Red Flags that Your Management Style is “Nonnegotiable”

November 19th, 2013

To what extent do you involve your employees in management decisions?

The value of giving employees ownership is immeasurable in terms of engagement and morale. But, you have no choice but to balance business results with interpersonal staff relationships. In other words, you must follow the course that gets the job done and meets the desired metrics at the end of the day, month or quarter … That’s why you get to be the manager, right?

There are numerous management styles – and the best one to adopt depends on the specific situation. One of the strongest barometers of your leadership skills is understanding the right approach to address an issue, solve a problem, or develop a new practice, process or protocol.

As you seek this balance, keep these management styles in mind:

Participatory: Give Employees an Equal Voice

Using this style, managers give employees a task to complete from start to finish, with minimal involvement on the part of their superiors. Success is based on the premise that all team members understand and have bought into their role in the bigger picture. As a result, they’re motivated to carry the project to successful completion.

  • You need unanimous agreement. There’s no room for dissenters or Benedict Arnolds here.
  • You must be okay with sharing authority. Your voice is equal to that of your employees in the decision-making process.
  • It takes time. This approach is based on achieving group consensus. The more the merrier, so to speak. It can be dynamic, inspiring, highly successful and above all else, the right thing to do. But don’t expect immediate conclusion.

Directing: Promote Learning Through Listening

With this approach, managers tell employees what they need to do, how to do it, and when the project needs to be completed. These parameters are outlined in detail up front. This strategy may seem cold or impersonal, but if handled correctly, managers can offer employees the opportunity to be involved and have their ideas heard.

  • This works well when a “top-down” approach is necessary. For instance, the direct approach tends to be most effective when there is a tight deadline or a large, diverse number of employees involved.
  • It often involves responsibility shuffling. It’s advisable to inform employees of this possibility at the onset of a project. Then, the inevitable transition between tasks will be easier.

Discussing: A Happy Medium

In this scenario, a manager has already made a decision about how a project will be handled, but they allow employees to contribute their ideas.

  • The manager is the facilitator. This is a great way to get your workforce involved, as you guide the discussion to the best and most logical conclusion.
  • Let employees influence details. To the appropriate extent, team members can decide who does what and at what point to drive a process forward.

True leaders know there is no single best management style. Rather, they mix and match styles to achieve optimal results.

Contact a career expert at Select Group, Inc., to learn more about successful management strategies and techniques. We look forward to hearing from you!

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