Sanity savers | 5 management styles you should get to know

Though I like to think of myself as my own boss in blogging and business, for many of you who have asked, the answer is yes – I do have a day job like everyone else out there. This also means I also have a boss, lunches to make and places to be at certain times or I’m out of a job. I’m not going to go into the intricacies of my workplace here because I’m pretty sure my boss reads my blog from time to time to see what I’m up to. ‘Hi Simon!’

Correction as of Oct 2014 – Quit my day job. Yeehaaa!!!

Anyway – this article is about all the bosses out there who tell people like me what to do every day. I’m particularly interested in those stories on TV about office psychopaths – they are always so fascinating. But I’ll keep it clean here and offer some general information on how to better understand the popular management styles around today so you can SAVE some sanity at work by understanding your boss a whole lot better.

What kind of boss do you have?

There are many different ways bosses effectively lead and manage a team, and while there is no definitive right way to do it, certain management and leadership styles work better than others. Different people respond to different approaches of guidance and communication, and the company culture and goals can also set a managerial precedence.

Read on to find out some of the most common management styles in the modern workplace. For more leadership and business development tips and advice, bookmark the HBA Learning Centres website.

The autocratic manager

Autocratic leadership is the term used to describe managers who make decisions independently without considering team input or preferences. Some synonyms for the word autocratic include tyrannical and domineering, but that is not to say that this style of management is always a negative one – HR and Leadership experts acknowledge that it does have a place and can yield results, however they do warn that it may be best applied sparingly to avoid long term employee dissent and high turnover rates.

The transactional manager

Transactional Managers tend to be very outcome focussed, and will reward or deliver consequences for employees depending on their ability to meet or exceed set goals and targets. Transactional Management is often seen in sales orientated roles and tends to feature incentives for high achievers and additional training and coaching for those who may be struggling to meet expectations.

The devolutionary manager

This style is also known as Laissez-faire, and can be defined as a manager who does not actively supervise or provide feedback to their team, preferring to let them self-manage their work and performance. While this is often considered one of the most revered managerial styles, it does not suit all employees and can actually negatively impact performance and the bottom line unless the team comprises of highly motivated, trained, and autonomous staff members.

The democratic manager

Democracy is something that most human groups aspire to – where there is fairness, equality and the opportunity to provide input into task setting and decision making. This style of management is based on a very cooperative, team focussed approach to getting work done. While it can be a really effective long term strategy, it doesn’t always work when the team leader has upward pressure to achieve a desired outcome or result.

The transformational manager

A transformational manager has a very hands on, communicative approach to team leadership. They actively work with their team members to set and achieve company goals and objectives. This approach can be very effective but time consuming; leaders aspiring to this style of management need to make sure that they are still able to complete other priorities, while being so involved in their teams’ performance.

While there isn’t a definitive right way to manage, there is often a right way to handle a situation or task. Sometimes in order to successfully lead a high performing team, a manager needs to fluidly borrow elements from multiple management theories and approaches in order to meet customer, company and employee objectives and expectations.

What style of manager are you?