Since your management style will shape or mar your success as a leader, the good news is that management style is not an inherited trait. Developing a style that works for you and your company will benefit your career and the productivity of your team.
Knowledge of various styles of management is essential, as occasions will arise in business where the flexibility to utilize a variation of a different style will be important. The main kinds of leadership styles include:
- Authoritative: These leaders may be autocratic or directive. They may have a strong need to control and may not have much faith in the abilities or input of those under them. An authoritative style may be effective in a crisis, when someone has to take charge, give orders and sort out chaos. Used for long periods, it may develop too much dependency on the manager.
- Consultative: Leaders with teamwork tendencies may be democratic or coach-like. They encourage grassroots ideas. This middle-ground approach may bring out the best in team members. Accountability and continuing coordination are important for honing forward direction.
- Hands-off: The laissez-faire attitude puts responsibility on the shoulders of employees, who may rise to the occasion. If productivity is reduced, there is a risk of the manager being out of the loop in terms of what's really going on. The manager demonstrates faith in the employees and a well-oiled machine, and may maintain an open-door policy.
Here are some things to consider when developing your management style:
Recognize how you leadEveryone has a management style, whether it's effective or not. Start with a close look at how you manage right now.
Play to your strengthsWhile building your management style, let your best features as a manager shine through.
Lonely at the top?Look outside your company to find peers to learn from and grow with.
See how other business owners leadBusiness owner peer groups can help provide insight into leadership styles of others in similar positions to your own.
Seek ongoing opportunitiesAs you work on your management style, make use of resources available online.
- Let employees know you notice their efforts by rewarding them.
- If you need to switch to a more directive style to deal with a deadline or crisis, smooth the transition by keeping employees in the loop. Short, reachable goals will keep everyone on the same page. Make sure employees understand what they need to do.
- When possible, involve employees in the decision-making process, thus increasing their buy-in.