- June 02nd, 2015
It takes all types to run a business, but what about those in charge? What type of leader is best for success in business? A great deal of research has been done in the areas of management styles and effective leadership; a quick Google search will reveal just how much information is out there. So where do you begin? Consulting firm Hay/McBer conducted research several years ago on business executives, leading to the conclusion that there are six distinct styles of leadership. Learning about these and discovering which one you identify with most can be a great first step. After you’ve determined which style(s) you identify with, you can work integrate the best approach for you and your business, and become the best leader possible.
The Affiliative management style is primarily focused on people. A leader using this method strives to build harmony and minimise conflict.
➔ Effective at motivating others or healing divisive situations
➔ Ineffective in crisis situations which need decisive leadership
An Authoritative manager emphasises a long-term vision for his business and his employees. This style is confident and offers a clear direction.
➔ Effective when a change or new direction is needed
➔ Ineffective if team members have more experience than the leader in the area of expertise or if the employees need more hands-on guidance
The Coaching style is people-focused. Such a leader works hard to help employees reach their long-range goals and develop their skills.
➔ Effective when employees need to grow specific skills, particularly if they are motivated
➔ Ineffective if the leader becomes more like a counselor than a boss, if assistance is too time-consuming, or if the employee needs more skills development than is practical
Perhaps the most controlling and inflexible of the styles, Coercive management finds a manager firmly directing workers, without much flexibility or input from others. Most professionals report disliking bosses with the Coercive style.
➔ Effective in crisis situations that need strong, decisive direction
➔ Ineffective when employees are highly-skilled and feel “micro-managed”
As the name would suggest, the Democratic leader values fairness. He or she wants to build unity and agreement within the workplace, making it a community.
➔ Effective when workers feel heard and valued and when management is skilled at making a final decision
➔ Ineffective in crises or when staff is very divided
The Pacesetting style motivates through example and by working “in the trenches” alongside employees.
➔ Effective if staff members are highly competent and require little direction
➔ Ineffective if intensive skills development is needed or when leader is unable to fulfill his own duties
Putting it All Together
It’s important to remember that this represents only one theory on leadership styles, and your approach might be a blend of several of these. In fact, the findings of the Hay/McBer research study suggest that utilising all six styles in various circumstances is the best way to find success in management. Now that you’ve examined these six types, you can “audition” different styles in the workplace and see if they are more or less effective for you and your team. You might find that trying something new helps you strengthen an area of challenge for you, or that some techniques are more useful in certain situations. With careful application, adopting new management techniques and styles may produce amazing growth in yourself and in your business.
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