Types of Management Styles

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Types of Management Styles

In our western way of thinking, we typically categorize and define things, items, concepts, and/or entities in order to understand them.  This helps us to then analyze said categories and see if there is a path to growth around how we approach our world.

Management has been categorized in so many different ways with many opinions of the types of management styles.  Below is such a list.  Bear in mind that this is not a comprehensive list.  Furthermore, rarely does any one leader fall into only one of these short descriptions.  Likely, you could see yourself identifying with several of the these.

Read over these and see where you might land.  What do you identify with in these types?  What have you seen modeled?  Where do you want to improve?

The Autocrat

Also known as the authoritarian.  This type of manager has individual control without much input from subordinates.  This person typically makes decisions based on judgments and his/her own ideas.  Depending on what area this person manages, this could be a good type if the person is highly competent, oversees very few subordinates, and the task is low in relational need.  This type can stifle growth if he/she is managing many subordinates.

The Communicator

Of all the types of management styles, this one is good at conveying information and supplying subordinates with clear instructions.  This type is effective when it comes to a position that requires information above task completion.  However, the pure communicator may often use a lot of speech without depth.  He/she may also leave tasks unfinished.

Types of management styles – The Micro-manager

This type of manager closely supervises subordinates.  This person is highly competent and usually gained the position by working his/her way up.  The hands-on approach usually keeps a department running well.  The downfalls would be burn out, overload…leading to missed tasks, and a lack of freedom for the subordinates.

The Diplomat/Politician

This type of manager considers both the interests of others and the policies of the company.  This type is efficient when it comes to collaboration in relation to company values.  Two issues of this type of management are first, taking action may be slow.  Secondly, following company policy may become more important than relations and subordinate ideas about better policies.

The Servant

Of types of management styles, this one leads by example through working alongside the subordinates.  The attitude is that of, “I wouldn’t ask you to do anything I wouldn’t do myself.”  And, this person puts that into practice.  The upside of this type is others feel the first time and mid-level manager is “in this” with them.  A downside would be there are no true boundaries or distinctions as to who is in charge.

The Example

Similar to “The Servant”, this manager points to the direction by doing.  The difference is this person doesn’t always get “in the trenches” with the subordinates.  However, he/she does listen and respect the team.  The upside is team members feel a part of the process and feel good about themselves.  The downside is that one might be able to tell who the leader is in given situations.

The Point Person (Follow me)

This type of manager is high in visionary leadership and energy.  The upside of this style is people will ride the wave of excitement and emotion to accomplish tasks.  A couple of downsides are 1) either the manager or the group will run out of energy at this pace and 2) this type or person can very easily get distracted by a new wave of energy and leave it up to the team to finish the tasks.

The Rules Follower

This style of management makes sure that the company standards, policies, mission, expectations, and rules are followed.  The strength of this manager is following established company practices and policies that are usually successful.  He/she can be the go-to person when making decisions based on the knowledge of those policies.  The downfall of this type of manager is relational and communication awareness may fall to the wayside.

Types of Management Styles -The Detached

This style of manager takes a detached, compartmentalizing approach to leading the team.  The task and work come before small talk and relationship.  The strength of this type is task orientation and the ability to cut through relational issues to finish.  The downfall of this type is unapproachability.

The General

This management type keeps the objective front and center.  Not only is the objective important, all training and focus is pointed to finishing said objective.  The advantage of this type of style is company goals are met more often than not.  The shortcomings of this style are:  1) This manager is always looking for a “fight to win” and is hard to deal with when there is no fight.  2) This style can lean too deep into dictatorial leadership.

The Dreamer

This type of manager calls on intuition, is innovative, and casts vision.  This person knows the direction the team or organization should be heading and can manage change well.  A strength of this type is the ability to be steady and calm in chaos.   A downfall of this type could be twofold: 1) This person can become tyrannical and not open to other’s visions and thoughts.  2) This person casts vision, but does not clearly instruct those carrying out the vision, leading to frustration.

Types of Management Styles – The Coach

This type of manager involves the subordinate in goal-setting, gives regular feedback, sets up clear accountability expectations, and is focused on individualized development.  Two upsides to this style:  1) Today’s subordinate is responding well to this style.  2) Subordinates feel a part of the process and therefore trend toward positive productivity.  There are two main downsides to this style:  1) Working this style with “old school” subordinates alongside the younger generation may prove to be difficult.  2)  If not aware, the manager can create a loose environment and thus subordinates empower themselves in unhealthy ways.

The Collaborator

In this type, the manager does not lead alone.  He/she involves other in decisions, projects, objectives, and goals.  An advantage of this type is subordinates feel empowered, take ownership, and should be more productive.   A common set-back of this style can be decisions bogging down as it usually takes time to come to consensus.

The Buddy

This type of manager is highly relational and allows subordinates to feel he/she is approachable at any time, wants to be a regular in the group, and creates an atmosphere of low stress.  An advantage of this type is the openness of the relationship.  This allows for innovation and ideas from talented subordinates.  A downfall would be a loose atmosphere and a feeling of “who is in charge here?”

So…where do you land.  Did you identify with 2-3 types?  What characteristics of some of these are within your style?  What do you want to pull form another style to improve your own?

Something I have found true both for myself and for those managers I have coached:  No one book, mentor, guide, seminar, etc. will help you develop your style and effectiveness.  It takes a combination of some of the above characteristics, emotional maturity, experience, and a willingness to try new methods to help shape you.

Connect with me, I would love to know how your lead and manage.  I would love to help you shape your types of management styles.  Set up a FREE call now:

middlemanagerTypes of Management Styles