Leadership plays a pivotal role in shaping the success of any organisation. But behind the scenes, leaders wield a powerful tool: their management style. Just as a skilled artist employs various brushstrokes to create a masterpiece, adept managers utilise different management styles to lead and inspire their teams.

From the decisive strokes of autocratic leadership to the collaborative hues of democratic management, each style leaves a unique imprint on the organisational culture and performance. So, let’s delve into the labyrinth of management styles, exploring their characteristics, merits, and potential pitfalls.

Exploring 10 Different Types of Management Styles

What is a management style? It is the method that managers use in order to achieve the business’s goals. There are many different types of management styles that a manager can use. The type of style a manager decides to lead with often depends on the individual themselves or the kind of business that is being run. A manager may even switch between different management styles depending on the situations that the business is facing.

Let’s have a look at all the different styles of management, the pros and cons of each one, and some management style examples.

1. Autocratic

Management Styles Autocratic
An autocratic manager has authority over everything and everyone.

Autocratic is a type of management style that is top-down leadership. One person in the business has authority over everything and everyone in the business. They control all aspects of the business and don’t ask for advice or listen to feedback from their employees. Employees are not encouraged to share ideas, provide suggestions, or ask questions.

This type of manager uses fear to control employees into doing what they want and micromanages employees, leaving no room for flexibility or innovation. The employees are in the business to do what they are told and hold no power in decision-making.

Pros of the Autocratic Management Style

This type of management is very effective in a crisis situation or if there is a deadline to be met. When decisions have to be made, and one person has to take charge, this type of leadership is best suited.

Cons of the Autocratic Management Style

Employee retention is likely to be low as people don’t like to be controlled. When employees feel like they have no purpose in the business and don’t feel valued, they won’t stay.

Example of the Autocratic Management Style

  • Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft.
  • Steve Jobs, during his time at Apple.

2. Democratic

Management Types Democratic
Democratic management allows employees to take part in decision-making.

Democratic is another type of management style that is a team-effort kind of leadership. Democratic managers allow their employees to take part in the decision-making process and take on their thoughts and ideas. Although this manager has the final say, the decisions that are made are influenced by all the employees of the business.

This type of manager truly cares about their employees’ welfare and makes sure that they feel valued and a part of the business. Employees want to feel that they are making a positive impact on the company, and democratic managers reassure them of this by giving them responsibility and taking their opinions on board.

Pros of the Democratic Management Style

  • Democratic leadership encourages employees to be innovative and become involved in the business, making them feel more valued.
  • When employees are happy, they are more likely to stay in a job, leading to employee retention.
  • Quicker problem-solving and decision-making occur as more people are working towards the same goal.

Cons of the Democratic Management Style

  • Democratic leadership can lead to time-wasting if a manager finds it difficult to choose from all the ideas that employees come up with. This can be very unproductive for the business.
  • Employees may notice that a manager favours one person’s ideas more than another, and conflict can arise if they feel they are not all being listened to equally.

Example of the Democratic Management Style

  • Tim Cook, Apple CEO.
  • Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group.

3. Laissez-faire

Management Styles Laissez faire
A laissez-faire manager does not interfere with employees’ work unless asked for help.

A laissez-faire manager takes a hands-off approach to their leadership. Employees are expected to take on the decisions and problems of the company with little or no help from the manager. An employee’s work and progress are not overseen or checked up on.

A laissez-faire manager does not interfere with the employees’ work unless they are asked for help. This management style is only successful if the employees are highly self-motivated and professional, as they will be left to solve problems on their own.

Pros of the Laissez-faire Management Style

  • Laissez-faire leadership promotes innovation and creativity in the workplace.
  • Employees have high job satisfaction as they complete tasks on their own.
  • Productivity levels are higher as there is less time spent discussing ideas and going over work and more time spent actually doing what needs to be done.

Cons of the Laissez-faire Management Style

  • If employees lack self-motivation or the skills to solve problems on their own, it will lead to slow productivity.
  • Employees may feel lost with the lack of direction given and may become unsatisfied with their job.

Example of the Laissez-faire Management Style

  • Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.

4. Persuasive

Management Styles Persuasive
A persuasive manager has all the decision-making power in the business.

In the persuasive type of management style, the manager has all the decision-making power in the business but keeps employees informed throughout. When employees are kept up-to-date with the company’s ongoing, they feel a sense of involvement.

This type of management is called persuasive since the manager uses their persuasive skills to get employees on board with decisions by telling them the positives and benefits for them and the company. There is less conflict and disputes as employees feel they are a part of the decisions and don’t feel forced to comply.

Pros of the Persuasive Management Style

  • A good relationship between employees and managers is built on the trust they have for one another, which leads to employee retention and productivity.
  • Employees are more likely to be accepting change as they are given plenty of notice and reasoning.

Cons of the Persuasive Management Style

  • Although employees feel valued, they don’t actually have much of a say in what is happening in the business.
  • When employees are not listened to, they may reject any change being implemented.

5. Servant

Management Types Servant
A servant manager builds a good relationship with their employees.

Servant is another type of management style that puts their employees’ welfare above all else. A servant manager focuses on building a good relationship with their employees in order to maintain a positive working environment. They encourage and praise employees in the hopes that this will lead to increased productivity and positive results.

The thought behind this management style is that if you treat employees right and put all your energy into them, they will return the favour by putting in the work and having an interest in the success of the business.

Pros of the Servant Management Style

  • Employee retention will be high as employees will stay where they feel valued.
  • Employees will be more motivated to do their work, leading to an increase in productivity levels and better results for the business.

Cons of the Servant Management Style

  • There is no discipline for employees who are not performing because servant managers do not like confrontation.
  • If some employees know they will get away with complacency, then they will lose respect for their manager and be less likely to take them seriously.

6. Transformational

Management Styles Transformational
A transformational manager motivates employees to strive for excellence.

Transformational is also a type of management style that is all about innovation and creativity in the organisation. Employees are encouraged to think outside the box and put forward their ideas.

Transformational managers take a progressive approach and motivate employees to strive for excellence.They push employees to reach their full potential and swap the boring and mundane day-to-day work for exciting and challenging work.

Pros of the Transformational Management Style

Cons of the Transformational Management Style

  • The fast-paced and challenging environment may be too difficult for some employees. If they can’t keep up with productivity, they will slow down the whole organisation.

Example of the Transformational Management Style

  • Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla
  • Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook

7. Collaborative

Management Styles Collaborative
A collaborative manager focuses on involving employees in business goals.

The collaborative management style focuses on involving employees in business goals. It is all about empowering employees to work together in order to solve problems. There is more respect and trust between employees and managers as employees do not feel like they are being spoken down to.

Motivation and productivity are high as employees feel valued and useful in the business. This management leadership style follows the saying, “Two heads are better than one”.

Pros of the Collaborative Management Style

  • Employee retention and innovation are high as employees work together and have greater job satisfaction.
  • Working together results in more solutions being solved for the organisation.

Cons of the Collaborative Management Style

  • It can be time-consuming deliberating over ideas with one another and choosing which ones to pursue.

8. Visionary

Management Styles Visionary
A visionary manager uses their charisma to get employees to see what they see.

Visionary management style is all about innovation and creativity, looking at the long-term goals of the company. This type of manager uses their charisma to get employees to see what they see and follow their vision. They clearly communicate what they hope for the business to achieve in the future and how everyone in the organisation contributes to this goal.

Pros of the Visionary Management Style

  • There is a clear understanding of the company’s goals.
  • Employees know what is expected of them in the future. They will, therefore, be more proactive.

Cons of the Visionary Management Style

  • Short-term goals may suffer as long-term goals are focused on more.

9. Pacesetting

Management Styles Pacesetting
A pacesetting manager pushes employees to the best of their ability.

Pacesetting management style is when the manager expects high-performance results from his employees. This type of manager constantly pushes employees to the best of their ability and sets the pace for employees to follow.

Pacesetting managers concentrate on reaching the end goal within a certain time frame. They lead by example; therefore, they have to be highly motivated and focused. If a manager lacks these attributes and is lazy, their employees will follow this pace and won’t be pushed to reach deadlines.

Pros of the Pacesetting Management Style

  • Pacesetting management deals with problems sooner rather than later.
  • There is a strong focus on always achieving business goals, leading to higher levels of productivity.

Cons of the Pacesetting Management Style

  • Pacesetting management can become repetitive and boring for employees.
  • The pressure to succeed can become intense and overwhelming.

10. Coaching

Management Styles Coaching
A coaching manager gives advice and guidance to their employees.

Coaching is a type of management style that focuses on the development of the organisation’s employees. It allows long-term goals to be put on hold in order to educate and train the employees. It also promotes creativity and innovation among employees and encourages them to put in maximum effort.

A coaching manager gives advice and guidance to their employees in order to help them improve their professional development. Allocating time to allow employees to improve their skills and knowledge is a priority in this type of leadership management. It benefits the business in the long term and the employees’ confidence.

Pros of the Coaching Management Style

  • Employees will be more engaged in their work and will believe in themselves more, knowing they have the training done.
  • A stronger relationship is built between the manager and the employee because the employee feels more valued when time and effort are put in for them.

Cons of the Coaching Management Style

  • Coaching takes a lot of time and also requires patience, as it can not be rushed.
  • A manager adopting this leadership style must have the appropriate skills and experience to train their employees successfully.

How to Improve Leadership Management Skills

A study by Zippia revealed that it costs a company 7% of its annual sales every year when it decides not to invest in leadership development. The importance of personal development in your workplace cannot be overlooked. Here are a few things you can do in order to improve your leadership management skills.

Values and Principles

Know what your values and principles are and what is important to you. You will always refer back to these. If you know your values and believe in them, it is easier to get others to follow. Lead by example.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Knowing your strengths and weaknesses allows you to utilise your strengths better and improve your weaknesses. This will lead to greater self-awareness. Being able to realise that you are in the wrong direction and correcting yourself is a great quality of a leader.

Communication Skills

Work on your communication skills; communication is key. Bad communication can have a very negative impact on an organisation. Knowing what communication to use and when to use it is a very important skill to have. Use communication to advise, direct, and empower employees.

Active Listening

Active listening is essential. Employees want to be heard, as this makes them feel valued. Listening to concerns and ideas from employees greatly benefits the organisation. If an employee feels they can talk to their leader, it will create a stronger relationship between them.

Ongoing Training

Ongoing training is essential to keeping up-to-date with the best leadership practices. Constantly educating oneself and always looking to improve sends a positive message to employees and also makes you, as a leader, more confident in your abilities.

Resolve Conflicts

As a leader, you can not be everyone’s friend. You have to hold a balance between being professional and approachable. Your employees shouldn’t be afraid to talk to you or come to you with issues, and at the same time, they should not feel they can get away with not doing work to a high standard or being unprofessional. If confrontation occurs, you need to resolve it and not let it go on too long.

8 Consequences of Bad Management Styles

According to Zippia’s report, leadership is lacking in 77% of businesses. Bad management comes at a great cost to an organisation. The consequences of bad management styles have a knock-on effect, and if they aren’t fixed early, they can have a detrimental effect on the business. Let’s have a look at 8 possible consequences of bad management styles if left to go on too long.

1. Employees Quit

They say that good employees leave bad management. Employees quit due to bad management in an organisation as they are fed up with the treatment they endure and how badly things are run.

2. Employee Morale is Lower

Employees will be less motivated to work hard and do a good job for a manager who will not reward or acknowledge their work. Bad management style may be a manager who doesn’t look over employees, i.e., a laissez-faire manager, or a manager who is constantly on employees’ backs, i.e., an autocratic manager. Both management styles lead to employees feeling undervalued.

3. Decreased Job Satisfaction

Employees eventually become burnt out from bad management and begin to lose job satisfaction. If an employee has no sense of purpose in their job and does not care about the organisation’s success, they will not work to the best of their ability.

4. High Employee Turnover

If employees aren’t happy, they will leave. A business with high employee turnover gains a bad reputation. People question why employees leave, and the finger is usually pointed at bad management. High employee turnover is bad for an organisation as it loses highly trained and experienced staff.

5. Wasted Resources

Employees have a huge impact on an organisation as they take care of the day-to-day running of it. When an employee quits, a lot of time and money are spent on training up new employees. It can take months to replace the level of expertise that the previous employee added to the organisation.

An organisation needs employees in order to succeed; therefore, money that has been put away for other projects in the business will be used in recruiting and training new employees instead. Time is money in business, and the more a business has to recruit, the further away they are from achieving their goals.

6. Legal Action

If employees feel they are treated unfairly by management, they may go further and take legal action. Constructive dismissal is a type of unfair dismissal that employees may decide to take against their employer. This is where the employees feel they have no other option but to leave their jobs due to their employer’s behaviour. This can be very costly for an organisation.

7. Loss of Business and Customers

When an organisation loses employees due to bad management, progress is stalled. This can delay business and may affect other organisations and customers that the business deals with. If these problems occur regularly or are prolonged, customers may become frustrated and cease business with the organisation.

8. Decreased Profits

Bad management can result in a decrease in profits. This could eventually lead to the business having to close. Losing employees constantly impacts the organisation negatively and will essentially lead to a loss of valuable time and money.

The main consequence of bad management styles is employee dissatisfaction and turnover, as it has a direct impact on the organisation’s cost and time. It leads to other problems in the organisation that cease progress and eventually can lead to the end of a business. This is why it is so important for an organisation to invest time in leadership development, as the price they pay for training will be nothing compared to the cost of trying to resolve the problems that bad management causes.

Now that you know the different types of management styles, it is up to you to discover what type of management style you decide to lead with and which one best suits you and your business. You can also check our blog: Want to Become a Thought Leader?

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