What is management style?
"Management is, above all, a practice where art, science, and craft meet" - Henry Mintzberg.
So, management is an all-rounder task. It consists of planning, organizing, directing, and working with an individual or a group of individuals for an organization's goals and objectives.
Management style is how a manager fulfills all the tasks required to run an organization smoothly.
Managers are confronted with various situations throughout their careers. How they choose to face and handle the varying situations depends on their management style. A good manager is one that can adjust their management style to suit different environments.
Management Styles In The Workplace.
Employees and organizations view managers as valuable commodities.
Management is the backbone of an organization. The moment it falls out of place, the whole organization crumbles down into pieces.
Your style of management has a significant impact on the success of the team members.
An effective manager is likely to inspire employee engagement, loyalty, hard work, and high morale. In contrast, poor management can result in a frequent turnover, loss of productivity, and demotivated employees.
According to Gallup's State of the American Manager report research;
One in two employees has left a job to get away from a bad manager. Moreover, just two in ten employees strongly agree that managers manage their performance in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work.
Three factors shape the management style in the workplace.
- Internal factors:
Internal factors include the policies, corporate culture, staff skill levels, motivation, and management structures of the organization.
Staff skill levels and motivation significantly affect management styles. Less skilled or motivated employees would require consistent control and supervision. While highly skilled or motivated employees need less control and direction.
- External factors:
The external factors affect both managers and employees. These factors are outside of the control of the organization. These might include consumers, suppliers, competitors, the economy, and the law.
- Theory X and Theory Y:
Douglas McGregor introduced Theory X and Theory Y.
Theory X suggests that people lack the motivation or desire for responsibility. Thus, they require consistent supervision. It results in management styles that have high degrees of control over employees.
Theory Y suggests that people are naturally motivated by objectives. It leads to management styles that give workers more control in decision making and provide less supervision.
If you are a manager, you interact with your employees on a daily basis – from collaborating on projects to providing feedback. So, it is evident that you have a lot of influence on how employees feel about their jobs.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to management. It depends on the goals and objectives of the organization. But realizing the difference between the different types of management styles and individual employee response will make you a more effective leader.
Improper management can hurt everyone. It is crucial to find out the type of management style that best suits your organization and employees' goals.
The 6 Management Styles by Hay Mcber.
1. The Directive or Coercive Style
In this style of management, the managers or leaders have complete control over the decision-making process. They decide the roles and tasks for the team.
The coercive or directive style is characterized by strong, centralized control with a single source of authority. Communication flows from the top down, and managers expect team members to follow orders. It is a type of autocratic management style.
Directive leaders set clear and specific policies that everyone must follow and typically don't request employees' feedback. Employees are closely supervised, micromanaged without placing trust or confidence.
There's a tagline for this style of management:
"Do it my way, and do it now."
- New employees or freshers are guided well.
- This type of leadership style usually gets the work done.
- There are clearly defined roles and expectations for the employees to follow.
- Conflicts and differences in opinion are avoided since the manager solely decides what to do.
- Too much micromanagement leads to a hostile working environment.
- This style of management can lead to unsatisfied and disengaged employees.
- No employee growth and innovation
- Maintaining total control of all decision-making can also require a great deal of time and effort.
2. The Authoritative or Visionary Style
The Visionary style of management mobilizes a long-term direction and vision for employees. This type of leadership is also called inspirational, charismatic, strategic, transformational, or authoritative.
In this style, a manager sets specific goals and strategies and then lets employees work on their own terms. Employees are given a considerable degree of autonomy to employees completing day-to-day work tasks.
The tagline of this style of management would be:
"Firm but fair."
Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, and chief developer of the assembly line technique of mass production, is a well known visionary leader. With his visionary leadership, the company became an industrial giant, with him becoming immortalized as a business legend.
- This style of management helps managers focus on the motivation and alignment of the team.
- Problem-solving happens quickly and effectively among teams because of employee autonomy.
- When employees work on tasks that they have more control over, they feel more satisfied and motivated.
- Inexperienced or new employees might face problems with this style of management.
- If your employees are not convinced about your vision, they might not be inspired enough to turn your vision into reality.
3. The Affiliative Style
In this type of management style, managers affiliate themselves with the employees. Managers make themselves a part of the team and lead from the front.
The affiliative style is a kind of a persuasive management style. Managers work hard to bond emotionally with employees. They promote harmony, which results in a positive relationship between the team.
The tagline of this management style is:
"People first task second."
A classic example of an affiliative leader is Joe Torre, the ex-manager of the New York Yankees. Joe's greatest strength was holding the team together and building a sense of harmony among teammates.
- Employees see you as an ally and will respect the fact that you're trying to help them succeed.
- It builds trust among managers and employees.
- This style of management provides enough flexibility to the employees.
- There can be a lack of meaningful feedback in the process of emotional bonding.
- This style of management might not work when team members are not competent enough.
- It might not be helpful for managers in the long term.
4. The Participative or Democratic Management Style
In this type of management, every staff member deserves to have a say, no matter their position or title in the workplace.
Managers let their employees participate in the decision-making process. They value their team's ideas and understand that people are the key to a team's success. But the manager retains the final decision-making authority. Democratic management style is transparent and encourages participation from employees.
The tagline of this style is:
"Everyone has input."
Stahl, the President of Coca-Cola, learned that working with other people was the way to succeed enormously in his field.
- This type of management makes employees feel trusted and empowered.
- It lets employees make use of their full potential at work.
- Management can have a clear view of employee's performance and engagement at work.
- It encourages cooperation among employees.
- Since majority rules in this of management, some employees might feel left out.
- Progress is often slow, as employee opinion is taken into consideration at every step.
- This type of leadership may not always give sustainable results.
5. The Pacesetting Style
The manager sets the working pace and instructions. Employees are then expected to follow the manager's footsteps. These managers have very high standards and expect staff to adhere to them.
Pacesetting managers don't leave much room for the staff's viewpoints or alternative ways of achieving goals. They prefer to do most of the work themselves and set an example for the team to follow.
The tagline of this management style is:
"Do it myself."
Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, is an example of a successful pacesetter. As a leader, Welch hated micro-managing and needed thought leaders to focus more on setting benchmarks and deadlines.
- This management style can produce highly motivated and productive employees as there is always a target to reach.
- There is always an example for employees to look up to.
- It is a great way to produce competent employees.
- It can make employees feel inadequate when they cannot beat a target set by the manager.
- Employee feedback is not valued enough.
- Inexperienced employees might feel too pressured because of the high standards of the managers. This can lead to low motivation and less job satisfaction.
6. The Coaching Management Style
As the name suggests, in this style of management, a manager coaches its employees. It results in employees' long term professional development.
The manager is very enthusiastic about developing employees' strengths and improving their weaknesses. Managers reward employees with promotions or more responsibilities as a driving force.
The tagline for this management style is:
The "developmental" manager.
Robert Patterson, CEO of National Cash Register, is an example of a coaching leader. He mentored Thomas Watson, founder of IBM.
- Coaching leaders can build a strong bond with their staff
- It helps managers in knowing all the strengths and weaknesses of the team members.
- This type of management encourages employees to strive for excellence.
- It boosts employee engagement and performance in the long run.
- If managers are not highly skilled, this type of management might backfire for both the employees and the company.
- It might promote unhealthy competition among employees.
- This management style doesn't work with every employee.
- It is a very time-taking style of management and will not produce quick results.
Now, there is a whole different side of management.
Conflicts in the workplace are real. It can take a toll on the working environment and the organization as a whole. So, strong conflict management skills are an advantage in most positions.
Let's take a quick look at what conflict management is.
Conflict Management Styles.
Conflict management is a process where you handle the negative conflicts or disputes among team members. As a manager, you should try to limit the negative aspects of conflict and increase its positive aspects.
A successful conflict management results in a mutually beneficial outcome that's agreed upon by each party.
There are five types of conflict management styles.
- Accommodating: In this type of management, you would be putting others' concerns before your own. You would give in and go with the better lot.
- Avoiding: Here, you would usually altogether avoid the beliefs of both yourself and others. You would try to dodge every time the conflict comes up.
- Competing: A competing manager would usually look down on others' opinions and try to impose their viewpoints on others.
- Collaborating: In this type, you would try to make everyone happy and meet everyone's needs.
- Compromising: You can't satisfy everyone. So you would try to please everyone partially. Some would be happy; some would not.
What Is Your Management Style?
Management styles need adjustments as per the situation, goals, and objectives of your organization. Your employees are also a huge part of it. You should take your employee's responses to your management style into consideration. If you notice a negative response, you need to change your management style to something that best suits your employees' needs.
Keep in mind that you're not committed to a single type of management style throughout your career. Test out the different management styles listed above and see what fits you best.