6 Management Styles To Lead Effectively: Overview and Examples

Table of Contents1 What is a management style?2 Why people use different management styles3 Management styles and examples3.1 1. Authoritative3.2 2. Consultative3.3 3. Democratic or participative3.4 4. Laissez-faire or delegative3.5 5. Persuasive3.6 6. Transformational3.7 7. Collaborative4 What is your management style?5 Why is it important to know your management style?6 […]

What is a management style?

A management style describes the methods a person uses to manage an individual, meeting, project, group of people or organization. A person’s management style might inform how they organize work, make decisions, plan and use authority. You might use a variety of management styles in your professional life depending on the situation at hand.

In this article, we will discuss several common management styles, when and how each style is most effective and examples that may help you identify and improve your own style.

Related: Setting Goals to Improve Your Career

Why people use different management styles

Effective managers use different management styles to support their needs and goals at any given time. When deciding which management style to use, they might consider some of the following factors:

  • The volume of work to complete and how quickly it must be done
  • Their industry and company culture
  • Their personality and management qualities
  • Their team and company goals
  • The attitudes and personalities of the people they’re managing
    Related: Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation

Management styles and examples

While managers may use a blend of the below styles depending on the circumstances, there are a few commonly-used styles many people use to organize and lead their team to achieve a common goal:
1. Authoritative
2. Consultative
3. Democratic or participative
4. Laissez-faire or delegative
5. Persuasive
6. Transformational
7. Collaborative

In the section below, we’ll explore these management styles in detail including advantages, disadvantages and examples of each.

1. Authoritative

An authoritative manager follows a top-down approach to leading. In this style, managers make decisions almost entirely alone. They set clear and specific policies that everyone must follow, and they typically don’t request feedback from employees.

Advantages: This style is useful when efficiency is important and in crisis situations when it’s necessary to make effective decisions quickly.

Disadvantages: New and innovative ideas rarely emerge in an authoritative management style and when applied in the wrong circumstances, it can also lead to higher turnover.

Example: Many restaurants use an authoritative management style. Diners come in expecting orderly service and quality food. Since most restaurants run on slim margins and suffer from even small mistakes, autocratic management works well to keep everyone focused on results and efficiency.

Read more: What Is Authoritative Leadership?

2. Consultative

Consultative managers ask employees for feedback consistently and take employee concerns seriously. They often have an open-door policy that encourages employees to share what is and isn’t working in the organization. While managers will consult with employees, they ultimately retain sole decision-making power.

Advantages: This type of management style often leads to higher employee engagement, stronger problem-solving as a team and less turnover.

Disadvantages: A consultative management style isn’t always as efficient as an autocratic style since more people are involved in making decisions.

Example: A team leader of a project holds weekly one-on-one meetings with each of the other team members. They are asked to share progress on their responsibilities, what they feel is going well and what they feel needs improvement. The team leader uses this feedback to set schedules, allocate resources and prioritize goals for the following week.

Related: Your Guide to Positive Feedback Loops (With Examples)

3. Democratic or participative

A democratic or participative manager’s decision-making process is heavily influenced by their employees. This style includes effective communication and openness through all levels of the organization, and employees and managers work together to reach the goals of their vision. Democratic management style is especially effective when it comes to making long-term decisions that impact the whole company.

Advantages: This style typically leaves employees feeling valued and empowered to contribute in meaningful ways. It also encourages them to tap into their full potential at work.

Disadvantages: Like the consultative management style, it’s also not as efficient. Decision making often involves debates and consulting multiple parties, which can take time.

Example: Store managers often use the democratic management style. They’ll hire team members who can work together to complete store layouts, marketing campaigns and customer service. These managers act as a moderator to help their team move forward with their ideas and are available to answer questions.

Related more: What Is Participative Leadership?

4. Laissez-faire or delegative

In the laissez-faire management style, managers are more like mentors than leaders. They’re available when employees need guidance, but they often let employees make decisions on their own about how to move forward with projects. Laissez-faire management has numerous similarities with another style called “management by walking around.” In this management style, managers monitor what’s happening with employees, but don’t become too involved with the day-to-day tasks or projects.

Advantages: The Laissez-faire style can be effective because it gives self-motivated employees the autonomy and space they need to be productive. This could be particularly useful in a creative environment.

Disadvantages: Because this management style is hands-off, it can leave some employees feeling neglected or in need of guidance and direction

Example: Given the unpredictable nature of the fashion industry, allowing fashion buyers the freedom to choose their own products often works best. As long as they are knowledgeable and passionate, individual buyers are typically much more in tune with fashion trends than management.

Read more: Laissez-Faire Leadership: Definition, Tips and Examples

5. Persuasive

Persuasive managers hold control of decision making but they work to help employees understand why the decisions made by management are best for the company. They share an honest rationale behind decision-making policies that can foster an inclusive and trusting environment. When an organization is successful, employees generally accept top-down decisions and work hard to implement them.

Advantages: This style instructs and motivates employees with reason and logic which some individuals prefer to authoritative management and it can be especially helpful when leading a less experienced team.

Disadvantages: While persuasive management isn’t as dominating as authoritative management, it’s still a one-way communication process, and employees don’t necessarily have an avenue to give feedback.

Example: Consider what happens when an outside expert, such as an independent consultant, comes in to analyze the operations of the company. Employees might be skeptical of what the consultant has to say and they might be reluctant to implement the suggested changes. Persuasive managers will be able to convince employees that the expert’s criticisms and recommendations are valid.

Related: Persuasion Skills: Definition and Examples

6. Transformational

A transformational management style focuses on creating an environment that supports innovation. Leaders with this style often push their employees to set and reach stretch goals even if it makes them slightly uncomfortable. These managers collaborate with and inspire direct reports to reach past their full potential and aim for greater professional growth.

Advantages: Adaptability, problem solving and innovation typically increase with this management style. It can be especially useful for companies in competitive industries that change quickly.

Disadvantages: This management style requires the right kind of employees. If they’re not ready to adapt or too many changes occur too quickly, they might not be willing to follow top-down ideas.

Example: You can often find transformational managers in the technology industry. These managers are constantly adapting to the market, and they challenge and inspire their employees to create extraordinary products.

Read more: Transformational Leadership: Definition and Examples

7. Collaborative

Collaborative leaders work closely with their team members and believe that when people feel personally and professionally fulfilled, they’re more effective and more likely to produce great work regularly. Because of their emphasis on employee satisfaction and teamwork, they tend to achieve higher levels of respect.

A collaborative leader is an excellent leadership style for organizations of any industry and size but is especially prevalent within nonprofits. These types of leaders are exceptionally skilled in building employee morale and helping people re-engage with their work.

Advantages: Collaborative leaders have the capacity to boost employee loyalty and productivity, improve employee development and decision-making, cultivate trust and create future leaders. They are also typically more in-the-know when it comes to blockers and challenges of getting work done on their team.

Disadvantages: Collaborative leaders can become burnt-out as they attempt to boost collaboration with and between their team members. They might also find it difficult to create time and space for high-level, strategic planning.

Example: A product manager hosts monthly one-on-one coffee meetings with everyone that has concerns, questions or thoughts about improving or using the product. This time is meant for her to address the needs of and help those who are using the product in any capacity.

What is your management style?

Your management style should depend on your specific goals, your organization and the people involved. Each style has its own benefits and drawbacks, and you won’t find a one-size-fits-all style that will suit every situation. Instead, you need to identify your character traits, your temperament, the types of employees you have and your business needs to choose the right fit. In fact, you might find that a combination of these leadership styles in management is the best approach.

Related: Your Ultimate Guide to the Top Leadership Traits

Why is it important to know your management style?

Understanding your natural style based on your personality, character traits and values can help you determine your leadership strengths and areas for improvement. Another reason to identify your management style is to help you decide if it’s compatible with your current situation and to eventually determine what kind of environment you prefer to lead within. Regardless, being self-aware about how you manage is critical to being a good leader and helping you grow in the position.

Related: Understanding When to Manage vs. When to Lead

How to improve your management style

A management style that’s incompatible with the person, project or situation at hand can produce less than ideal results. Also, leaders who default to one mode of management without questioning their methods are typically less effective, so simply asking the question, “How can I improve?” Is a good place to start.

The next step to improve your management style might be to assess your personal and team needs and compare them with your current skills, experience and personality. Do you have the tools to meet those demands? If not, consider ways to close your skills gap, identify milestones to reach your goal and track your progress regularly.

You can also ask for constructive feedback from your direct reports, peers or more senior leadership and suggestions for additional management training to build your skill set. In the end, successful managers will typically maintain flexibility, mindfulness and the desire to master multiple management styles.

Related: Management Skills: Definition and Examples

Source Article

Next Post

54 Small Business Ideas for Anyone Who Wants to Run Their Own Business

Tue Apr 27 , 2021
Airbnb Co-founder, Brian Chesky, said, “If we tried to think of a good idea, we wouldn’t have been able to think of a good idea. You just have to find the solution for a problem in your own life.”