Whether you are a manager, or a team member it is important to be aware of the varying management styles you are likely to encounter in the workplace. Being equipped with this insight will allow you to better communicate with your co-workers and understand their approach to work.
Our team of resourcing experts share their top five things you need to know about management styles.
1. Management is different to leadership
The two terms are often used interchangeably; however, they are fundamentally different. Whilst leaders lead people, a manager manages tasks.
Author Warren Bennis listed several differences between a manager and a leader in his book ‘On becoming a leader.’
- A manager focuses on systems and structures, while a leader focuses on people.
- A manager administers, while a leader innovates.
- A manager relies on control, while a leader inspires trust.
- A manager administers, while a leader innovates.
- A manager generally looks at things in the short term, while a leader thinks long term.
“Both managers and leaders are integral to organisational success, but managers are crucial in getting the day-to-day tasks done,” expresses Victoria Walton, Head of Resourcing at GAS.
“To be a manager you have to be incredibly organised, have a ‘hands-on’ approach and be absolutely always aligned with the organisational objectives. The output from your team must reflect the direction the leader has set for the business.”
2. Management styles are a thing
“You could be forgiven for thinking the term ‘management styles’ is a trendy buzzword with little relevance to the workplace. However, the way somebody is managed directly impacts the quality of their work, cautions Natalie Carson, Resourcing Business Partner at GAS.
“It is necessary that as a manager you are aware of how your communication style impacts your team. For example, if you adopt a laissez-faire management style within an entrepreneurial, sales-driven environment your team is unlikely to reach dazzling heights on a sales leader board. This type of management style is best for encouraging creativity and innovation.”
“Here at GAS we adopt a ‘coach-style’ which identifies the areas in which each team member excels and then devises a game plan which uses each team member where the person will be most advantageous. We even have a dedicated performance coaching team, to support colleagues requiring a little extra help in achieving their goals.
I would advise any manager, whether new or established, to regularly review their management style and re-assess its’ effectiveness against organisation objectives. Ask yourself; is my team performing to the best of its’ ability? Or do we continually come up against the same issues? If this is the case, you may need to adapt your management style in order to improve performance.”
3. Everyone has a different management style
“Naturally, everyone has a different work, communication and management style but that doesn’t have to be a negative thing,” identifies Lucy Tobin, Resourcing Business Partner at GAS.
“We’ve all come up against that colleague, who approaches tasks or conversations in a completely different way to ourselves. However, this provides an opportunity for us to learn about different management styles and adapt our style to garner positive results. For example, if you prefer a democratic approach yet find yourself working with an autocratic manager, it will help to consciously be more direct and assertive when making decisions. You never know, in the long-run you may be grateful for developing that skill!”
4. Management styles to strive for*
- Visionary – Communicates a purpose and direction that their employees believe in. Allows autonomy, is firm but fair, gives a lot of feedback to their employees
- Democratic – The majority rules. Encourages team participation and diversity of ideas. Team feels valued and experiences boosted morale
- Transformational – An innovative approach, believing in change and growth in order to stay ahead of the game. Pushes employees outside of their comfort zone, in order to achieve full potential
- Coaching – Strives to improve their employees’ long-term professional development. Demonstrates a passion for teaching and watching their employees grow. Motivates employees with professional development opportunities
5. People may tap into different management styles
“Whilst we all have a natural, preferred management style it is not impossible to tap into other styles when the situation requires it. This is sometimes referred to as ‘reading the play,’ and requires a high level of self-awareness and emotional intelligence. An effective manager is aware of his or her style and will deviate from their dominant management style in order to achieve the desired outcome. Going against the grain in this way will likely require a lot of effort and is usually only implemented in an emergency or stressful situation,” advises Victoria.
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