Supervising people in an office is not cut and dried. There are multiple ways to manage individuals. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages, and they can also be combined. In addition, people like to interchange between these styles to adapt to the nuances in behavior and according to results. The six major ways of management are autocratic, consultative, persuasive, democratic, laissez-faire, and management by walking around (MBWA).
This management style reflects a leader who does not take much input from subordinates when making decisions. According to Grace College, “This unilateral format can be perceived as a good management technique if the right decisions are made, and it can lead to faster decision-making, because only one person’s preferences need to be considered. However, this style of management can drive away employees who are looking for more ownership of decisions, and more autonomy. In times of crisis where time is limited, use of autocratic management is permissible, but extended periods could lead to high turnover” (“6 Types of Management Styles”). Therefore, this way of management is best suited for emergencies and for revamping a project quickly.
In contrast, the consultative management style focuses on making decisions after asking the opinions of subordinates to form a comprehensive solution. As stated by Ascent Leadership Resources, “One of the popular reasons why consultative leadership makes for a suitable style is because, in situations where the appointed leader does not know the entire state of affairs, the leader can make the right decision with the help of opinions and views of the team.
Consultative leadership is especially helpful if the leader is not involved in day-to-day operations. This style allows for an informed decision in almost every situation; which also automatically makes it a choice most likely to succeed” (Pelt, Michael Van). This makes consultative perhaps the most beloved management style due to its coordination with the whole team.
In this style, decision-making is still entirely in the hands of the manager, but experts and other employees try to persuade the supervisor to go a certain direction. In turn, the leader will also make arguments for his or her final resolution. This process can be exhausting but works well in circumstances where employees feel comfortable about giving their ideas out (“What Is Persuasive Management?”).
This is a more free type of management where employees are allowed to be a part of the decision-making process. The majority of votes for a solution is the factor that makes a proposition move forward. According to Grace College, “The communications go from both the manager down to employees and from the employees up to the managers. This style works when complex decisions must be made that have a variety of outcomes. However, democracy does slow down decision-making and could be inefficient at times” (“6 Types of Management Styles”). Obviously, this style is more favored in western countries, and would not often fit into eastern ways of conducting business.
This is the most passive approach. Managers give subordinates the full right to make decisions on their own. Therefore, the leader is considered a mentor in this circumstance. This style is popular with startups and adventurous companies that are willing to experiment, but it can hamper or delay the process of coming up with solutions (Cherry, Kendra).
This way entails listening to employees and gathering information about their thoughts. Decisions are thus based on the ideas and grievances expressed by the staff. This style aims to please employees and to create informed solutions (“6 Types of Management Styles”).
Each way of managing staff has its pluses and minuses, and no style is perfect. The autocratic, consultative, persuasive, democratic, laissez-faire, and management by walking around (MBWA) method can be employed in different circumstances and for various types of people.
“6 Types of Management Styles | Grace College.” Grace College Online, 8 Dec. 2016, online.grace.edu/news/business/types-of-management-styles/.
Cherry, Kendra. “How Does Laissez-Faire Leadership Work?” Verywell Mind, Verywellmind, 11 Mar. 2019, www.verywellmind.com/what-is-laissez-faire-leadership-2795316.
Pelt, Michael Van. “Why Consultative Leadership Style Is Truly the Best and Beloved?” Ascent Leadership Resources, 12 Dec. 2017, www.ascentleadershipresources.com/why-beloved-consultative-leadership-style-is-truly-the-best/.
“What Is Persuasive Management?” Cpl Jobs, cpljobs.com/ie/cplinsights/career-development/what-is-persuasive-management/.