Most people aren't born with leadership skills; they must be earned through hard work and practice. You can lead your team in many different ways! In fact, a great leader often chooses to combine a couple of management styles, depending on the situation and need.
If you want to motivate your team members, different management styles can make a significant difference. After all, even the best managers in the business don't have enough time to give all the attention their employees deserve. However, choosing the right style for the right occasion can help you maintain a great corporate culture and make your team members feel well-managed while distributing time more wisely. Today we will discuss the best management styles and determine which one suits your needs the best.
Basic management styles
- Authoritarian: as the name implies, people who want to express clear directions and control use an authoritarian management style. In some cases, this style is often referred to as directive or autocratic, considering it imposes strong authority, total-decision making, and demands unquestioned obedience.
- Visionary: this style is a bit more liberal, and it's often called strategic, charismatic, or inspirational. In this case, managers primarily focus on conveying the overall vision of a project, department, or company to their team.
- Transactional: managers tend to use positive rewards like stock options, bonuses, and incentives to motivate their team members. Additionally, they may include annual bonuses to boost their performance.
- Servant leadership: Robert K. Greenleaf was the first to coin the term servant leadership in 1970, and it mainly applies to mentoring, training, and coaching.
- Pacesetting: managers set a work pace, provide clear instructions, and expect team members to follow in their footsteps. This management style sets up high to reach standards.
- Democratic: you will often hear the terms collaborative, participative, consensus, and consultative. Democratic management style is based on the idea that two heads are better than one and that everyone has the right to express their opinion.
- Laissez-Faire: boosts employees' freedom and lets them do whatever they want, with little to no involvement.
The most effective management style
It's hard to say which is the most effective management style because it mostly depends on an organization and manager alone. For instance, someone will function better with a visionary management style, while others prefer the democratic one.
It's an entirely individual thing, and you must evaluate your team and apply the management style that will provide you most benefits. Try mixing a couple of management styles until you find the right match. Focus on your team members and make sure they are comfortable with your choice; otherwise, you won't be successful as you should be.
The best leadership style in management
There is not one but a couple of them when it comes to the best leadership styles in management. Each manager chooses a leadership style based on the needs of his team.
As we mentioned before, the autocratic style is all about command and control, and it operates in a "I am the boss" manner. While this style can be great for urgent situations, where the manager needs to show far more knowledge than the team, it isn't good for employee morale, loyalty, and initiative.
Compared to the autocratic style, the delegative one is the complete opposite. It's people-oriented and invites the team to be more relaxed and empowered. The manager doesn't provide directions; instead, the group makes decisions. Delegative style is ideal for expert, highly skilled, and motivated employees. However, it can be bad for situations where you need to see quick results. Also, it might not be suitable for beginners or new employees, people who need guidance, or those who refuse to take responsibility.
This style is a combination of people-oriented and task-oriented leadership styles. Democratic techniques mean that the team leader provides directions and guidance and expects feedback. This style encourages loyalty, improves work, creativity, and product quality while enhancing employee morale. However, it might not be suitable for situations where you require a fast response.
Choosing the right management style
To find the best management style, you need to focus on the following:
- Manager's personality, experience, skills - for instance, you might struggle with the democratic approach if you have issues letting go of control.
- Team's needs – are you dealing with an experienced team, or is your team new? Your management style will mostly depend on this answer.
- Corporate culture – your team's culture and the organization as a whole will significantly impact your style. For example, if your organization is going through some structural changes, you may need a visionary management style. On the other hand, you may need to assume a servant leader approach if you have an unmotivated and divided team.
Usually, managers adopt different management approaches because they are most familiar or comfortable with one or someone told them to choose that particular style. There lies the problem because it most certainly will lead to a disaster. The most successful managers understand the need for different styles and know they are necessary for different situations and projects.
Adapting management styles
Adapting your management style might sound easy, but it's not always the case. Anyone can learn management styles, but that doesn't mean they can apply them. Adapting takes time, dedication, and patience.
You must learn to let go of your habits and your ego. To be a successful leader, you have to be aware of your ticks and control them. For example, do you tend to get very angry when someone is late? Is this helping or hurting your team? Will it make an employee show up on time, or will it make them leave the company for good?
If your reactions cause them to leave the company, your anger isn't helping anyone, and you need to work on your personal development. The same goes for management styles. You should learn how to adapt them according to your team's needs.
Why is your management style as a business leader important?
Different approaches to management have led us to assume different leadership styles. Nowadays, managers are expected to be delegators, and it is no longer enough for people to know how to do their job but why they are doing it. In other words, we require a sense of purpose.
For that reason, managing a team can be quite challenging from time to time. Here's why your management style is crucial:
- You guide your team towards a mutual goal
- You inspire commitment, motivation, and morale
- You support and guide the organization through important changes
- You invest in your employees or team members
- You inspire a collective business identity
Before you even choose a particular management style, try to identify your company's core values. This will help you organize your team better and choose the most suitable management style.