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Tags: Management guidance, Workplace Management, Career Guidance...

Whether you run a business, a team, or manage yourself, good management skills benefit you and those around you. There are seven widely used management styles, and each of them has pros and cons, so it's up to you to decide which style is best for you and your circumstances.

If you are a leader already or looking to delve into management, read on to discover the differences between each management style, plus how you can implement them in the workplace.

The seven primary leadership styles

Autocratic Manager

Typically, this is the most common kind of boss. Autocratic Managers are people who make decisions on their own with little input from others. This management style is good for employees who work well with clear direction or in teams where decisions need to be made quickly. However, this type of leadership is not as well received in modern teams, as it can discourage open communication and creativity.

How to implement: When challenged, it is important to hear your employees out. Although this does not mean saying yes to everything, it may require thinking of a more creative way to say no, for instance, explaining your thought process and emphasising how it will benefit them in their role. 

Democratic Manager

Democratic leaders are the reverse of autocratic leaders, as they want to hear others thoughts and value idea contributions. Decisions are usually discussed and agreed upon by the majority, which encourages collaboration and job satisfaction. The downside to this management style is the length of time it can take to reach a decision and uncertainty amongst employees.

How to implement: Often, employees do not like to speak up unless they have a fully-fledged idea. Make it known that even if ideas aren’t fully formed, someone else in the team may be able to build on them to encourage employees to be as open as possible.

Laissez-Faire Manager

Laissez-Faire is the French term for ‘let them do’. These managers are very hands-off and prefer to wait and see what happens then make decisions. In skilled teams where individuals work well under little direction, this management style leads to a better sense of autonomy. However, for individuals who require more guidance to complete tasks, deadlines can often be missed and projects may lose their sense of direction.

How to implement: This management style relies on trust and confidence in your team's abilities. For new starters, make it clear that this is how the team works, so they feel confident to back themselves and get on with the job at hand.

Transactional Manager

Transactional Managers are outcome-based and offer rewards and benefits to anybody they feel has done their job correctly. If employees are goal-orientated, this can be extremely motivating and can lead to greater efficiency. On the other hand, this management style punishes those not rewarded and can demotivate and split a team dynamic.

How to implement: Be realistic when goal setting and talk employees through why you think it is achievable. Also, be sure to set team goals to promote teamwork and prevent everybody from simply looking out for their own interests.

Transformational Manager

Considered the most inspiring type of manager, Transformational Managers identify the need for change and provide positive reinforcement. For companies with low morale, their enthusiasm and vision can inspire widespread change. This style is most effective when leaders add reasoning and evidence to their ideas rather than simply leading with charisma. 

How to implement: Firstly, you will need to get your direct reports on-side to work towards a shared vision and cascade this out to the wider team. Whilst employees are busy working towards shared goals, it is also important to discuss personal goals and let your employees know you want them to succeed. 

Consultative Manager

While the manager will make the ultimate decision and provide direction, this is influenced by team members feedback on what is and is not working. Consultative Managers ask team members for advice and regularly consult on decisions that can motivate and empower employees. For teams that value team satisfaction over meeting deadlines, then this could be the ideal management style. 

How to implement: Consider if you are decisive enough to take on-board multiple opinions and reach a solution. Next, spend time getting to know your team, their personalities and whether they are more task or social-orientated.

Persuasive Manager

Explaining the reasoning behind decisions and keeping teams informed every step of the way, instead of at the end of a task or project, Persuasive Managers build trust with their employees. Trust persuades everyone to work towards shared goals and get work done quickly and efficiently. For this style to succeed, you need to be passionate about your ideas and accept the blame if things don’t work out. 

How to implement: To do well, employees should not feel ignored or micro-managed. You may use this management style temporarily during disruptive events like the pandemic or mergers and acquisitions. 

Have you distinguished which management style is best suited to you yet? Knowing your personality type is a great place to start deciding what leadership style resonates with you the most. There may be more than one leadership style that suits your personality, so it’s essential you also consider the business needs and your team. Alternatively, you may find you are more of a situational leader – someone who chooses one of the leadership styles cited above depending on the where, when and who. 

Are you looking for your next leadership role or ready to take the step up and progress in your career? At Search Consultancy, we recruit across 20 sectors and have a range of leadership roles available. To discuss your requirements, speak to one of our consultants today.