Understanding Which Management Style is Best for You
How do you like to be managed? A question that is often asked in job interviews. Could you answer it if put on the spot?
Having a Manager that doesn’t suit your way of working can affect your career and self-confidence. As the Internal Recruiter for ASC, I regularly have conversations with people who aren’t happy with the way they are being managed. Understanding how they like to be managed in the first place may have prevented this from happening.
It not only supports you to answer this question in an interview, it ensures you are working under a Manager that gives you what you need to develop.
In this article you will learn:
Signs of a good Manager
The consequences of being incorrectly managed
To answer ‘How do you like to be managed?’
Signs of a Good Manager
Not all Managers are bad. You may not like your Manager but others might. This is because different management styles suit different ways of working.
Let’s start by looking at key traits all Managers should have, regardless of management style.
This could be anything from letting you know you’re on track to focusing on the small wins to get to the bigger picture
Feeling that your Manager trusts you is a good sign. After all, what do you have without trust? There are varying degrees of this but ultimately, if you don’t feel trusted, how can you perform well?
A simple thank you can go a long way. The level of appreciation is subjective from person to person. Therefore it’s important to think, do you feel appreciated or undervalued?
No Blame Game
Even Managers do things wrong sometimes. A good Manager will admit this and not pass the blame onto others.
They are Approachable
What you think is approachable another person may not. What’s important here is, are you able to approach your Manager with personal issues, work-related problems and your ideas?
They Don’t Show Signs of Stress
Any Manager could be under pressure to perform. Good Managers, no matter how they manage will not pass this stress onto their team. They will remain calm. After all, if they are passing the stress onto you, you get stressed and then work isn’t as focused or productive.
No Office Gossip
We all fall into this trap at some point, in reality, it’s human nature. Nevertheless, a Manager talking to their team about other members of the team or company is a bad sign. To put it another way, if they talk about others to you, what are they saying about you to others?
All of the above is subjective to you. Above all, it’s important to remember, how does your Manager make you feel? If you feel untrusted, low or lack confidence in your ability to do the job, it’s time to look at finding a Manager that suits you.
The Effects of Bad Management
If you continue to work with a manager that doesn’t suit your style of working it can have damaging effects. Your career and personal life could suffer.
Working for the wrong manager can drain you physically and emotionally. You could lose confidence in your ability to do the job causing your productivity levels to drop. This then leads to more pressure and stress on you.
It has been proven that stress can lead to physical issues such as fatigue, headaches, lack of sleep and muscle-related problems. When you are stressed you can also become withdrawn and you may have more time off sick. You then bring your work home and this can affect your personal relationships.
This is why it is so important to understand what type of manager is best suited to you. You need to find someone who works with your strengths to help you be the best version of you!
This section focuses on types of Managers and what type of people they suit. In the hope that it will support you to understand which management style you should look for in a Manager.
Also known as visionary leaders, these types of Managers are seen as inspirational. They have big ideas and a clear vision for the future. In as much as they focus on the end game and inspire everyone to do the same. Furthermore, as a Manager, they will push you out of your comfort zone and constantly challenge you but in a positive way by leading by example.
In other words, they don’t adopt a hierarchical position but see everyone as equal. Everyone has strengths to help meet the end goal.
It’s a well known and well-liked style across the world. At the same time, this style does not suit everyone. It works really well if you need little supervision. This is because these types of Managers are so focused on the end goal, they lack the ability to look at the small actions to support it. Therefore, if you want to work in an environment with a Manager who provides inspiration and knows you can do a good job but leaves you to it, this is the style for you. On the other hand, if you need more support and guidance, it may be better to look for a Manager that adopts a different style.
Inspires, engages, challenges and develops employees.
Unlike the transformational Manager who aims to inspire through vision, a Laissez-faire style, delegates tasks, provides you with resources and puts all their trust in you to get the job done. They are very hands-off Managers, leaving you to make decisions.
It works well with employees and teams who are highly skilled, only checking in with the leader to update when required. It is used a lot in the creative industry for projects such as product launches.
However, similarly to transformational if you need more support and guidance, this may not be for you. In contrast, if you are able to develop your own schedule and you’re happy to work under no supervision, this is definitely for you.
Resourceful, offer support when required and have a relaxed approach.
One of the oldest and most common ways of managing. It is very compliance led, meaning, there are clear rules, structure, and process to follow. Your Manager adopts a hierarchical position and you get rewards for following rules and punished for not.
Although this sounds very black and white, it works well in a lot of businesses. It can motivate employees as they know where they stand and what they need to do to do a good job. Therefore, if you’re the sort of person who works well under clear rules and structure, this is a good style for you.
On the contrary, if you prefer more autonomy or enjoy coming up with ideas/solutions to make things better (i.e. a process), you may find this management style too restrictive. That is not to say it is a bad management style or you won’t receive any support from your Manager but you need to understand how you like to work to know if it is good for you.
Provides supervision and direction, a structured working environment and rewards good behaviour and performance.
So, How Do You Like To Be Managed?
Now you have an overview of the signs of a good Manager and various management styles, it’s time to understand what suits you.
Firstly, think of all the Managers you’ve worked with. Which ones have stood out (for the right or wrong reasons)? List the traits they have. For the ones you enjoyed working with, do any of their traits match any of the styles above?
Secondly, work through the list of questions below and see if there is a theme that emerges.
Do you prefer to be left to get on with your work or do you require a more structured approach?
How often do you like to be praised?
How often would you like to have check-in meetings with your Manager?
Do you need support/guidance on a daily/weekly/monthly or ad-hoc basis?
Do you need to know why you’re doing a task?
Is being part of decision making important to you?
Is regular face to face contact needed?
Are you someone who likes to come up with ideas and solutions to problems?
Once you have a clear picture of what you like and what you need, you can then look at if the way you are currently managed is right for you. Remember, you may need a Manager that is a mix of two styles, there is no right or wrong, it’s finding the right way of working to get the best from you.
Hopefully, you can now answer, how do you like to be managed? And, if it’s time to move to a job with a Manager that brings out your best side, have a chat with us and let’s see if we can make it happen.
Marie is the Internal Recruiter for ASC Connections. She finds talented individuals to join the ASC family. She really enjoys her role to help the business grow by bringing in talented people and supporting people prosper in their career.