How To Adopt A Managerial Style That Works For You

Image of a manager talking to her employees

If you  are a new manager and terrified of all the responsibility that comes with being a  manager, firstly, stop panicking and take a few deep breaths.

Managing people can be a scary experience. And it’s not as if you can experiment upon them as guinea pigs, use them as test subjects to see what managerial style works best for you. So how do you develop a managerial style, without giving your direct reports whiplash?

First things first, you need to be aware of the different managerial styles that exist.

What’s in a managerial style?

Autocratic

Autocratic managers tend to be the kind of people who ask others to do as they tell them. They expect complete obedience and discipline from the employee and will micromanage as well to ensure that work is completed.There’s not much thought given to what the employee thinks or feels about the task at hand.

This kind of management style is most commonly seen in the armed forces. It makes sense for an officer or a general to behave this way, because more of than not, armed forces are involved in risky situations, where a successful outcome hinges on following instructions to the t. But when you try to use this kind of a management style in the office, it just might backfire. Employee skills will suffer because new employees will lose the ability to do things by themselves and older employees will feel stifled.

Consultative

This kind of management style is similar to the autocratic style. However, this style differs from the first one in that consultative managers tend to be looking out for the best interests of their employees.

Managers who employ this management style tend to give out orders and expect them to be followed. However they are also fair and willing to listen. Employees can actually get back to them and not fear retribution.

This is a fairly good management style to cultivate. However it does have its downsides. For instances, some employees might  find that they cannot think and make decisions for themselves, since they have become used to someone telling them what to do.

Democratic

If you know how the concept of democracy works, then you know how a democratic managers works. Everybody gets a say in a decision and managers are conscientious about consulting employees when it comes to work.

When employees are managed by a democratic manager, they receive more freedom and have an active say in the decision making process. This is a good management style since it gives employees a chance to participate. However, if a manager is not able to streamline the decision-making process, the team gets stuck in something akin to a endless loop.

Laissez Faire

You must have probably heard the term ‘laissez faire’ thrown around before. It’s a French term that literally means “let them do”.

Managers who follow this style of management give their employees the freedom to make their own decisions. Employees do what they need to do and managers watch over their employee from the background, guiding them whenever employee require or request guidance. This style when you have bunch of proactive employees who are really good at taking initiative and  following through. 

Which style is the best for me?

There’s one thing all managers must realize. That they must be flexible.

The majority of your managerial style will in fact be decided by your employees. If your employee are new to work and are still finding their feet, they probably require you to be the autocratic or consultative kind of manager. If they your employees are talented and experience, then you need to step back and trust your employees to do the right thing.

Of course, the nature of your work also decides what kind of managerial style you need to adopt. If you work in high-risk situation or operate machinery, then you will need your employees to follow your instructions to the word. On the other hand, if you work at a magazine or say even a software firm, you can give your employees a brief and then let them do the rest.

There’s no one ideal managerial style. You will find that all styles have their pros and cons. When managing people it is important to remember that the people working under you are all unique individuals with different personalities and ways of doing things. Recognizing what makes your employees tick and using that to help them work better also makes you a good manager.


Engagedly helps managers better feedback, track employee goals and understand their employees better. To know how Engagedly can benefit your organization, request a demo today!

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