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October 23, 2013

Understanding Management Styles

Management takes many forms. The most skillful managers can use many styles of managing to motivate, influence, and inspire people. Understanding different styles and knowing when to use them is an important skill.

Directive. This is based on rank and control. Employees have little say in how work is done. Processes and procedures are followed with no exceptions. This type of style works well in areas where safety is paramount or during emergency situations; however, in most office environments, this style can be de-motivating. Generally, it is used most effectively when training new employees who need coaching and skills development.

Participative. This style relies on empathy, sharing information, being open, and demonstrating a high level of emotional intelligence. It is excellent for creating strong, motivated teams. Everyone has an opportunity to contribute their skills and expertise for the benefit of the department.

Laissez-faire. This style is the manager who takes no active role in how people are working. It works best when managers have staff members that prefer being independent contributors, or when they manage senior employees who need very little input to achieve high levels of performance.

A skillful manager easily moves from one style to another depending on the situation, the people involved, and the results needed for organizational success.


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