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Best Management Styles in the Workplace

A lot of work has gone into understanding approaches to management, with researchers proposing a variety of different labels and descriptions to describe them. A variety of threads and patterns can be found between the different information, leading to some common leadership styles.

Autocratic

Sometimes referred to as a commanding approach, an autocratic management style is when a leader makes all of the decisions for their team or organisation, and exercises complete control. There is little participation from multiple voices, but instead a prioritisation of one or a few voices making decisions on behalf of everyone. 

Autocratic management can be extremely efficient, ensuring that decisions can be made quickly and without needing to go through layers of approval. This is particularly helpful in time-sensitive situations or during a crisis. However, the more authoritarian style can often lead to frustration from team members who would like a chance to have their voice heard.

Democratic

In some ways, a democratic management style is a response to autocratic, targeting its primary downside by allowing for more discussion throughout the wider team. The value of everyone’s voice is elevated and decisions are made with more input, ensuring that the interests of every team member are better represented and considered.

However, this extra deliberation can cause delays in decision-making, which may end up putting a lot more people under pressure with deadlines and less clear information. It is essential to weigh up the needs of the situation at hand when deciding how best to approach it.

Laissez-faire

A French phrase translating to “allow to do”, a Laissez-faire approach involves being more hands-off as a leader and letting team members act autonomously. Leaders are still expected to provide necessary resources for their team members, but are much less involved in the actual process of work.

Enabling team members in this style encourages flexibility and creativity, while also helping each member to develop their decision-making. However, it can also create situations without accountability and direction.

Transactional

Transactional leadership involves the use of rewards, and sometimes punishments, to motivate team members to go about their work. The most common use of this style is in sales, where salespeople may receive a commission or other perk as part of their selling. It is also common in industries that rely very heavily on tracking key performance indicators (KPIs).

Using a transactional model can help teams focus on their goals, but those goals are often very short-term. Additionally, while it can enhance productivity and make it easier to measure outcomes, many individuals are not motivated this way, and the lack of longer-term goals to work towards can feel stifling.

Visionary

Unlike the short-term focus of transactional leadership, visionary leadership is all about setting a long-term vision and strategic plan for the business. This involves a more collaborative approach, encouraging team members to work towards it in their own way, with everyone guided by the same ultimate outcome.

This big picture-focused approach encourages everyone to be a problem-solver and to work well with others, and promotes intuition. However, without enough short-term direction, employees may become burnt out and struggle to complete what they need to on the way to the bigger goal.

Coaching

Coaching is all about spending one-on-one time with employees to give them guidance and feedback on their work, and to help them develop the specific skills they might need to. This approach focuses more on tailored support for individuals and mentorship.

While it might take more time than other styles, the benefits of coaching can be immense. Think of this dedicated time as an investment into your employees and who they will become as team members. This also helps everyone feel more valued and improves the morale of your business.

How to find your leadership style

A good leader is able to use the facets of different leadership styles depending on the goals of their current situation, and the people they are working with. To identify how you lead, consider the tasks and problems you typically face and how you normally approach them. Do you come up with a plan and delegate without input, or do you include your team’s opinions in the process? How do you motivate your team members? Knowing the best management style is about identifying the goals that need to be achieved, and finding the best way to get there.

An important part of workplace management is to always encourage feedback from your team about how they are working, what they like and don’t like about the workflow, and whether there are reasonable improvements you can make. Open communication can make all the difference.

A space for dynamic leaders

By integrating different management techniques, you not only enhance your leadership abilities but also create a flexible environment for your team. This ensures that everyone is aligned and empowered to navigate challenges and seize opportunities together.
At Haven Workspaces, we value flexibility and adaptability, with a clear vision of helping businesses thrive. We pride ourselves on providing a premium co-working space with a high-quality fit-out, secure and robust technology, and exceptional customer service. Get in touch to learn more about how we could help your business grow.