Good leadership is the backbone of almost every business. But, few companies are leading in a truly effective way.
A recent Gallup poll showed only 22% of those surveyed strongly agree their performance is managed in a way that motivates them. It’s important to realize that not every good leader has the same style, or way of relating, with his or her staff.
Let us discuss a few of the more common management styles - understanding these may help you either relate to the management in place at your job and assist you in becoming a more effective leader yourself in the future.
Autocratic management style
The autocratic style of management occurs when the manager makes all of the decisions for running the company alone. Decision making occurs without gathering opinions from the more experienced members of the staff. The main benefit to this style of management is that it portrays a calm, well-managed business to outsiders. On the other hand, non-management team members often feel as though they have no input and that their opinion does not matter.
Consultative management style
Quite similar to an autocratic management style is the consultant style. While the manager does still make decisions on his or her own, those decisions are designed to take into account the opinions of employees. He or she may listen to the staff, but ultimately, the manager decides what will occur.
Persuasive management style
With a persuasive management style, the manager maintains control over the decision-making process. However, he or she will spend time working with the employees to help them understand the decisions that have been made. At the end of the day, the manager is the one who makes all of the choices but the staff is well-informed as to the “why” behind the decisions.
Democratic management style
Just as it sounds, the democratic style of managing encourages input from all employees. While this is useful in that it makes all employees feel needed and appreciated in managing the company, it can lead to a chaotic workplace.
Chaotic management style
When the democratic style of management is taken to the extreme, chaotic management style occurs. In these situations, employees have total control over the decision-making process often with no rules or regulations in place. This method of management does encourage innovation, but the environment can make it difficult for everyone to get their voice heard.
Laissez-faire management style
Laissez-faire is a french phrase meaning “Let Do.” A Laissez-faire management style involves a manager who takes more of an observer role in the organization. While he or she may provide guidance when asked, employees are encouraged to let their creativity run wild. In this case, the manager is a mentor more than a leader.
Depending on who you ask, there may be a few or up to dozens of additional management styles. However, most are merely twists on one of these commonly known techniques. It's important to realize that the best manager understands leadership AND his or her industry. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said: “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.”