Managing a company, regardless of the size, is certainly an ambitious goal and takes strong people skills. Whether you’ve just been promoted to a management position or are looking to improve your methods, knowing the styles that many managers use can help you elevate your game. Keep in mind that these aren’t the only management styles you’ll find, but you’ll see them quite frequently during your career. You may choose to mix and match the best of these methods to devise a style that is truly your own.

business woman in white standing in front of her staff

1. Micromanaging

If you’re opposed to micromanaging, you may have already decided that it’s not a management style worthy of consideration. Usually, when people talk of micromanaging, they do so in a negative way. And there’s a reason for that. The micromanager interferes with every decision that the employee makes, which can be disheartening, if not obstructive.

Some types of management styles focus on a hands-off approach, but micromanaging isn’t one of them. When you focus on making sure that every detail is done to exact specifications, you’re employing micromanaging techniques. This approach could potentially work for a short-term project that is also high-stakes. And it may be useful for walking new employees through complicated tasks. However, in the long run, micromanaging can cause your employees to resent you.

2. Full Freedom Management Styles

On the other end of the spectrum, some management styles don’t monitor employees at all. If you keep your distance and rarely check in with your employees, your style is very hands off.

At first, your employees might think that they prefer this approach. But you may find that morale and motivation actually drop in the long run. It’s very likely that some of your employees will start to feel neglected. They may begin to think that what they do doesn’t matter to you.

On the other hand, some employees might take advantage of your distant approach. They may start coming in late and using company time for personal matters instead of focusing on their work. This behavior can make others feel resentful. Offering some freedom is important since you want your employees to know that you trust them. But they need you there to cheer them on and provide guidance too.

3. Communal Decisions

One of the most effective management styles includes encouraging your employees to contribute their suggestions and ideas for improving the workplace or the workflow. For example, you might put out a survey that allows employees to make anonymous suggestions for changes to policy or job descriptions.

Afterward, review the surveys to find out where they suggest you should make changes. Employees won’t be in charge of making decisions, but they’ll feel they have a say in how the business operates. You can also call a meeting to discuss the survey results and get feedback on the possible changes. Another method would include scheduling regular brainstorming sessions for improving the work process and then followup sessions for weighing the results.

4. Creative Management Styles

You may decide to incorporate more creativity into how you run your department. This is one of those management styles that can be a great success or a horrible disaster. However, if you and your team think outside the box and are willing to try new things, you may find that the process builds trust and confidence. This can be more important than whether the idea worked or not.

When you’re evaluating policy, ask your employees to role-play specific scenarios. This way, you can all get a sense of how this might play out in real life. The creative approach may also include an overhaul of the physical space. Many companies are switching from cubicle layouts to shared task spaces for meetups and solo work. You may find a more creative use of your workspace improves your team’s productivity.

5. Virtual Management

black web camera standing next to macbook pro

You may have never even considered the thought of management styles that don’t involve actually spending time in the same room as your employees. However, in a global economy connected by the internet and social media, you could very well end up managing a group of employees on the other side of the country or the world.

Making sure you have the best tools and procedures to communicate with your employees as needed is pivotal. For example, if you can’t engage in a video-conference with your employees, you may very well find you can’t make intelligent decisions about their work. Because of the distance involved, and even the differences in time zones, this management style requires a high level of self-discipline on the part of both you and your employees.

6. Self-Management

Whether you are working as a freelance writer, photographer, or other occupation, you may need to act as your own manager. There are many advantages of sole proprietorship, but first, you need to establish a doable work routine and a strong work ethic. Learning how to represent yourself to potential and current clients is as important as gaining the skills necessary to do the job.

However, when you’re not interacting directly with other people on a regular basis, you might not have the best insight into how well you’re managing your time. For an objective view, seek a mentor in the same industry. You could also consider attending networking events. This way, you can speak with others who are in the same situation to compare notes and measure results. And by doing so, you can expand your resources by meeting others in the same field.

7. Inquisitive Style

As a manager, you may expect that your employees will come to you if they have questions. Another one of the management styles is to always ask questions to help them develop their logical reasoning skills. Instead of waiting for employees to come to you, ask them what they think that they should do next.

Proceed with caution when using this method, however. If you’re merely trying to get employees to guess the correct answer, you could end up damaging their confidence instead. They may stop coming to you for guidance if you are not willing to provide any direction or are continually putting them on the spot.

Show your employees that you value their ideas by encouraging them to think ahead by asking intelligent questions. By turning everyday tasks into a learning opportunity, you’ll ensure your employees understand their industry well.

Flexible Management Styles

Your personal management style is likely one that is going to grow and change as your career progresses. Keep in mind that managing doesn’t mean you should have all the control or leave employees to their own devices. Your role is leadership, which means encouraging and empowering your employees to grow in their careers while performing the necessary work of the business. A flexible style will allow you to manage a range of scenarios and work with a variety of employees. So, utilizing a blend of management styles is often the winning approach for the effective manager.

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