By L. Carter
Managers stand out in our minds for various reasons. Some are task-oriented and just want to see the work get done. Other managers are more people-oriented and not as good at keeping those same people on task. Some managers are a good mix of both, while others are a bit too much of one or the other, and are therefore unbalanced in their management approach. It is also important to note that managers are different for a reason.
They are all different individuals just as their subordinates are. Whether it is the CEO of the company, the teacher in the classroom, or the stay-at-home mom managing the household, managers have unique styles and vary in their effectiveness due to their ability to influence. Each kind of leadership style brings to the table different life experiences, perceptions, and skill sets. This article takes a look at the various styles of management and the potential benefit, or lack of, in the workplace.
Discovering Your Leadership Style
According to an article in the Huffington Post, there are about six different management styles. We’re going to take a look at those now.
- The Directive Style:
- The manager with this style can be considered more of a dictator in the workplace. It is easy to feel they are too controlling and do not care about you as an individual. Employees may feel as if they can never really do good enough work because this type of manager is often difficult to please. This can leave everyone feeling exhausted and unfulfilled in their work.
- The Authoritative Style:
- This leadership style is effective in his or her business dealings. They care about their employees as much as they care about getting the work done. They are visionary and are constantly seeking out ways to improve morale. This is because they understand that for employees to do good work, they have to feel valued. This helps increase the bottom line, revenue. This manager understands how to lead and how to build an effective team of people actively engaged in doing their jobs well.
- The Affiliative Style:
- This management style seeks to keep everyone happy and smiling. They want a smooth running ship and will do whatever it takes to make sure everyone is having a good time. They believe a person having fun at work is the key to people staying and doing good work. Well, not necessarily. As they say, there is a such thing as “too much of a good thing.” Yes, if people enjoy being at work, that is good. However, they need to enjoy being there for the right reasons.
- The Participative Style:
- This kind of manager seeks out everyone’s participation. They are good at making all feel included and are also good at tolerating differences of opinion. They invite questions and comments and look for projects to do as a team in order to get everyone involved. All of this is good. But this type of manager is quick to call a meeting and those meetings can take away from the time that would be better spent actually doing the work involved. There is nothing wrong with an occasional meeting. However, when meetings involve everyone’s opinions, questions, and comments, they can get quite lengthy.
- The Pacesetting Style:
- This manager does too much of the work him or herself. They are not as effective at leading by example. Rather, they do it and then grumble when their employees are not as motivated to take initiative. If you have a manager like this, you have probably tried to take initiative only to be told your way will not work. This type of management style does not inspire or bring out the best in employees.
- The Coaching Style:
- The coaching leadership style can see the potential in others. They are good at discovering where their strengths and weaknesses lie. They are usually interested in seeking out ways to develop their team and cause them to perform at their peak levels. This manager is a go-getter and they want to see that same spark in their team. This is a good mentality to have and it would be great on the football field. And it may even come in handy in businesses that handle a lot of revenue in sales. However, when it comes to leading a team in the workplace, a “go-getter” approach is not always what is needed. That is because it encourages competition among team members which can foster division in the workplace.
Effective management has some of all of these characteristics combined. A little of each of them can allow for great management that brings about positive results and gets the most out of employees. God’s Word gives us examples of leadership style both good and bad. It is important to remember that for a manager to be an effective one, they do not need to be perfect in their decision making. In fact, they cannot be, because they themselves are not perfect.
One of the most incredible examples we have in scripture of management at the highest level, is Moses. God placed him in charge of leading an entire nation! He is a good example of leadership, but he needed to rely heavily on God’s direction. We read in Exodus 39:43: “Then Moses looked over all the work, and indeed they had done it; as the Lord had commanded, just so they had done it. And Moses blessed them.” That is what an effective manager does.