Management or leadership style is the way a manager functions and manages the work. Every manager will have to handle situation and will have to take decision for the work on hand. We can find different managers practicing different styles.
While a manager will have a default style of management, but they can adopt different styles of management under different situation.
There are 3 broad management styles as below:
Autocratic leaders will function with very high level of control over the team. They believe in taking decisions unilaterally on behalf of the team and the work. While autocratic style may seem to be negative, but then this style can be good if the leader is very capable and highly knowledgeable. This style can be an excellent way to handle very difficult situations, where the capable leader can take the best decision without wasting much time in consultation. While it can be good to take quick decisions, it also has the potential flipside to demoralise the team with a feeling of being neglected by the leader.
There are different flavours of autocratic management styles such as authoritative, persuasive and paternalistic styles.
Democratic leaders do function by taking the team together. The leader involves the entire team and considers various perspectives suggested by the team in decision making. While the leader involves the team in decision making, but continues to take full responsibility of the final outcomes. This style is great in creating an environment of trust and ownership among the entire team. But this style also has the disadvantage of taking lot of time in decision making.
There different flavours of democratic management styles such as participative, collaborative and consultative.
Laissez-faire style is a hands-off style of management. Here the leader gives full freedom to the team to manage and take decision. The leader does not interfere with the team. The leader delegates all decision making to the team by providing them enough authority.
This style works wonderfully well, if the team is highly skilled and capable. The leader uses this style to delegate and empower the team and creates new leaders in the process. This style will enable the team to take more ownership of their work; it also encourages more innovation and creativity in the team. The team becomes a self-organizing team.
But this style will fail miserably if the team members to whom power is delegated are not capable and responsible. It may lead to loss of productivity in absence of clear direction from the leader. The team may also feel directionless sometime.
Some of the different flavours of laissez-faire management include Delegative, Self-managed or Boss-less style.
A manager will primarily be adopting one of the default styles as per his/her individual personality and nature. But a great manager can develop the ability to adopt a suitable style of management under different situation and handle them in the best possible ways.
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