Management styles

I’ve been told that my management style can be harsh, but I believe that in the current climate you just need to get things done.  Am I being naïve?

Management stylesIt seems you have quite a tough approach to management. This isn’t unusual as in a piece of research we carried out the dominant style of leadership in UK plc is a negative one.  Most people suggested that their bosses are authoritarian, secretive or bureaucratic, with many hinting that such styles damage motivation and productivity levels with many hinting that such styles damage motivation and productivity levels. 

For most managers there is always the pressure to deliver, but you have to ensure that you don’t make unrealistic demands on your staff.  Evidence suggests that a harsh approach leads to more problems, with 4 in 10 people claiming they’ve left a job because of bad management and 49 per cent claiming they would take a pay cut to avoid working for over-bearing managers.  The point is that you may get things done in the short-term, but if you adopt an authoritarian approach you will lose staff and with them, the knowledge and expertise that will help you achieve the very thing you crave - getting things done. 

Productivity, retention rates and customer loyalty are vital to the success of your business and

the goodwill and engagement with your employees won’t only improve their working lives but will help you achieve this. Negativity breeds negativity and if we are serious about pushing the UK towards economic recovery, we need more business leaders that are innovative, accessible and empowering. 

People are different and today’s manager has to contend with the range of demands that having a diverse work force brings with it. Effectively this means you need to adapt your approach both to the individual and the situation you face.  Don’t make the mistake of assuming people will defer to your leadership style just because you are their manager.  Take the time to listen to their issues, offer them support and work together to achieve the team’s goals.  That way you will inspire trust and respect.  Anything less and you will struggle to retain the backing of your team. 

The negative perceptions people have of their bosses, combined with a downbeat portrayal of managers by the media is also something you have a responsibility to address.  After all, I’m sure you don’t want to be tarred with the same brush, so consider how your behaviour is influencing and affecting those around you.  Yes, good management is about demonstrating resilience to achieve goals, but it is also about using appropriate levels of influence and persuasion.  You never know, the people you work with now may also be people whose paths your cross in the future and the need to develop effective personal networks is something that you should not ignore.


Top tips 

  • Know yourself and which management style you feel most comfortable with
  • Think about how your team see you and how they react when you ask them to do something
  • Recognise the different behavioural styles of your team
  • Consider the context in which you work
  • Identify areas for adjustment or development
  • Build good channels of communication
  • Work hard to empower your team.

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