Definition of Management Style:
To understand Management Style, let us understand what is meant by Management. Management is the art of bringing employees together, making them work together such that they complement one another. It is crucial for strengthening the team bond and makes them work together as a whole. It is important to know that employees are happy being a part of the task and able to perform at their best.
They are broadly categorized into:
- Autocratic: It is a top-down approach where the manager is the single, strong authority and the team members are expected to follow the orders of the managers. While this style can help in the time of crisis or quick decision making, it usually leads to poor working relationships and staff can dislike or fear the management.
- Persuasive: Quite similar to Autocratic management style, where there is a single source of authority. However, unlike autocratic style, they are open to feedback and discussion.
- Consultative: While managers still take care of decision making, such managers weigh in the team’s opinion more seriously before deciding. It is a great way to involve employees, but it can delay decision making and implementation.
- Participative: Here, the management empowers the employees wherein they can actively take part in every decision-making process, and direct the course of action for the company. It can help the team in becoming more independent. However, this can lead to a laissez-faire approach where the management does not take responsibility for the course of the business.
Is it important to know your Management Style?
It is important mainly because it determines how best you can operate and lead your team. The four advantages of knowing your management style are:
- You would know what works best for you and not go for something which is currently in vogue. You have clarity in your strengths and lay a foundation for your leadership style.
- Once you know your style, you will know how to adapt and change your style in case of emergencies and quick decision making, and come back to your original style.
- It becomes easy to engage with your team. It would make them feel comfortable and inculcate a sense of loyalty to the team. It helps in bringing out the best in your employees
- It gives you clarity on your strengths and weaknesses. You know what would work with your team and work on aspects of your style that need improvement.
Improving your Management Style:
Certainly, there’s no one style that fits all. Also, there’s no perfect style that can work with every team every time. The best management style is the one that aligns with your strengths and brings out the best in your employees. It can adapt to the circumstances and is more well rounded for the team’s growth. Once you identify your core strength and style, here are some ways by which you can improve the effectiveness of it.
- Identify the values important for you. Is it honesty, punctuality, ability to speak up and so on. What principles guide you in life? Once you identify these core values that drive you personally, it becomes easier to enhance your style accordingly.
- Make a note of how you feel. Does your management style motivate you? Does it align with your strengths? How does it feel when you try to push yourself a little? These are some questions you can ask yourself. Know what part of your management style makes you happy and what makes you uncomfortable.
- Feedback can help. Ask for feedback from your managers and folks you lead. Be open to their feedback and do not get defensive. It gives you an idea of how people see you. Their feedback will give you a new perspective. Particularly the feedback from your team members. Further, asking for feedback will make your team members feel included and motivated.
- Experiment with your communication style. Were you a manager who met with your team members once a month? Make it once a week and see if it has improved your team’s working. Make such slight changes in how you communicate with your team members and record the effects it has on your team dynamics.
Different Management Styles:
Here is a list of 10 management styles that you can inculcate in your leadership strategy. Often, it is a combination of these styles that leads to effective management.
- Authoritative: Categorised as an Autocratic Management style, it does not have to be unpleasant. You can enforce orders without being rude to your team members. If the team needs order and discipline, an authoritative style can help get things back on track.
- Democratic: It is a consultative style where you let your team know their opinions and suggestions matter. You trust your employees to take some autonomous decisions and offer help and guidance when necessary.
- Inspirational: Here, you need to be able to inspire people, and a genuine desire to help them both professionally and personally. It calls for great people skills and communicative skills.
- Collaborative: While similar to democrative style, here you seek opinions and innovative solutions from your employees on important company policies and decisions. You are looking for long fruitful conversations that can help you, which in turn, would make your employees feel appreciated and valued.
- Example setting: Here, you set an example/standards yourself by literally showing your employees what you expect. Such leaders are willing to do the work and show how it’s done. It can sometimes get a little stressful for the leaders. At the same time, it can inspire team members and bring great results.
- Laissez-faire: The idea here is to trust your employees to govern themselves and take their own decisions. It gives your employees a chance to seek new and efficient ways to do things and don’t need micromanaging. That said, sometimes, this can also make your employees feel lost without guidance and timely interventions.
- Results based: Only one thing matters here, i.e. Results. It does not matter how this is achieved, as long as employees manage to achieve in the given deadline. The focus is on efficiency of the employees.
- Affiliative: It is about making yourself a part of the team, and less about showing that you are leading the team. Your team members would see you as a friend, will be confident that you have their back no matter what and will help them succeed.
- Charismatic: You focus more on the individual, on their abilities, their priorities, and less on their results and method of work. This management style is more about making relationships with your team members.
- Strategic Management Style: Such leaders are more focussed on the long term results. It doesn’t matter how you approach as long as you manage to achieve it. They delegate the supervision work to people working under them, while they focus on building a long term plan for success.