Being a successful leader in business requires many intangible qualities such as those contained within your personality such as character, values, morals – and how you deal with adversity and bounce back from failures. These abstract qualities are necessary in determining what management style is best used in leading you and your team to success in the marketplace.
In absence of an effective management style, companies lack direction. Critical factors such as sales, client care, innovation, and employee satisfaction rates fall by the wayside and may never reach their full potential in your organization.
According to Grace College online degree programs, there are currently 6 universally accepted management styles used in business today:
Autocratic managers lead with very little, or zero input from their employees. With a smart leader in place, the autocratic style is very effective, due to the fact that decisions can be made quickly – no meetings need be scheduled to brainstorm benefits and drawbacks of various decisions.
However, the autocratic style can be a double-edged sword because it alienates employees who want to take more ownership of their job and the company’s future successes, potentially decreasing overall performance and increasing employee turnover rates. This style is best used when timely decisions must be made to avert or respond to crises.
The consultative management style is very similar to autocratic, with one small exception. Consultative managers will consult with their employees about various projects and initiatives, listening to, and considering their inputs. Ultimately, the consultative leader will make decisions based on what’s best for the business, while doing their best to make employees happy.
The consultative style is great for winning over those employees who’re directly involved in decision-making discussions, leaving them feeling they’re contributing more value to the organization. On the other hand, anyone who is left out of these discussions will feel they’re the victim of favoritism and are more likely move on.
A persuasive manager doesn’t lead by selling ideas to their employees. In fact, it’s the other way around. Employees help persuade their manager of the validity of their ideas by convincing them of the benefits of what they suggest, then leave the final decision up to the leader.
This style encourages more of a trusting, familial dynamic where employees feel heard and valued. It also benefits management by relieving the pressure that comes from having to weigh pros and cons all the time before deciding which path is the right one. To be successful, the persuasive style requires that subordinates trust management and actively want to be involved in the brainstorming process.
A democratic management style works much in the way the name suggests. Democracy requires an open line of communication between leaders and their employees. Ideas trickle down from management to glean insight from subordinates, and then from employees back up to management.
Democracy, as a management style, can be very rewarding to all involved and has the potential to make more decisions that lead to a successful outcome. This style is great for vetting out complex decisions, such as product development and B2B services. This style can lead to extended decision-making times, meaning it’s not ideal in circumstances where action needs to be taken quickly.
The laissez-faire manager can best be described as a keen mentor to their employees, rather than a primary decision maker. They act mostly as an advisor in times where employees need guidance, yet remain very hands-off unless circumstances require them to do otherwise.
A laissez-faire management style can work very well in creative environments where risk taking is necessary to move the business forward, such as with Silicon-Valley-type tech startups. The decision-making process when using this style can be slowed significantly. To be successful as a laissez-faire manager, one needs to choose their team very carefully and ensure their competent prior to hiring.
6. MBWA – Management By Walking Around
Similar to the laissez-faire style of managing, MBWA leaders take on more of a counselling role, letting their employees make decisions on their own. As the name would suggest, these leaders do their job by listening, sometimes while actually “walking around” the facility. But mostly lead by keeping their door open and phone turned on for their employees whenever they’re needed.
MBWA is a very team-oriented style that encourages everyone to come up with and deploy winning ideas. It fosters respect among employees, and between leaders and those below them in title. Employees have to be on-board with upper management’s goals and ideals, or they won’t offer the input managers need to effectively lead based on their suggestions.
Have you figured out your ideal management style?
As you’ve read, there are advantages and disadvantages to each management style listed above. Some will work great in one business, while leading to less desirable results in others.
Only time and experience can help you develop into the type of manager that can get the best results possible from their employees, while maintaining employee-satisfaction rates and helping the company to innovate and grow.
Which style do you feel best fits you, based on your personality?