Several different styles of management exist, and each individual manager has a different relationship with each of their subordinates. Autocratic managers take charge of the decision making and simply pass on these verdicts to their employees. Permissive managers work alongside their team members and include them in conversations regarding the making of important decisions. Regardless of the style in which you manage your employees, a good manager is one that fosters an environment in which the entire team can succeed. A good manager also sees their employees as individual, and adapts their management style to suit the needs of whomever they are working with – not to ‘win them over’ per se, but to enable goal achievement through relating to their employees in the most suitable, fruitful way.
Effective management also doesn’t hinder progress, hamper creativity, nor does it limit the flow of ideas. Perhaps those with a more traditional view of management would disagree, but managing is much more than letting your team know what you want. You must play a role in their facilitation of the goal. When managing a team, you must understand the importance of achieving cohesive results, and ensuring that each member is performing to their utmost capabilities. It is your role as a manager to not only manage, but to manage effectively – and effective management produces results.
Whether managing a team of people, or individuals scattered across the globe, every manager can benefit from adaptability. Keep reading to find out the factors involved in adapting your management style to suit your team:
- Assess their needs as a team
You are not going to be able to effectively adapt your management style to suit the needs of your team without consulting with them to identify what their needs in fact are. And so, it is imperative you ask, “What do they need?” More specifically, “What do they need from me?”
For the team to function to the best of its ability they undoubtedly require some analysis of their core goals, and guidance in reference to achieving them.
Your role as a leader, is to give your team direction. You can only do this by establishing what it is they lack, what it is they possess, and what it is they both want and need to accomplish collectively. It is not within your right as a manager, to decide the best course of action for managing your team without consulting them first. If this concept is alien to you, you may want to reflect on how your potentially dictatorial style of management may mean you are privy to controlling, manipulating and coaxing your team away from their strengths and instincts, and by doing so paving the way to lack of team cohesion and poor goal achievement.
Thus, you must help your team by identifying the way in which your team works best, whether it be collaboratively, with hands on leadership, with more time left to their own devices etc. Allow your management style to ebb and flow with the direction your team is pulling (given you have identified it is indeed pulling towards achievement of the goal).
Once you’ve addressed and familiarized yourself with what it is your team wants to achieve, it is your job to ensure your management style isn’t encroaching on their ability to achieve it.
- Assess their needs as individuals
Every individual on your team is unique in their own way, and they all bring something different to the table. The needs of a team member may differ depending on whether they are working collectively or alone. It is your job to ensure that you are managing your employees in a way that you are catering to this distinction.
Training, development, and management of your employees should rarely follow a rigid, generalized approach – especially if you want your management to be effective, and produce the results you desire. As an alternative, it is important that you put time into understanding what members of your team require from you on a more personal level, whether it be more workplace flexibility, or increased creative control. That way you can ensure you are providing the right kind of guidance and leadership towards the right people. With this approach, you can expect to save time, money and valuable resources, as well as boosting your employee morale.
A more tailored, adaptable approach to leading your employees will leave them feeling empowered, and more likely to take on board your criticisms and praises. With less wasted time on your part, you are left feeling satisfied with the work that is being done, and more in control of your staff.
- Look introspectively
A question that is imperative to your success in adapting your management style, is whether you are truly prepared to adapt your style to suit the needs of your team, and in turn become a more effective leader.
A crucial quality of a good manager is someone who’s knowledge extends far past merely the professional. They have introspective knowledge, true self-awareness. They are constantly scrutinizing and examining their own personal strengths and weaknesses, and are open to criticism from those around them, regardless of whether they possess seniority.
It’s important that you also look inwardly to the needs of your business, and analyze whether change is required in the way you are managing to ensure more effectual functioning. Furthermore, you need to identify whether the changes being made are required short term, long term or permanently. You may also want to enlist the help of colleagues and friends, inside and outside of your company, whom you can solicit for support regarding the changes you are making both for yourself, as well as your business.
If you are serious about adapting your management style to suit the needs of your team, you must be just as serious about looking inward to asses where the changes need to begin.
- Prepare for trial and error
Keeping all the factors above in mind, you may still find yourself falling short when it comes to effective management. Despite you making changes, consulting with your team, employees, department heads etc. you may still find yourself with less than satisfied employees and poor goal accomplishment.
Prepare yourself for your management style adaptation to be a continual process, that is constantly in need of review and tweaks. The beauty of an adaptable management style is that it makes these revisions easy. As long as you are working towards a more fluid style of leadership, you can rest assured you are taking a step in the right direction when it comes to managing your team in a way that best suits them.