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Is Your Management Style Effective?

Looking back on your past, it is easy to remember the great managers and the managers who weren’t so great. Management styles are the characteristic ways of making decisions and relating to subordinates. Every manager has their own style, and sometimes it can be a combination of more than one style.

Management style is not about the good and the bad or the right and the wrong, the style that’s best depends on the task, the people, and the situation being managed.


Also called Coercive, the Directive Management Style has the primary objective of immediate compliance from employees.

  • “Do it the way I tell you”
  • Closely controls and guides employees
  • Threats and discipline are the motivators

Effective Situations:

  • There is a crisis
  • Deviations are risky

Ineffective Situations:

  • Underdeveloped employees- since little learning happens with this style
  • Highly-skilled employees- appears to them as micromanaging and will be frustrating


Also called Visionary, the Authoritative Management Style has a primary objective to provide long-term directions and visions for employees.

  • “Firm, but fair”
  • Gives to employees clear directions
  • Persuasion and task performance feedback are the motivators

Effective Situations:

  • Standards and clear directions are needed
  • A credible leader

Ineffective Situations:

  • Underdeveloped employees- the employees need guidance
  • The leader is not credible- if people don’t believe in your vision they won’t follow it.


This management style has the main objective of creating harmony between employees and between managers and employees

  • “People first, task second”
  • Avoids conflict while emphasizing good personal relationships among employees
  • The happiness of the employees is the main motivator

Effective Situations:

  • Used alongside other management styles
  • Routine tasks and adequate performance
  • Helping or counseling office conflicts
  • If there’s a managing conflict

Ineffective Situations:

  • Inadequate performance- this style doesn’t emphasize performance
  • Crisis situations needing clear direction


Also called Democratic, the Participative Management Style has the primary objective of building commitment and consensus between employees.

  • “Everyone has their input”
  • Employees are encouraged to add their input in decision making
  • Rewards to team’s effort is the main motivator

Effective Situations:

  • Employees work together
  • Employees have experience and credibility
  • There’s a steady working environment

Ineffective Situations:

  • Employees must be coordinated
  • There is a crisis and no time for meetings
  • Close supervision required from a lack of competency


The Pacesetting Management Style has the primary objective of completing tasks to a high standard of excellence.

  • “Do it myself”
  • Performs tasks personally and expects the employees to follow his/her example
  • High-set standards and an expectation of employees self-directing are the main motivators

Effective Situations:

  • Employees are highly competent and motivated
  • Little coordination or direction needed
  • Managing experts

Ineffective Situations:

  • When the workload requires outside assistance
  • When development, coaching, and coordination is still required


The Coaching Management Style has the primary objective of developing, long-term employees.

  • “Developmental”
  • Encourages and helps employees to develop their strengths and improve individual performance
  • Main motivator is providing opportunities for professional development

Effective Situations:

  • Skills are not fully-developed
  • Employees are already motivated and want to develop professionally

Ineffective Situations:

  • The manager or leader lacks expertise
  • When performance discrepancy is too great
  • In a crisis

What managing styles do you use most often? Which ones do you think are entirely ineffective? Let us know!

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About the Author:

Sophia Tinsley is XTech Staffing’s Marketing Specialist and writes career-advice related articles and content for the website. She also manages XTech’s social media platforms. Sophia recently graduated from Texas State University where she earned her BBA with a major in Marketing. She is the crazy cat lady of the office and the embodiment of Michael Scott – she always has wacky ideas. Sophia also writes for her personal fashion blog and creates movie trailers as hobbies. She thinks she’s unique, but likes all things “basic” (i.e. Starbucks). And if you’re a Game of Thrones fan, then you and Sophia will get along swimmingly.
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