When most people reflect on their career, they can probably remember several managers that they have had and which ones were wonderful and which ones were maybe not so great. The truth is that there are so many different types of managers, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Management style is not necessarily about which styles are right or wrong, but rather which leadership styles are the right fit for the task, situation, and team being managed. Here we will examine 5 different management styles and the pros and cons of each.
The directive leadership style is characterized by a manger that sets clear objectives and rules for their subordinates. The primary goal of this style is complete and immediate compliance from employees. This is the manager who says “Do it the way I tell you” and closely monitors employees to make sure they are doing what is expected. They motivate through threats and discipline.
Pros: This is effective in a crisis situation when immediate and accurate results are necessary. This can be helpful when employees are unskilled or inexperienced to complete the task.
Cons: This style can backfire when employees are highly competent or skilled. Team members might resent their manager and find their micromanaging to be intrusive and ineffective.
The defining traits of a visionary leader are that this manager is constantly looking to the future in order to develop their employees for long-term success. They are optimistic about where the company is headed and they want to instill this same vigor in their employees.
Pros: They promote a work culture that is innovative and creative. They encourage team members to work towards a common goal and they help employees stay focused on the company’s goals. They make sure everyone knows how important their role is in the success of the company.
Cons: Sometimes a visionary can be so focused on the future that they neglect what actions need to take place right now. They might not devote the appropriate time and energy to pressing issues that are current.
An affiliative leader is one who cares above all else about the well-being of the employee. Their priority is making employees feel appreciated and creating harmony among team members.
Pros: One of the biggest reasons people quit their job is because they feel undervalued, and an affiliative leader makes sure their staff feels appreciated. There will be very little conflict and employees feel happy about coming to work.
Cons: This type of leader might have a difficult time dealing with conflicts that arise. It can also result in poor work performance if employees become complacent amidst all of the positive feedback.
A democratic leader looks to solve problems by asking their team members for feedback and suggestions. They want to make sure that each employee has a say in what is happening in the workplace.
Pros: When employees are involved in the decision making process, they feel empowered and are more likely to see it through to fruition. It also makes employees feel like they have a voice and their opinions really matter.
Cons: They might struggle to make decisions on their own. This can be problematic when decisions need to be made quickly.
The coaching style is defined by someone who puts a great deal of time and effort into making sure their team members are adequately trained. They are constantly working to build their skills, knowledge, and confidence on the job.
Pros: Many people love working with a coaching leader because it makes them feel more competent. This creates more drive in employees and you are more likely to have a staff of highly competent individuals.
Cons: This style is not effective if the individual is not motivated to learn or is incapable of performing the task. This can also be difficult if the manager is not a good teacher. The employees might end up feeling frustrated and confused.