6 Management Styles and When to Use Them

The best management style is the one that gets the job done without making employees go nuts. According to the circumstances, that description might apply to more than one management style. In an article for HuffPost, Rosalind Cardinal shares six different management styles and when you might want to use them.

Flavors of Management

  • Directive/coercive style: This style emphasizes control, perhaps to the degree of micromanagement. The manager’s word is law here, and everyone follows it to the letter. In most cases, this type of management—with its lack of autonomy—will frustrate employees and make them miserable. But it could be useful in limited crisis situations, where tasks must be executed in an extremely precise manner to stave off further bleeding.
  • Authoritative/visionary style: In this style, the manager casts a clear and compelling vision for what needs to be done, and then the team is granted the autonomy to figure out how to achieve it. As long as the manager is persuasive and provides good feedback on work, this style will be highly effective in most situations. The only other exception is if a team is young and unproven, and thus requires more specific direction on what tasks should be done.
  • Affiliative style: This style emphasizes team relationships and harmony, trying to build a real camaraderie. The downside is that actually completing work might come in second place to establishing that camaraderie. Thus, the affiliative style is most useful when seeking to improve the productivity of a team that is currently not working together very well.
  • Participative/democratic style: In this style, everyone gets their say, and team effort is rewarded. This might be useful if it is important for everyone to share the same thoughts and values. But this style could also backfire if the democracy results in groupthink, where poorer decisions are made together than if one person had just made the call.
  • Pacesetting style: The pacesetting manager sets a very high standard for work by getting his or her hands dirty and setting the example for other employees. As a result, the whole team works very hard and fast to live up to expectations. This style is effective in small, concentrated doses but risks team burnout over a prolonged period.
  • Coaching style: This style emphasizes identifying employee skills and seeking ways to strengthen them. When one person does something especially well, the manager will have that person demonstrate how he or she did it to the rest of the team. The manager is always looking to further develop the capabilities of the team. This is another useful style, as long as the manager is highly competent and the team is receptive to coaching.

For additional elaboration on each of these styles, you can view the original article here:

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