Over many years of executive coaching and management training, it’s become clear that there are four distinct management styles, each with their pros and cons. What works well in one situation may be less than ideal in another. Knowing what your management style is will help you become a better leader and manager. Read over these four management style types and see which one you, and members of your team, fall into.
Autocratic Management Style
An autocratic manager makes all of the decisions and maintains total control. Employees working under an autocratic manager fulfill orders, but they’re not likely to be very motivated since they don’t get to share their views or offer insights. That’s not to say there isn’t a place for the autocratic management style. It can be very useful in situations where spot decisions must be made. In most cases, though, this management style often results in high employee turnover.
Democratic Management Style
Employees generally enjoy a democratic management style because they get to participate in the decision-making process. When everyone feels some ownership in the work, they’re more likely to work hard and get involved. The democratic management style works doesn’t work seamlessly in all situations. Too many chiefs can slow down production. Some employees also feel that democratic managers push their own work onto those they lead.
Laissez Faire Management Style
With this hands-off management style, leaders stand back and watch their employees get the job done, stepping in only when guidance is needed. This management style is ideal for developing new leaders in your group and can make your team stronger in the long run. It also allows you to see who naturally emerges as the leader of your group. The laissez faire approach doesn’t work if your group of employees is too inexperienced or unmotivated to ask questions or make decisions.
Participative Management Style
This management style combines some elements of both the autocratic and democratic management approaches. Participative managers ask for feedback from their staff and then make the decisions themselves. While this management style works well for brainstorming sessions, it can leave employees feeling disenchanted if you repeatedly ignore or reject their input. Wise managers use this style when preparing to make policy changes. It can help the team to feel ownership over the upcoming changes.
In executive coaching, we try to pinpoint your natural management style while recognizing that you may need to adopt another style in certain situations to get the best results. Taking conscious control of your management style can help you and your team to succeed.