes an individual needs to know where they can improve performance, and a coach can skillfully explain where a person went wrong and how they can make it right in the future.
For this management style to truly work, employees must be willing to learn, change, and try new things. Otherwise, coaches will face pushback or even defiance.
Who uses the coaching management style?
- Any management position that requires training employees
- A “life coach” or personal development coach
- An athletic coach or personal trainer
4. Democratic or Participative
This style of management involves everyone. Democratic leaders allow each team members’ voice to be heard at work.
This style allows for the highest level of feedback from workers. There are many ways to do this, including brainstorming sessions on how best to complete a task. When used occasionally, it is very effective. However, when used too frequently, a lot of time is wasted in the discussion process instead of actually accomplishing anything.
The concept of teamwork is key here. Ultimately, however, it is the manager who has a final say in all decisions, usually lending itself to the majority. Democratic leaders often find that this allows for more loyalty from the group.
Who uses the democratic or participative management style?
- Office supervisors or coordinators
- Branch leader or team leader
- Operations manager
Pacesetting follows the concept of “leading by example.” In this setting, managers set a high standard for employees by working hard and meeting the needed deadlines themselves.
If not done correctly, pacesetting can lead to a poor work ethic or a decline in company culture. This is because employees must work at a certain “pace.” Instead, these managers should set clear, but achievable short term and long-term goals.
More than that, it is vital to prevent the “burnout” and high turnover rates that sometimes occur when this is put into practice. Healthy work schedules and balance gives the best results for pacesetting.
Who uses the pacesetting management style?
- Managers who oversee sales positions
- Team leaders in retail and food service
- Directors in hospitality
Do you like to inspire others? You might be a visionary. Visionary leaders motivate their teams to perform well. They accomplish this through the concept of making work meaningful for their employees. Because everyone is working towards a shared vision for the company as a whole, this empowers everyone involved.
Those who use this style should use caution and pair a visionary style with real, tangible goals and timelines. This keeps employees grounded and rooted in the company’s expectations as well as goals for success for the future.
Who uses the visionary management style?
- CEOs and other C-level executives
- Learning and development managers
- Public speakers or presenters
If there was a style that was a perfect opposite of autocracy, it’s Laissez-faire or “hands-off” management. In this case, the leader is more like a mentor than a true manager.
Laissez-faire is all about delegation and allowing your team members to step up and make decisions for themselves. While there is little guidance, Laissez-faire managers must also provide the needed tools for success.
While this is the most “relaxed” form of management and is popular among workers, researchers say that this is also one of the least productive methods of leadership.
Who uses the Laissez-faire management style?
- Startup companies
- Creative firms, such as advertising agencies
- Leaders in art, photography, and graphic design