The modern development of management has resulted in the emergence of a great number of leadership styles for particular types of companies under various conditions. Their elements can be combined or used individually. The concept of a perfect management style today has gone from traditional hierarchical models with clear top-down control to a multi-level, open structure approach.
Becoming a good manager
Given the huge amount of information we have to process each day (and the amount is increasing on a daily basis), a really good manager should establish a process of collecting, analyzing, and responding to this information.
Before choosing the best option for you, it will be useful to familiarize yourself with several types of leadership styles to select the best one for your organization and yourself.
The information presented here about the types of management and leadership styles will help you to form a strong Dubai team that can solve various challenges. And the additional info can be obtained on our course on management & leadership.
What is the difference between a good manager and an average one?
First of all, a really good manager knows that the key to success is not merely a management system or a theory, but praxis and people. We are not computers and do not work based merely on logic. Sometimes some of the rules can (and should) be broken, and sometimes managers should be flexible.
In some cases (such as a crisis state), the manager should change his or her approach to managing the team. The key to success is to be flexible and select the right strategy which matches your goals.
The main questions for a good manager are how to work most effectively, how to reach the best results in terms of performance and profit, and how to make and keep a solid team.
A solid team is the basis of any organization
Knowledge and experience are very valuable resources for any manager. Before implementing a particular type of leadership, it will be useful to experiment with a department or a certain group and to see how the chosen solution works in a separate sample group.
It is also crucial to identify factors that are not directly related to the chosen model, but which still affect the work of the team – for example, possible conflicts in the team that are not related to the organizational aspects and are case-specific.
Therefore, it is very important to learn how to correctly interpret the information received and draw the correct conclusions from it.
Choosing a leadership/management style
First of all, you should have a clear understanding of all the available management styles, including democratic style, conflict management style, etc., to choose the one best suited for your personal strengths.
Regardless, knowing the essentials of these types, you can develop your style, one that fits your particular company and its goals, by combining some of the techniques from different leadership types.
A known expert in leadership study, Daniel Goleman, proposed the classification of leadership into six main leadership styles. Of course, nowadays there are many different classification models, but this one is the most widely used and is considered the classic system.
Remember that one size does not fit all, so you are not obliged to use any one particular model. Moreover, you will get the best results by being flexible in choosing your own management strategy.
Wise leaders are always ready to learn something new by selecting and applying various business and management methods.
So here are Goleman’s six basic leadership styles.
1) Autocratic Commanding Style
So, let's start with the (historically) oldest management style – commanding. Like any other leadership style, this one has its advantages and disadvantages. We should note that it is well suited for complex, even extreme situations, in which the most important task is the exact execution of orders. In general, however, such an approach severely restricts the creative approach of individuals, and therefore in its purest form, it is probably not worth using.
Probably the best way to describe this leadership style is through the words of the stereotypical autocrat: “Do as I say.” This means that the leader takes control of (and responsibility for) everything that happens in the company.
How to apply
As has already been mentioned, this style is good in complex situations and under extreme conditions. Police offices, fire stations, and military bases are the best examples of organizations that may effectively utilize this method. Each order should be executed instantly, without hesitation. This type may also be suitable if your team does not have ANY experience and is only in the initial stages of its development.
If you face a situation when the commanding style is required (a crisis, for example), you could use the so-called path-goal method:
First, describe in detail the exact and immediate goals of your organization to your team.
Second, ensure everybody understands how to execute instructions, knows his/her role, knows how to overcome any problem and has sufficient resources for doing so.
This method can work wonders, but only in particular situations and under certain circumstances.
Let us consider an example situation:
Say we have a manufacturing plant with a conveyor belt. New workers should be supervised and are to carry out all instructions carefully without any creativity to get some initial experience and not harm anyone. As time passes, these beginners will gain some skills and experience, and when this happens, they can have more freedom in their actions, and the commanding model can be replaced by a more democratic one.
When to apply
We admit that this type of management is uncomfortable in most cases, and is the absolute opposite of the democratic management style, but there are situations when it is the only possible way to avoid trouble.
In some cases following instructions exactly is a question of life and death, like these:
- Military operations;
- Rescue operations;
- Manufacturing with systematic operations;
- Laboratory experiments with hazardous substances;
- Emergency situations;
2) Affiliative Style
Speaking about this leadership style, we should mention, that the affiliative manager tends to develop harmonious relationships with his or her team, promote intercommunication, solve any possible conflicts, aggrandize the good work done and maintain a healthy environment.
The trusting relationship between the leader and the team is at the heart of this model.
How to apply
What is this type of management good for? It works well in the initial stages of the UAE team building if its members have some experience and there are no risks involved for people in the company (if there are risks involved, an authoritarian style may be better suited).
It’s also a good decision to use affiliative management after large team failures to reestablish the normal work of the team and eliminate the aftereffects of clashes, as they cause significant harm to productivity – a person who is concentrated on his or her own problem often forgets about the work.
With this management model, each member of the team must deal with his/her own conflicts and contradictions arising at various stages of the company's development.
When reorganizing your department, watch closely for which conditions help each team member to work in the best way. A good manager should closely monitor the work of each team member and encourage positive results, productivity, and growth in every possible way.
All people are different. Some of them like to work within a convenient framework which they have created themselves, based on previous experience; others look for new opportunities in changes and transitions. It is very important to respond correctly to everyone's expectations and manage accordingly.
It's not an easy task to create a solid team so that individuals can get along with each other for a long time, even years. A good affiliative leader balances the interests of the individuals in the group, thereby preventing possible conflicts. This is the goal of the affiliative manager – to maintain a healthy atmosphere in the team.
When to apply
The main drawback of this style of management is that mistakes in the work of each individual team member in Dubai may go unnoticed, which means they are not properly analyzed, and as a result can be repeated. It is commonly believed that the affiliative management model is opposite to the authoritarian style.
Using this style, incredible patience and determination are required to establish effective work within the company and to eliminate the consequences of conflicts, or even prevent conflicts in the first place.
It is important to note that this management model, just like the previous one, is only suitable for certain situations. It should not be used on a permanent basis in its purest form.
3) Coaching Style
Managers/leaders can in some sense be considered coaches of their organizations – they lead their teams to victory.
If a coaching style manager were asked to describe his/her management type, the explanation would be something like this: a good manager balances between the affiliative style and commanding style. The decision is made by the manager him/herself, but considering the opinions of the group members.
On the one hand, such a manager encourages the good work of each individual member (affiliative style), but on the other hand, everyone knows their role (as in the commanding style).
How to apply
The best situation for using this method is with a team of people with experience and skills in their fields. For example, after several years of work a production unit manager work already understands the core principles of the work and does not need to be fully controlled by the higher manager. This production manager can also efficiently manage his/her own team.
After the team passes through the early stages of development and its members gain experience, the manager can move, for example, from the affiliative model to the coaching model.
As soon as the team starts to work together and goes through the first stages of development, this model becomes the best choice. A good manager can extract the maximum profit from the coaching model.
When to apply
This is a kind of hybrid soft-rigorous model. It is badly suited for extreme or harsh situations, but is an ideal flexible approach for the well-established team.
Employees who have already demonstrated their competence and authority among their colleagues are the people who will appreciate a coaching style from their manager.
4) Democratic Style
With the use of this model of leadership style, members of the team have almost unlimited freedom of action, and decisions are usually made collectively, which allows for excellent results if the team members are talented and professional.
How to apply
If every voice is heard, managers can be sure that they receive the full scope of information and feedback.
The democratic management style is the best option in a situation where the opinions of all team members are important. The best example of such a case is a start-up which is being developed by several experts in the field. In this case, weighted decision-making is vitally important.
Managers of companies that produce high-tech products, like Apple for example, cannot afford to ignore the opinion of their specialists (such as leading engineers), as this can lead to the collapse of the entire organization.
When to apply
This type of management is perfect if there is enough time and opportunity to hold regular meetings, arrange brainstorm sessions, and have debates within the team.
As a rule, the democratic leadership style is not suitable for critical or extreme situations, but in some cases, democratic decision-making can be just what is needed.
Another good example of the application of this style is a council of doctors – a collegial solution is literally a matter of life or death.
5) Pacesetting Style
The maximum possible use of the team's potential is the core of this style. Members of a team should be properly motivated. As a rule, the manager him/herself shows great results and demands the same from the whole team. The manager sets high standards both for short-term and long-term goals.
How to apply
A manager should pay attention to both encouraging employees and restraining excessive zeal in this style of management. Since the main focus is stable results over a long period, a team member should be kept from overworking and “burning out.” A pacesetting manager cannot allow burnout. The coordinated work of the whole UAE team is a priority.
Numerous indicators are used to estimate the results of the team’s work, and those who showed good efficiency should be rewarded.
With this approach, if the manager has established a reasonable standard of work for team members, the results will be predictable and the required goals will be achieved.
When to apply
This method is best suited for use in those organizations that are engaged, for example, in retail sales, or for service centers. However, it is very important to find a balance – to establish an achievable standard, and at the same time to squeeze out the best possible results that a team can give. Competition must be encouraged, but excessive zeal and obsession with immediate results should be deterred.
6) Visionary Style
Sometimes there are situations when there is no possibility of applying a democratic management style, but it is necessary for the team to achieve maximum results. In such cases, as a rule, managers use the visionary management style.
In this case, a manager/leader must show the team that impossible things are possible. The team should be prepared to take on certain risks and aim for results.
How to apply
With this model, a leader must be very strong and confident and support the team's cohesive work.
Proper use of this leadership model & technique enables the team to achieve better results. However, the views of individual team members should not be neglected. Like in the democratic style, it is important to let each person understand his/her role within the larger functioning mechanism of the company and that it is a valuable one.
Sometimes this management type even creates a cult of personality around the manager, so be careful not to allow this to happen..
When to apply
A truly good manager/visionary knows when team members must be inspired and empowered. Trusting the team is also crucial for this model.
The manager may even identify and promote other leaders in the group (even if they use other management styles). The results obtained can be maintained for a very long time – good dynamics and good results.
So, what to choose?
First, you should understand that there is no win-win solution for a manager when he selects just one certain type.
Consider the six main styles, identify their benefits and drawbacks, and analyze your particular situation, your goals and your team.
You can use a mixture of techniques from multiple methods, or apply one style for a short time based on your particular situation.
And remember, a good manager knows what is needed to maintain balance. What is your best personal management style? The answer is up to you.