A little self-knowledge can go a long way to get the best results from your staffers.
Managing is about doing, not sitting around thinking about “managing.” Still, it can’t hurt from time to time to take a step back and assess your management style.
The best breakdown we’ve seen is six different styles, from British management expert Sean McPheat.
Here’s what they are. Which sounds most like you?
Management style #1: Coercive
You say jump, staffers say “how high.” You tend to want immediate compliance from those you supervise. To get it, you usually use a directive approach. And you probably offer more negative feedback than positive.
Management style #2: Authoritative
In this “firm-yet-fair” approach, you try to provide focused leadership. You still make the decisions, but you probably ask staffers for a reality check. Nothing loosey-goosey here — you provide a clear direction and have a goal in mind.
Management style #3: Affiliative
Peace, love and good feelings — you’re all about harmony in your department. Tasks take a backseat to the people doing them for you.
You’re usually quick to jump in and smooth over co-worker conflicts and work hard at maintaining work/life balance for your people.
Management style #4: Democratic
If you take more of a hands-off style, this may be you. You leave it up to staffers to build consensus and make the decisions — you’re only there as a sounding board or to offer some fine tuning.
Management style #5: Pacesetting
Your team is virtually on auto-pilot, which allows you to get a lot of high-quality work done yourself. The motto here: “Do it well,” even if it means you have to jump in and do it yourself.
Management style #6: Coaching
You help employees pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses to help them develop professionally. Everyone on your team has a career path and a plan to get there. Mistakes are learning opportunities in your shop.
Of course, you probably don’t fit neatly into one of these categories. And you may very well draw on different styles at different times. That’s a good thing.