Leadership style – what kind of manager are You?

What are managing  styles?

The leadership style can be defined as a relatively permanent and repetitive way in which the superior interacts with subordinates in order to stimulate and coordinate their activities in the team, and thus – achieving the goals of the organization.

What’s the best style?

In management psychology, there is a whole list of studies by various authors on management styles in a team. The theory of R. Blake and J.S. Mouton is based on production orientation and people orientation. R. Tannenbaum and W. Schmidt They adopted the scale of possible managerial behaviors depending on the person on whom the behaviors are focused. The management style is influenced by: the manager himself, subordinates, and the situation.

In addition to being task-oriented and people-oriented, some researchers have attempted to introduce a third dimension. In the evolutionary theory of management, P. Hersey and K. H. Blanchard adopted the level of maturity of their subordinates as the third dimension, determined by their skills and motivation (the following styles were distinguished: autocratic, integrative, participatory and delegative).

There is a traditional 3K driving style and a modern 3W driving style. Management styles according to Sułkowski, Goleman, Anna and Andrzej Niemczyk.

But the most popular are the 3 basic styles of team management developed by Lewin, Lippitt and Whit:

– democratic

How are the styles different?

There are several significant differences between the various management styles. They include, among others:
• emotional bond between the manager and employees,
• the degree of control over the team,
• employee participation in decision-making,
• focus on achieving goals or employee development,
• way of motivating to work,
• the degree of trust in employees,
• method of communication with subordinates,
• possibility for employees to show initiative,
• time-consuming decision-making processes.

The autocratic style of management is based on leadership and strict control of the manager over his subordinates. The employee cannot show his own initiative. He must completely submit to the supervisor.

Often, a system of penalties is used as the employee’s motivation, e.g. in the form of sharp criticism, reprimand or lowering the salary. The needs and emotions of the employee team are entirely subordinated to the goals of the company.
Are there any advantages to this style? In the short term, it allows you to achieve a high level of discipline and high work efficiency. This type of team management works well for simple and repetitive work that does not require high qualifications.

When it comes to assessing this style from the employee level – an authoritarian manager has a negative impact on the work atmosphere, motivation and employee development. Employees perform their work mechanically and are afraid to come up with their ideas to, for example, improve a production process. Employees do not identify with the company, are not involved, and this exposes the company to a high level of rotation and rapid burnout.

The liberal management style is the complete opposite of the authoritarian one. Here, the manager leaves the employees complete freedom of action, does not interfere with the style of work, and the division of duties does not evaluate employees. Its role is limited only to providing the crew with the right tools and materials.

This type of management can lead to total chaos in the organization and very low efficiency. Employees achieve their goals, do not engage in teamwork, repeat mistakes.

Only in a situation where team members are highly self-motivated, have a lot of knowledge and skills to be able to perform tasks on their own, such a management style can work well.

The most balanced and universal style of leadership is the democratic style.

The manager treats his subordinates as partners. Employees are not left to their own devices, and at the same time have an influence on taking action and the way work is performed. They can present their opinions and ideas. They are motivated by rewards, not punishments, and criticism is constructive and argumentative.

The democratic manager gives orders to employees, presents goals, but leaves freedom as to the methods of carrying out tasks. He cares for a good atmosphere and the team has respect, support and mutual acceptance.
The democratic leadership style has many advantages. In the long run, it results in the greatest efficiency and quality of work. Employees are satisfied, well motivated, feel needed and appreciated, act creatively and identify with the company’s goals and values

This style has one – maybe two disadvantages. The first is time-consuming decision-making – due to the fact that everyone’s opinion counts, making decisions may take longer. The second drawback is the risk of indiscipline in some employees.
In fact, each of us has our own unique leadership style that is a mixture of all of the above. The key is to be aware of the issue of their advantages and disadvantages to know at what moments what style will be most appropriate to the situation, project or employees.

What’s your style?

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