Management Styles 101: What are the Most Effective?

Management Styles 101: What are the Most Effective?

The manager plays a very important role in any business.  They are responsible for planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling the day-to-day functions of the office.  In carrying out these functions, it is their goal to accomplish specific targets or objectives.  While their responsibilities might be similar, the fact is not all managers are created equal.  Some are great leaders while others tend to act like dictators.  Some are well-liked by their staff while others are despised.  Some are successful at reaching their goals while others struggle to achieve them.  The difference often lies with their management style.  There are several different styles of management and some prove to be more effective than others.  Let’s take a look at a few different management styles and which ones are most effective.

Directive Management Style

The management style, which is sometimes referred to as autocratic, is characterized by top down decision making, whereas the decision is made from the top and everyone below is expected to follow it.  The primary objective of this type of manager is to get employees to comply.  They tend to follow the “do as I say” approach and direct their employees to do things their way.  This manager keeps a close eye on employees and isn’t afraid to dissect their every move.  While this manager certainly has full control of their team, it tends to be too much control making this type of management style less effective than others.  This style is not recommended and should only be used with caution.

Authoritative Management Style

This style is often considered to be the most effective of any management style.  This type of manager provides a long-term vision and direction for their team.  While this manager sets the vision, they are willing to take a step back and allow their subordinates to work towards making that vision a reality.  This manager motivates employees by providing helpful feedback on their performance.  They give employees the freedom to do their own work, but they still maintain a firm but fair stance when dealing with employees.  This style is effective because employees are always aware of the long term goals as well as how they are performing.  These managers provide employees with a clear direction and praise them for a job well done.

Affiliative Management Style

This type of manager is the “people pleaser.”  They are more concerned with creating a harmonious work environment than actually making sure the job is being done correctly.  This manager tends to avoid conflicts and encourages a strong working relationship among employees.  While employees will certainly be happy working for this type of manager, this is not the most effective management style because there is an increased likelihood of poor job performance.

Democratic Management Style

As the name implies, this type of manager is inclined to listen to everyone.  They encourage employee participation and empower them to be part of the decision making.  They value the opinions of their employees, which helps to build trust with them.  In addition to welcoming ideas and feedback from their team, these managers motivate by recognizing team effort and rewarding employees for it.  This management style is effective because employees will feel respected and empowered.  This boosts the morale of the employees and creates a culture focused on teamwork.  It can also take a great deal of stress off the manager’s plate, because they will have help making big decisions as well as trusted team that can carry out the task.  The only disadvantage to this type of management style is that it requires close supervision to ensure the employees stay on task.  Also, it is best suited for employees who are more qualified and experienced.

Coaching Management Style

This type of manager is known as the “developmental” manager because their focus is on the professional development of their employees.  They have a strong desire and willingness to help employees learn skills that will contribute to their long-term success.  They motivate their employees by providing ample opportunities for growth and development.  This can be a highly effective management style because it cultivates a relationship of respect and cooperation between the manager and their subordinates.  Employees are more likely to be highly skilled and proficient at their jobs thanks to the on-going learning opportunities.  The only disadvantage to this type of management style is that it requires a highly skilled manager.  Only a manager with a high level of expertise will have enough credibility to provide effective coaching.