The Different Types of Management Styles

by Brick Jackson

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There are several different types of management styles when it comes to managing in the workplace and choosing the right type of style to lead with could have a big impact in terms of how your staff produces for you. But knowing the four different leadership styles in management does not mean that you can simply pick one and then that is going to work because you are then in essence trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. In most cases, the traits of the staff that you are managing will help to define the management styles you will use, something blending a combination of the different categories.

Here is a look at the four different types of management styles and the situations when each of them may need to be use.

Autocratic Management Style

An autocratic manager makes decisions without the consultation of others, instead serving as a dictator type in communicating orders because they like to be in control of situations. This style of management leads to work getting done on time because there are less people involved in the decision making process. The problem with this type of management style is that the staff are going to eventually lost motivation working in an environment where they have no say and employee turnover is likely to run high as they move on to other opportunities where they can have an impact.

For situations or events where an on the spot decision needs to be made, this type of leadership can serve a purpose, but trying to have an autocratic style of management in place for long periods of time is just going to lead to headaches for all involved. This style of leadership is more suited for a prison setting or in the military and not so much for business management.

Democratic Management Style

A democratic manager is willing to share work with his staff by delegating it to get the job done. You are banking on the competency of your team to get the job done on time and to have it done correctly. Employees love this type of  management style in business because they feel involved and part of the process. Their job performance is likely to be better than in an autocratic setting, though giving them the authority to do the work may lead some to rely on other to bear the brunt of the work on the project. Also, depending on what type of work it is, employees may feel like the work is being pushed off on them because you as a manager don’t feel like doing it.

Getting too many people involved in the project or process could slow the work down. It could also mean less time for you to concentrate on your work as your team asks questions and waits on your answers before proceeding to the next steps.

Participative Management Style

Also sometime known as consultative management style, this decision making style in management revolves around getting lots of feedback from your staff before coming to a conclusion and making a decision. This means that the process can take a bit longer as there are more voices to be heard, but getting a consensus on major decisions can lead to buy in from those who might otherwise have been opposed to the implementation of such changes. The downside to this style of management and leadership is that employees may feel that you don’t value their opinion or are too stubborn if after all of the feedback is received you go off and make the decision in your own without incorporating any of their feedback.

If you are going to make company or departmental policy changes, this type of style can make the team feel involved and more apt to go with the flow of whatever changes are coming down. This style also works well for brainstorming sessions as you work on new product ideas or marketing promotions.

Laissez Faire Management Style

In this leadership management style, the team is given the freedom to complete the job or tasks in any way they deem it should be done. It is a hands off approach at the management level in terms of direction, but the manager is there to answer questions and provide guidance as needed. This is a good way to help develop individual contributors into leaders which is only going to serve to make your team stronger ion the long run. On the flip side, it can lead to conflict on the team is some employees try to assume the role as a leader in the interim or to dictate to others how their work should be done.

As you can see there are many different management styles and each of them can serve a purpose depending on the type of business and environment you are in as well as the situation. The most effective management styles are those which you can take bits and pieces from to then combine with your own management style to create a good working environment for all involved.

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Different management styles are effective for project management; a masters in engineering management provides information on which management style to use for a given situation.

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