Is Your Management Style Assisting or Hurting Your Business?

Many times business owners can have significant differences in management styles that can deter the growth of both the employees and the business.

Employees can have differing needs that require differing methods of management as well. Problems arise when the management style of a business owner does not match the needs of the employees.

There are two basic management styles that are also broken down into more minor categories, the Autocratic Management Style and the Permissive Management Style. An Autocratic Management Style is one in which the business owner makes all decisions unilaterally. In other words, the business owner is the “boss” period and doesn’t value input from employees. The business owner’s word is law. The Permissive Management Style allows employees to take part in business decisions. A rather considerable degree of autonomy on the part of employees is encouraged in this management style.

If a business owner possesses an Autocratic Management Style, and the employees and/or type of business would benefit more from a Permissive Management Style, problems will arise, and vice versa.

Management styles may also be “situational”, in other words, should be changed depending upon the needs and growth of the business, as well as the differing situations that may occur.

How then can a business owner know if their overall “approach” or management style is hurting or assisting their business? Easy: Results.

The results of the business, in all facets of the business, will dictate which management style is needed, or if a business owner needs to amend their management style. If a business is doing well financially, if clients are routinely satisfied, if employees are happy, are all indications that the management style of the business owner is appropriate. Discontentment and loss of business would be indicators that the approach is incorrect.

An example of this will explain this principle further:

Karen R. successfully managed her own business for several years. She employed a rather Permissive Management Style, allowing the employees plenty of input, with a rather “family style” atmosphere developing. The employees were very much engaged in the business and considered the business “their own” as well, leading to much devotion on their parts.

However, as the business grew, so did the demands of the clients. It became imperative for Karen R. to change her management style to the Authoritative Management Style, as she needed to quickly enforce parameters, and complete projects. There simply was no time for discussion among the employees, and no time for multiple approaches to each project.

This led to much discontent on the part of the employees, and they needed to be reminded that their opinions were no longer welcomed repeatedly, which left Karen R. frazzled and stressed too.

The solution: Karen R. engaged a series of psychological tests for both herself and her employees, as initially she had no clue what was wrong or how to relieve the problems. This test revealed that she was being somewhat “overly authoritative” in her approach, and also that her employees were “too expectant” in their demands that she include them in decisions. A compromise was reached, and Karen R., now allows some “input” from the employees, but retains the right to make a decision unilaterally. This combination of Authoritative/Permissive Management Styles has led to the relief of the stress within her organization, and has also led to increased happiness and productivity on the part of the employees.

Without a good knowledge of their own management styles, or psychological approaches to business, business owners can set themselves up for problems. They may be so difficult in their approach, and so set in their ways, that they in essence, would not put up with this behavior if they worked for themselves. Or they can be so passive, and so permissive, that they become “doormats” for the employees, thus not achieving enough control over the business. Karen R. above is a good example. Her Authoritative Management Style, when adopted, became much too rigid for the growth of the business, and this was because of her perceived “need” for control in a business that was growing rather rapidly. Because she herself felt somewhat overwhelmed by the growth, she tended to approach the employees, with an attitude that was too strict and unrelenting.

Assessment of situations, along with psychological tests administered to all within a business, if problems arise, can go a long way towards alleviating the problems. These tests are generally available online or from Human Resource providers.

Business owners can’t rectify a problem or their own behaviors or that of their employees, unless they know specifically what these problems are. Insight into themselves and others, will assist business owners into successful resolution of all problems as they occur. Knowledge of behaviors and knowledge of management styles, can prevent problems in management problems before they happen.

Understand 4 Basic Management Styles to Be an Effective Manager

In the corporate world, there needs to have a formal structure that organizes the tasks to manage the corporate office in its controllable manner. It is often ruled by a hierarchy of organization structure. This structure is commonly termed as organization chart.

In order to be effective as a manager at various level in the organization structure, he or she are often challenged by work environment. How does his or her management style help to manage the situation. The four basic Management Styles is listed below:-

1) Autocratic Style

Perhaps is the oldest style in managing a group of people to get things done. This style of management is very obvious in the olden days of slavery where only the “master” give command and the slaves just follow. However, it is by no means the is a slavery type of management.

If you pay attention to this style, what it indicates is that there is always a one way communication where the “commander give out order and expect it to get done without any question. Even until today, this style of managing still exist and effective in environment such as arm forces, emergency situation, crisis management etc where there is not time to wait or entertaining any feedback or suggestion. And autocratic style of management is most effective.

2) Democratic Style

Just the opposite to autocratic management style, tasks carry out only after getting people’s opinion and rule by a majority vote. A very obvious example is a general election of a country, election of certain official in an organization of society. However, a democratic management style can and often apply in business when the manager makes decision based on the agreement of the majority.

However, the style of management is normally guided by the manager who has made certain evaluation of the possible solutions and let the employees pick one among the best options.

3) Participative Style

This style of management is quite similar to the democratic type of management in getting opinion from the mass employees. However, the decision is not necessary follow the majority vote. What it does is to seek feedback and opinion from employee and then make a decision on his own.

4) Laissez Faire

This style of management is a free hand management style where managers do not make decision nor interfere. It just let the issue develop by itself whether to the better or worst. This type of management style is best to handle rumor. for an example, a conflict among two or more parties is best let the parties involved settle on their own.

Now that you have any idea the four common management styles, you need to evaluated their differences and apply them.

Swing, Swing: The Pendulum Management Style (and Why It Doesn’t Work)

Which management style are you using today? Which did you use yesterday? Not sure? OK how about trying these questions

1. Have you undertaken any people management activities today – or yesterday?

2. Have you found yourself frustrated today – or yesterday – by your staff, and have you shown that frustration by either shouting or seething?

If you said ‘no’ to the first question and ‘yes’ to the second my (uninvited) diagnosis is that you might be using what I call the pendulum style of management! And you might be suffering because of it (take a lie down on my couch why don’t you?)

The pendulum management style: from passive to aggressive and all the way back again

Over the last 20 years I’ve spent time with hundreds of managers – training them, coaching them and observing them. What I’ve noticed is that some managers use (although rarely with awareness) a style of management that swings (pendulum like) from passive to aggressive

Here’s what happens

The passive management style

The manager, often because of a lack of skill or confidence, adopts a passive style of management. They avoid anything that feels to them ‘managerial’ e.g.

· Agreeing objectives or performance standards

· Monitoring staff performance

· Giving performance feedback

· Discussing job satisfaction

And so on

They will respond to requests from their staff and their own management but what they don’t do is bring a focused structure approach to managing their staff

The result of the passive style

Not surprisingly this passive management style often results in staff underperformance. Staff aren’t clear on what they should be doing, their work isn’t monitored so mistakes or areas for improvement aren’t identified quickly enough, they don’t get the performance feedback they need so they can’t build upon what they are doing well or improve what they need to improve. Their manager doesn’t seem interested in their job satisfaction so their motivation is rock bottom. I’m guessing you’ve got the picture??

Of course these performance problems will inevitably at some point impact the manager and this usually results in some frustration or anger (Why can’t people just do what they’re paid to do? Why do I always have to sort out these problems? How could he have thought that would work? I can’t believe she did that!)

When the manager’s frustration drives them into action it generally sets off the pendulum and swings the manager (at some velocity) towards…

The aggressive management style

On the most obvious level the manager here has decided ‘enough is enough’ and ‘they’ve got to be told’ and ‘I’m not standing for this’. They will decide it’s time to give some ‘no holds barred’ feedback. They often deliver this feedback as criticism and in a way that, even with the most generous of hearts, we couldn’t label as constructive. They’ll often criticise in public and aim the criticism at the whole team, rather than individual staff (and that rarely ends well)

In short they’ll have a rant and rave

A less obvious level of aggression is when the manager is holding their temper but seething inside. The aggressive management style here can be demonstrated by a) ignoring the staff member they think is responsible for the problem b) making gibes or sarcastic comments c) talking critically about the staff member to others

In short they’ll seethe

Eventually, of course, the storm will blow over. The manager will calm down. The crisis will have been averted (or at least dealt with) and the manager can now comfortably get back on the pendulum and return to the calmer waters of – yep you guessed – the passive style

The cost of the pendulum style of management

I’m guessing you can see how ineffective this management style is? How de-motivating it is for the staff? How stressful for the manager?

So what’s the alternative?

Stopping the pendulum

The most effective way for managers to stop the pendulum is, firstly, to stop being passive about management. When managers put in place a focused, structured system for managing their staff’s performance and job satisfaction then, simply by taking action, the pendulum is stopped

Of course, even when managers effectively manage performance, sometimes problems arise (although rarely as often as when managers are passive). The difference here is, because the manager has a performance management system in place, these problems are much easier to identify quickly and much easier to deal with. No aggression required!

Management Styles and How to Make Them Work for You

Management Styles

What are management styles? Management styles are the characteristic ways that people make decisions relating to or affecting their subordinates.

The style used depends on a number of things including the decision to be made, the competence of the employees, the confidence of the employees, who the decision affects and the urgency or importance of the decision

The styles generally fall into four main categories:

Autocratic
Paternalistic
Democratic
Laissez-faire

Autocratic management style Autocratic managers take all the important decisions themselves with no involvement from their employees.

This can be exactly the right thing to do when decisions are required immediately or there is an emergency. It is also effective when working with people with limited skills or who are new to a job or position.

The disadvantages include little or no two way communication; this can result in poor worker morale and the creation of a “them and us” culture in an organisation.

Autocratic managers believe that they have the ability to make the right decisions when decisions are needed.

There are two sub categories of the autocratic management style:

Directive Autocrat

This manager makes all the decisions unilaterally and manages all employees closely.

Permissive Autocrat

This manager also takes all decisions unilaterally but does allow employees some leeway when carrying out their work

Paternalistic management style The paternalistic management style is still dictatorial but takes into account the best interests of the business and the employees.

The manager will usually explain decisions to employees and actively encourages. The responsibility for making the decision still lies with the manager. This management style can develop a more motivated workforce who perceive their needs are being met.

The disadvantages are slower decision making due to consultation; it is still a more autocratic/dictatorial style of management.

Democratic management style The democratic style of management takes all employees’ points of view into consideration before a decision is made. Decisions are often made by the majority and communication is essential between managers and staff. This management style is extremely useful when managing highly skilled employees whose points of view will be essential to the success and implementation of any decisions. This management style also has a positive impact on company morale as staff can see that their direct input has a place in the decision making process.

Disadvantages are the time it takes to make a decision. Also, errors can occur if staff are not as competent as they need to be or not as competent as the management believes them to be.

Laissez Faire The Laissez Faire style of management lets the staff manage their own areas of the business; the manager may only have a limited input or even none at all.

The advantages of this style include more time for the manager to concentrate on the things where they can have the most impact or produce the best results as well as improved staff morale, involvement and responsibility.

Disadvantages include staff making decisions where they are either not competent or don’t have sufficient information as well as a potential lack of focus or direction.

There is also a risk that the staff end up feeling neglected or ignored.

What style of manager are you? Now that you understand the styles of management can you figure out which category you usually fit into?

Most of us tend to use one or two styles more than the others.

You should ask yourself whether that is the right style of management for you and your business at the moment or for any particular decision or group of staff.

Moving to a new style or being able to switch between styles may increase your company’s profitability and effectiveness.

Sales Training International has extensive experience in helping managers develop their management skills and to use the appropriate styles in each situation.

Develop Your Successful Management Style

Each individual in any management position has developed a management style, a behavioral approach to managing others. There are basically 3 styles addressed in this article which are the Autocratic style, the Democratic style, and the Catalytic style. Let’s define each and the most outstanding single characteristic of each style.

The Autocratic Style (natural style): Dictator, My Way OR the Highway approach, I’m in Charge here and you are to do as I detailed, don’t think, just act and do it NOW, demands respect from everyone even if it has not yet been earned, call me MR or MRS or SIR/Madam.

The Democratic Style (natural style): Close friend, father figure, no one ever makes a mistake, any and all results are acceptable, take your time we’ll get it done, accepts any and all suggestions from subordinates even if the suggestion may be wrong, does not discipline or control the staff, staff controls the manager, has a great need to be liked by everyone at every level, call me by my first name.

The Catalytic Style (Learned/developed blended style): Teacher style, trainer, developer of subordinates, coaching style, teach what they know and show as they go style, strives to achieve results above expectations, explains plans, details expectations, maintains control but expects input from all subordinates, is respected by subordinates and by all management because respect has been earned through performance.

At first glance you might believe that the only style that is best of the 3 styles is the Catalytic.

Each style has its appropriate time and place and each can be successful under specific circumstances. Management styles are developed by the individual and are natural tendencies. We are all influenced throughout our business career by those around us who have managed us as we ascend into management position ourselves. Our developed style can begin as early as grade school level and further develop in high school and college. When we enter the work force and begin to report to our first supervisor/manager our future management style begin to evolve even further.

When the time comes and we are promoted into our first management position many want to be like their first manager. This could be a positive evolution or perhaps a negative one. Let’s assume, for this exercise, that our first manager was a really wonderful person, very friendly with the entire staff, and displayed a father figure management style. People who report to this manager, including you, may not have performed as well as you could have because your boss was such a nice person almost any type of performance was considered acceptable even less than expected results.

This management style, although comfortable to all of the direct reporters, may not be as effective as it could be and the results achieved may be found to be unacceptable to upper management.

You recognize that this is an example of a Democratic management style and although well-liked by all may not have an extended shelf life as a manager due to the lack of acceptable performance but the unit this manager is managing.

Let’s address another example of a different management style, the Autocratic. This manager has very high almost unreasonable expectations which you are to live up to at all times and if you don’t it becomes a watch-out environment. This manager usually raises his voice when speaking to any person on their staff, pounds his hand/fist on the table at meetings, criticizes in public and rarely shares any praise to any member on the staff. This style usually doesn’t explain plans of action or details of expectations. Dictates duties and responsibilities, usually does not welcome input from the workers, rejects suggestions and uses verbal force at every turn. Remember under certain circumstances and conditions this may be the management style needed.

Example: Upper management has a department filled with very qualified, experienced and talented employees who, under their present democratic manager are performing below acceptable results. Now it is time for a change. Consider someone who has a natural autocratic management style. Why? A drastic change in results are necessary and critical to the overall performance within the organization and a person who is going to go into this department with the sole mission of cracking the whip and get the job done and quickly turn results around. The downside danger is employee fallout. There may be some fallout because of the sudden change in management style but the best of the staff will rise to the demands of the new manager IF their goal is to stay with the organization and to move forward and upward.

We can readily recognize a severe change in the sports world. A football team has had the same coach for several years and in the last year or so the team has not had a winning record, has not qualified for any playoff games and ownership is now faced with a coaching change. You have witnessed a change from a long term democratic coach to a dictator autocratic style head coach and staff. The very next season the team is now a winning organization and goes to the playoffs. Keep in mind an autocratic style manager/coach usually has a short shelf life, perhaps 2-3 seasons and then another change will have to be made and now ownership is looking for the blended management style coach, the Catalytic coach.

The Catalytic manager/coach due to the fact that this is a blended style of both the Autocratic and the Democratic styles will now have a long shelf live with the department/team and will produce winning results on a consistent basis.

Can an autocratic and democratic management style change to become a catalytic manager?

Yes. The catalytic is not a natural style like the other two styles. The catalytic style is learned and developed style over a period of time. What is needed to develop the catalytic style is proper training and direction from a strong catalytic manager who is willing to take the other style individuals under their wing and spend time changing their approach to managing subordinates which is to include training and developing to cause a change in their behavior tendencies and approach to others.