There are practically as many management styles as there are managers. That could be a good thing.
Four steps to developing your own management style.
What is the right approach for some groups of employees may not work for others.
Since management styles are (slightly) different for each person, the path to becoming a skilled manager is doing what works for you. It starts with taking inventory of yourself, recognizing which management traits will promote improved productivity in your employees.
Four steps to developing your own management style:
Step #1: Learn about different management styles
There are different types of management styles to choose. Knowing about each can help you decide which one works best for your individual situation:
- Authoritarian or autocratic—a management style that has one person making all the decisions. These micromanagers keep their fingers in every pie.
- Democratic—is a “balance of power” where employees have a say in decision-making. Manger has the most power, but employees have a degree of autonomy.
- Hands-Off (or Laissez Faire)—this is the management style for delegators. Assign responsibility to employees and leave them in charge.
- Coach or mentor—focuses on the strengths of each employee guiding them to fulfillment of personal achievement. With your help, each person does his or her best.
- Sympathetic (or empathetic)—this management style puts employees first; operations revolve around the needs and feelings of the employee.
Step #2: Take a personal inventory
This comfort level will manage how much power you want to have over your employees, and how much power you feel is suitable to give them.
Be honest as you assess your own strengths and weaknesses. You may find this process will improve you, as well as your employees.
Step #3: Assess your employees
Your team of workers is a collection of individuals; treat them as such. You certainly cannot be identical with everyone; you have to adjust your management style to accommodate individual personalities.
Learn what motivates your employees, as well as their skill level; not everyone has the same motivation at work. Some workers are highly motivated to achieve, but do not have all the tools to get the job done. Make sure they have the support to achieve goals.
Employees with lower motivations might need more guidance and encouragement. There will be times you will undoubtedly have to enforce consequences for poor performance.
Either way, you may have to mix management styles to get the best from all your team members.
Step #4: Embrace a management style that works for your specific situation
Again, one size management style does not fit all situations. It is unlikely that a single management style listed above will work for everyone. However, by knowing the differences in styles, you can pick and choose the best one to use in a particular circumstance.
Size of an organization is another factor; hands-off may work in smaller groups, but in large corporations, it might not be as effective. Authoritarian does not sound appealing (at first), but when there is a firm deadline (or in high-pressure jobs), a strong authoritarian management style might be best for optimum productivity.
Regardless of which management style you end up using, make sure it contains the elements of all successful managers: confidence, direction, positivity, accountability, clear expectations, communication, approachability, strong principles, ethics and respect for each employee’s differences.