Being in a management position requires you to take charge and guide your employees to ensure smooth operation of the company. How you take on this approach can depend on what management style you feel is best to get the job done efficiently.
Do you prefer a style 7 (Autocratic/Authoritarian), have your employees’ compromise on a decision while you monitor them (Laissez-faire), or a style somewhat in between (Democratic)? Some styles work better than others depending on the situation, so it can be beneficial to be able to adjust to the situation with a positive turnout. While there are many management styles out there, below are three main types to consider: Try this quiz to see which style best represents you.
This style leaves hardly any room for input from employees and usually has clear guidelines on how tasks are supposed to be completed. While the name sounds negative, there are some positive aspects that derive from this type of management style.
Positives of the Autocratic/Authoritarian
Firstly, if leadership is lacking within the company, an autocratic manager can step in and take charge by assigning tasks, explaining goals, establishing deadlines, etc. Secondly, an autocratic manager can make quick decisions in stressful situations. There may be times where a decision needs to be made quickly; therefore, consulting with employees about possible alternatives might be too time-consuming, so the manager makes a unanimous decision.
Negatives of the Autocratic/Authoritarian
Since most if not all the decisions are made by the manager, this can leave employees feeling like they are not making any contributions. This can disrupt morale and cause problems for the company due to the lack of creativity in ideas. Employees may want to quit because they cannot express any ideas they have especially in a field they may specialize in.
Ways to be an Effective Autocratic/Authoritarian Manager
Firstly, listen to your employees. While you may not change your mind about a decision you’ve made, give the effort to show that you are willing to listen and consider their ideas. Secondly, give positive acknowledgements to employees when you feel the morale may be low. It is important to find and maintain that perfect balance when considering the autocratic/authoritarian style.
This style leaves almost all the decision making to the employees. The manager is not completely involved, but provides the tools for the employees to help them solve problems on their own. This style can be viewed as the opposite of the autocratic/authoritarian style.
Positives of Laissez-Faire
Without restrictions, employees can express creativity when completing work or projects. Also, workers experienced in a certain field can complete tasks in a fast and efficient manner when given the chance to work independently, which can allow for increased productivity within the company. This style can give motivation to employees because they can express themselves through their work.
Negatives of Laissez-Faire
It is important not to seem uninvolved. Employees may see that you are not involved or do not care about the work or projects and the employees may feel the same. If you do not care, they may not care, and then deadlines are missed. Understanding the current morale and skills of your employees is critical; otherwise you are leaving the groups to distribute work amongst each other which could lead to arguments and confusion.
Ways to be an Effective Laissez-Faire Manager
Do not make the mistake of this being a lazy type of manager. To be an effective laissez-faire type manager, manage but do not micro-manage. Also, trust your employees and give them the right tools and guidance to be successful.
The democratic leader leaves room for discussions and expression of opinions as well as being there to provide guidance. Although the manager will have the final say in situations or projects, creativity is encouraged and the manager has diverse options to choose from.
Positives of Democratic
Just like laissez-faire, employees feel they can express themselves and that their opinion matters. Because employees can express themselves, they may care more about the solution or final product which can increase work productivity.
Negatives of Democratic
Similar to autocratic/authoritarian, some may feel that their opinions or ideas do not matter because the manager usually has the final say. While planning, creative or more efficient ideas might get left out because they were not viewed that way by the manager. This may cause morale to lower and/or a decrease in productivity. Lastly, if a decision needs to be made quickly, allowing a group discussion and picking the best solution might not be ideal.
Ways to be an Effective Democratic Manager
Start by encouraging employees to embrace their creative side to come up with diverse ideas and opinions. After that, take your time (if possible) to carefully consider those ideas and opinions. There is also no need to rely on your employees for every single decision you have to make. This can lead to procrastination and may have your employees question your management.
3 main management styles (Autocratic/Authoritarian, Laissez-Faire, and Democratic), but also many more.
No perfect style
There is not only one way to manage your employees.
Some situations could have you change your perspective on how you plan to handle certain situations.
- It would be beneficial to get a better understanding of what your management style is and to avoid the negatives as much as possible.
- There are other styles of management.