THURSDAY THOUGHTS! – Do you know your management style?

If you’ve been in work for even a nanosecond, you will have noticed that there are various styles that different managers display, sometimes depending upon the situation.  Sometimes, individuals have a strong preference for one particular style, and it is when the context or the circumstance dictates that an alternative style is called for, that you being to see whether you have a strong or a weak manager in your midsts!

There are 6 commonly recognised management styles. They are: 


This is a rather coercive style which seeks instant compliance and appears quite bossy.  You will notice it from a style and tone of voice which dictates “do as I say or beware” and you hear it from those who are high on the control spectrum.  They seem to think folk are motivated by orders or even threats and their whole turn of conversation, features these sorts of overtones.

This is REALLY EFFECTIVE in time of crisis or when its very risky not to follow orders, so it definitely has its place. Unfortunately, its REALLY INEFFECTIVE when the workforce is skilled or used to acting on their own initiative, as they soon become resentful and very frustrated with what they see, as micromanagement.



This is a visionary style and usually provides more of a long-term direction for the workforce. It’s characterised by being firm but fair and provides motivation through clear standards, credibility and integrity.  These managers earn respect and apply fairness at every point.  They are highly knowledgeable and often have specialist authority in any workplace.

This is REALLY INEFFECTIVE when staff need development, or the vision is vague as people won’t follow it if they don’t believe in it, no matter how much the manager knows about it.


This manager primarily creates harmony in the workplace, horizontally and vertically.  They are very people oriented and always put people before task.  They have a tendency to avoid conflict but are excellent motivational managers and they can often pick a project up off its knees when its stalled.  This style is HIGHLY EFFECTIVE when combined with other styles and is the one most often matched with others.  They are born counsellors or mediators. LESS EFFECTIVE in times of crisis or when performance needs tackling.

PARTICIPATIVE participative

The Democrat builds commitment and consensus with the workforce.  They are the manager that most seeks out and uses diversity in the team and always values everyone’s voice and input. They are very good indeed at motivating by rewarding individual and team efforts.  They are great team builders and VERY EFFECTIVE in steady work environments. If close supervision is required, or a crisis appears, these make for pretty poor leaders in these circumstances.

Screenshot 2013-11-14 17.14.57PACE SETTERS

Got to love these ones! They are profoundly driven, wanting to be first, fastest, highest, best achievers.  Exhausting usually! They very often resort to doing things themselves, in the vein hope that others will follow.  Highly motivated themselves, expects very high standards of everyone around them. Great when they are managing experts or highly competent teams who desire and require very little direction indeed.  HOPELESS when the goal or workload is dependent on the efforts of others who require direction, coercion, or explanation.


This manager loves long-term development of others. They  make it their mission in life! A very developmental manager, they help and encourage others to develop their strengths and weaknesses in order to reach personal potential.  Always seeking and providing developmental opportunities and recognises when others are motivated by improvement and recognition of all kinds.  They are less effective if the manager themselves are inexperienced and this type of manager grows from experience and self development.  They love translating their experience into the benefit of others.

Of course, you can now see how circumstances and/or context will best require different styles in any one manager.  The best managers can see what is required of any situation and adapt accordingly.  Sounds simple, but it takes years of practice to flip between styles and deliver it effectively.

Have you seen style-flipping or have you seen when others have struggled to suit the style to the situation?  How has these styles made you feel when you’ve been in particular team situations?  Please do let me know.


THURSDAY THOUGHTS! – Do you have three wishes?

threewisheslogoWhat is it that, if someone could grant you three wishes, you would wish to change in work tomorrow?  What are the issues which would make your professional life more enjoyable, productive or satisfying?

Would it surprise you to know that, without even knowing what they are, you are the author of making them happen?  There is absolutely no use worrying over things outside of your control, so act on those things that are within your control instead and I assure you that you will feel better about it.  Having  a good problem solving strategy in your pocket has been proven to underpin better health and enhanced self-esteem. So its win-win whichever way you look at it.

Coping mechanisms come in all shapes and sizes but roughly fall into three main groups:

  • Appraisal-focused strategies occur when the person modifies the way they think, for example: employing denial or distancing oneself from the problem. People may alter the way they think about a problem by altering their goals and values, such as by seeing the humour in a situation: some have suggested that humour may play a greater role as a stress moderator among women than men.  It’s a well known point that if you change the way you look at things, then the things you look at will change too;
  • People using problem-focused strategies try to deal with the cause of their problem. They do this by finding out information on the problem and learning new skills to manage the problem. Problem-focused coping is aimed at changing or eliminating the source of the stress. They ask loads of questions in any conversation to try and extract as much detail as they can.  They are born investigators and the very best problem-focussed folk follow a recognisable pattern of:
  1. define the problem
  2. gather relevant information
  3. identify possible causes
  4. identify possible solution
  5. test possible solution
  6. would out solution
  7. make a decision
  8. monitor results
  • Emotion-focused strategies involve releasing pent-up emotions, distracting oneself, managing hostile feelings, meditating or using systematic relaxation procedures. Emotion-focused coping is oriented toward managing the emotions that accompany the perception of stress.  For those choosing these kinds of strategy, a good grasp of emotional intelligence is required. You will  need to know and understand the 5 elements of EI:
  1. self awareness – understand yourself, your strengths and weaknesses and how you appear to others
  2. self regulation – master the ability to control yourself and think before you act
  3. motivation – know what your drive to succeed is grounded in
  4. empathy – master understanding other peoples’ viewpoints, whether or not you agree with them, appreciate where they are coming from and understand how they reach their conclusions
  5. social skills – develop your interpersonal and communication skills towards others.

Typically, people use a mixture of all three types of coping strategies, and coping skills will usually change over time. All these methods can prove useful, but some claim that those using problem-focused coping strategies will adjust better to the challenges they will inevitably face over time, particularly when promoted and issues become more complex and often multi-faceted.  Problem-focused coping mechanisms may allow an individual greater perceived control over their problem, whereas emotion-focused coping may sometimes lead to a reduction in perceived control.

It’s useful to master them all in due course.  A great coach can help of course 🙂

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