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What type of management style do you have?

Cape Cod SCORE

Question: I own and operate a small business. Do I need to be concerned with my style of management?

Answer: The simple answer is yes. As a manager you have the ability to impact the life of your enterprise as well as the role each member of your team plays in the workplace. The impact you make is lifelong. Many of us can remember our best manager and our worst one. As a manager, your role is not only to ensure that your enterprise generates a profit making it sustainable, but also to forge a culture that creates employees who grow, thrive and are key contributors to your future.

There are basically five management styles — participative management, network management, mentor management, pace-setting management and authoritative management. (Officevibe)

Participative management:

This style is just as advertised. The manager includes the managed in the entire process of decision-making. They use this style to accumulate different ideas, approaches and attitudes relative to issues facing the business. This approach enables the manager to focus his/her initiatives and therefore workloads. With inclusivity comes creativity and innovation on the part of the employees. This approach works well when the employee base understands the business and its objectives. Instead of being a top-down approach, it empowers employees to act in the benefit of the organization without being given specific directives. When this occurs, more people become accountable for the actions of the whole. Employees become the ambassadors of the organization’s brand.

Network management: Just as we work to build bridges between one another when networking at a chamber of commerce function, this approach to management encourages individuals in leadership roles to build communication bridges among and between individuals and teams to build trust. This is a hands-off approach since it encourages employees and team members to work together to resolve issues before bringing them to management’s attention. So what is the role of a network manager? To build and maintain the bridges to work together. When an organization has multiple teams, this is a great way to keep everyone’s eye on the ball — the organization’s objectives. When this approach is applied, according to Officevibe, cohesion, communication, collaboration and the construction of solid relationships is the outcome.

Mentor management:

Shifting from hands-on to hands-off and back again is a hallmark of this approach to management. It allows the manager to guide and counsel then let employees do their own thing, then “reel them back in” and then out again. You are the coach working on maintaining strengths and building skills to address weaknesses. The goal is to make your employees self-sufficient by guiding them, testing them, making them accountable for their action steps and the reviewing and evaluating how they are progressing. It is best used when you are trying to build the skill base of your employee teams so you can effectively pass the

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torch at some future time. This approach also works well with underperforming employees who have a desire to improve. If you want to be viewed as a contemporary learning manager using this style will rest well with your employees because they expect to be coached, not controlled.

Pace-setting management: This style is most seen where the pace of work is key to success of the work. It is hands-on regarding the schedule, but hands-off on how the work is to be undertaken.

It requires management to set very specific goals, timelines and expected outcomes. Pace-setting is not popular among management styles unless you have employees who thrive on a challenging and competitive environment.

If you have a team that is not living up to its potential, then this style might be just right. It encourages stretching capabilities to achieve the stated goals.

If the team is self-motivated, then setting the terms of the work might be all that is needed.

Having a competitive environment is not altogether bad if it ignites team engagement and enthusiasm for the organization's goals and objectives.

Authoritative management: This old-school approach to management is also, according to OfficeVibe, termed micromanagement. It is the antithesis of almost all of the other styles since it requires the manager to sit atop employees — top-down management. It is not in alignment with most views of a 21st-century approach to managing people. It has a time and place, as do some of the less interactive, proactive approaches. The time for use is mostly in times of crisis, where directive management is needed to stay focused. Authoritative management shifts the pressure of accomplishing the goals to the manager and away from the employee, which is good during a time of distress.

This approach needs a strong foundation of trust between management and employees. It also can be applied in short-term situations when strong top-down management of the work is needed.

How do you know? Do an assessment of your employees and what their needs, wants and desires are in management style. On a one-by-one basis, what management style will they respond to most effectively?

As a manager you may have to master several approaches, if not all of these styles, depending on the size of your organization, the number of employees and the number of teams you are responsible to manage.

Contributed by Marc L. Goldberg, certified mentor. Sourced from Officevibe, officevibe.com. For free And confidential mentoring on building your team through sound management techniques, contact SCORE Cape Cod & the Islands at capecod.score.org, capecodscore@verizon.net or 508-775-4884. We go where you are!

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