Management style

80What determines leadership style?

To some extent management style is an expression of personality, and a reflection of experiences and lessons learnt. It describes the principles that underline the way the manager makes decisions and relates to their staff.

Like most things, if you study and understand the theory behind it, then you can make some deliberate adjustments to make your style a little different and more effective.

The Managers role is to motivate, inspire and lead others to achieve their targeted tasks. Their style is an important part of their performance and influences how their staff respond to them. If employees feel valued and motivated they will be more committed to their work, deliver a better performance, have higher morale and lower absenteeism rates.

What is the best style?

The management style that a person adopts is in itself a function of the culture and situation they work in, and the staff they have to manage.

Some staff , perhaps in a process situation , do not want to think for themselves or take responsibility and so they have to be managed in a certain way. Others say professionals, such as doctors or lawyers, will not expect to have someone micromanaging their work on a daily basis and will expect to make their own decisions.

In the same way, a manager who adopts one style in a certain situation, may slightly or even radically modify their style in response to another situation and set of employees.

What affects management style?

Management styles are also affected by cultural influences. For example Russia will have many more autocratic managers than say the USA, where the favoured style will be more democratic or consultative.

In some cultures, managers are generalists, rather than specialists, with their man management skills perceived as more important than the technical skills needed for a project, and the team make up will reflect this. The manager will have technical experts to advise them, but it is their responsibility to lead the team and get the best performance from them rather than be the technical expert.

In other cultures the technical expert will be the team leader, and the management skills will be considered less important .This will also influence management style.

So the leadership style is affected by a number of factors including the manager and their personality, the culture, the task to be achieved, and the staff and situations that are to be managed.

Management styles have evolved over the years as society and management theory evolve. An important objective for a private company at least, is to make a profit, but it is also now considered just as important to give employees job satisfaction, motivation and contentment, as they are recognised as a significant asset to the company.