Management Styles and How to Implement Them to Your Team


Different management styles come with varying benefits and drawbacks. Which one is suitable depends on both the nature of your team as well as the situation at hand. Some approaches are ideal for nurturing employees during periods of calm while others are best suited to managing a crisis. Certain styles provide staff members with an increased sense of autonomy while others rely on control to get results.

Six Common Management Styles and How to Implement Them to Your Team

Often, managers can’t rely on a single management style over the long term. As the situation changes, embracing a new style can make them a more effective leader. However, it is important to recognize which style(s) they currently use, when they are effective and what they hope to accomplish before making a change. With that in mind, here are six common management styles to review.

1. Affiliative

An affiliative management style is based on maintaining positive working relationships. Addressing conflicts early to find effective resolutions is a skill many leaders in this category have mastered. Additionally, finding efficient ways to motivate the members of the team is a priority, believing that the happiness of the workforce is the key to greater productivity.

2. Authoritative

When a manager is considered firm but fair, they likely embrace the authoritative style. They are skilled at giving employees a clear direction, including outlining the expectations, articulating the overall goal, and sharing how a worker’s performance is measured. Additionally, they tend to use persuasion to steer the direction of their team and embrace providing feedback as a method of clarifying their expectations and creating opportunities for professional growth.

3. Coaching

The coaching leadership style focuses on the professional development of their team. They encourage employees to improve their performance by offering guidance and assistance, nurturing the worker’s strengths and helping them overcome weaknesses. Typically, they also provide professional development opportunities as rewards, using the ability to learn and grow as a means of motivating their team.

4. Directive

A directive leader typically has a “my way or the highway” attitude regarding how work is done. They tend to be incredibly controlling and have high expectations in regards to discipline. While some may view this style as harsh, it can be incredibly effective during times of crisis or when the slightest deviation during a project creates a substantial amount of risk, something that can occur in the architecture, engineering, and construction fields.

5. Pacesetting

Incredibly hands-on managers may favor the pacesetting style. These leaders often complete tasks personally and expect their staff to follow their example. High standards are commonly implemented by pacesetting managers, but they hold themselves to the same standard. They may also favor providing employees with a sense of autonomy, relying on them rising to the occasion.

6. Participative

When a manager wants to ensure that everyone has a chance to provide input, they likely embrace the participative management style. These leaders encourage team members to be involved in the decision-making process, an approach that can increase engagement. Further, they tend to provide rewards as a form of motivation.

Once you identify your current and target management styles, you can begin implementing the new one with your team. This requires a substantial amount of self-awareness, as you will be the one who needs to shift their behavior first. Additionally, informing your staff that changes are in the works is beneficial, as it prepares them to alter their own actions based on your cues. Provide them with guidance based on your new goals and priorities, and then make sure you live up to those expectations as well.

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