What are Management Styles and which one do you best associate with?

Management Styles

Management styles: What are they and which is your style?

The kind of leader you are has a direct impact on your people, your team, and their results. We know that one leadership or management style isn’t enough to cover all circumstances. Your style needs to vary to suit the situation.

Today, effective managers don’t just tell people what to do. They adapt their approach to meet the needs of the team and the pressures of business.

What is a management style?

The Chartered Management Institute in the UK defines management style well, saying, “Management or leadership style is the manner in which managers exercise their authority in the workplace and ensure that their objectives are achieved. It covers how managers plan and organise work in their area of responsibility and, in particular, about how they relate to, and deal with their colleagues and team members.”

Old school management was based on telling people what to do and expecting them to do it without question. That approach rarely works these days, although it still has a place.

What are the main management styles?

If you research the topic of management styles, you’ll find many different names and definitions for each. In my opinion, the key styles you need to know are autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire. These are broad headings for a range of management styles but rather than being hung up on defining an exact title for each variation, I’d rather you first concentrate on becoming aware of these three key styles.

Autocratic style is quite directive. An autocratic manager is ‘the boss’ and directs people and the way the work is done.

Under this heading you’ll find the authoritative manager who operates like a military leader. Think about someone like Napoleon directing his army and expecting unquestioning obedience.

You might also find the persuasive manager who engages with the team to convince them that he or she has made the right decision. The manager still holds the power but tries to get the people to approve.

Democratic style is, as the name suggests, a style which is consultative and inclusive. While the manager still makes the final decision, it’s based on input from the people it affects.

This style is more inclusive, and you will find the consultative manager here, working for team consensus.

You will also find the collaborative manager, building teams who work together – and working together with the team.

Laissez-faire style sounds like it’s a lazy way of managing, but what it really means is that the manager let’s the team get on with the job without interfering.

It’s under this heading that you’ll find the delegative manager, handing the tasks to the team to process in their preferred way.

You might also come across the visionary manager who inspires the team to follow the leadership vision. They lead through inspiration and motivation.

What’s the best management style?

As I said at the beginning of this post, the best managers aren’t stuck in one management style. They use a range of styles depending on the needs of the team. For example, autocratic management might work well with an inexperienced team or a pressing deadline. A hands-off, delegative style would leave that same team in confusion.

What’s your management style?

We all have a natural management style and it’s the style we’re most comfortable with. It’s the style we rely on when things get difficult.

Before you can consider using a different management style, it’s important to know which style you automatically use.

How much do you know about your management style? As a leader or potential leader, becoming self-aware and discovering these aspects of yourself is essential.

I recommend that you take this quiz to give you an idea of what your innate style could be. It will give you a solid starting point for developing new styles and learning how and when to use them.

Take the quiz now.

Let me know how you go with the quiz. I’d love to hear your results.

If you can’t wait to find out about your management style and how to make it work best for you, book a free Leadership Mastery Analysis with me and become the best leader you can be.

In my next post I’ll take a closer look at the management styles which work best in today’s ‘unprecedented’ circumstances.

Transformational Leadership Scorecard Image










P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 4 ways I can help you intensify your impact, influence and income.

1. Grab a Copy of my Latest Book (available in all good bookstores, and on Audible) 

Lead Beyond 2030 shares the nine skills you need to intensify your leadership impact. A powerful exploration of what separates great leaders from the rest. - Find Out More

2. FREE - Test Your Leadership Scorecard: 

Discover your leadership score and the 9 leadership accelerators to increase your ability to intensify your impact and performance. — Click Here

3. Join our Master Influence Program and be a Case Study

If you're ambitious, this is for you - I’m putting together a new leadership case study group… stay in touch for details. If you’d like to work with me to master the art of influence and unleash your most powerful self…Click Here

The ability to influence is the greatest accelerator of impact and performance, and it intensely affects our career, our income and how we lead people. — Find Out More 

4. Work with me privately

If you’d like to work with me privately to take your career, impact and leadership to the next level… send me a message and with the word “Privately”… tell me about yourself and what you'd like to focus on together and achieve, and I’ll get you all the details! — Click Here

Caroline Kennedy, author of Lead Beyond 2030: The Nine Skills You Need to Intensify Your Leadership Impact, is an accomplished, award-winning CEO and global thought leader on business and leadership. She is a highly sought-after mentor and coach to top global executives. A respected keynote speaker and author, Caroline’s methods are neuroscience-based to achieve rapid development and growth.


Leave a Comment