If management in the business world is your calling, the first thing you need to ask yourself is just what form that calling will take. You can’t just ask someone who graduated from paralegal school in North Bay what the rules are, because although there are some hard and fast regulations when it comes to employee management, true leadership is about much more than following the “rules.”
If your goal is to be respected by the people you manage – and it should be – there are different approaches that can help you get there. Just be aware that the method you choose should suit your own personality, the company you work for (its culture, norms, and expectations), and the employees you’re required to manage.
Take a look at these four management styles and decide for yourself which would work best for you:
The autocratic management style, sometimes referred to as the directive style, is not to be confused with the “authoritative” approach. It also doesn’t mean that you secretly want to become a police officer in North Bay for the authority the job invokes, but decided start off directing employees instead.
What it does mean is that you are the primary and in most cases, the only decision maker. You will handle pretty much every decision that must be made, about virtually every aspect of your department, team, or project.
An autocratic manager is a micro-manager, which can rub properly trained and skilled professional employees the wrong way. If, however, the employees lack experience or the company is in the middle of a crisis, then this style of management works very well to get operations back on track.
Participative management (sometimes called democratic management) involves asking for input from the team before making final decisions. This style works best with competent trained professionals who are capable of providing meaningful input to complement their manager’s own expertise.
Say your team is planning a marketing campaign and it’s time to work on the financial component. Getting input from the person who got their accounting diploma in North Bay would make sense and with this management style, the collaboration works really well.
Participative management doesn’t work well when employees lack training or don’t function as a team. Managers must always be ready to step in and take the reins during high-stakes decision making or when they see that the participative approach has stalled.
Coaching managers are in it for the long haul. Their main goal is to develop their team’s abilities over time. Opportunities for professional development are their main motivational tools. This style is inherently beneficial because every company needs well-trained workers. However, it may take longer than it should to figure out if an employee just isn’t working out, and is no longer worth the additional coaching investment.
Unlike an autocratic manager, an authoritative manager is in no way a micromanager. On the contrary, they focus almost exclusively on the big picture and only work on the micro level if a specific problem could lead the team off track and jeopardize meeting important goals.
An authoritative manager provides direction and persuades through feedback on performance. To succeed with this approach, managers must be expert communicators, able to provide constructive criticism, and keep an open dialogue with their employees.
So, what style of business management could you see yourself trying? Which ones have you experienced as an employee?