Four Ways to Find Your Management Style (Part 1)

Sean Dowling, Vice President
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There are a variety of characteristics to consider when deciding which management style works best for you. The type of business you manage, the volume of work that needs to be completed, your personality and attitude, and the personalities and attitudes of your staff all make a difference. Determining your main management style significantly impacts how you and your team operate. Choose among these four ways to find your management style.

Study Management Styles

Find your management style by studying a variety of approaches. For instance, an autocratic style has a strong, centralized control with one source of authority. Team members are expected to follow orders. Employees typically are motivated through rewards and penalties. A persuasive management style involves strong, centralized control for making decisions. Employee input and questions are encouraged. After making decisions, managers share the reasoning behind them. A consultative management style involves asking team members their opinions and input before finalizing arrangements. Employees are involved in big-picture company activities. A participative management style spreads authority and power throughout the company. Problems and issues are presented for discussion. Employees at all levels work to reach decisions.

Define What You Think Is Good Management

Another way to find your management style is by determining what you believe makes up great management. For instance, teaching employees through constructive feedback and personal development opportunities may be important. Consistently coaching, following employee development, and upgrading their skills may be valuable. Connecting teammates to encourage career growth could be a top priority. Supporting and being available to staff while encouraging independent work may be your key to employee growth and development.

Find Stories That Demonstrate Your Management Style

Using your definition of what makes a great manager, come up with experiences that show how you handled situations and problems as a manager. Your stories may demonstrate showing appreciation for company culture, a positive attitude, or the ability to prioritize. They may show empathy, honesty, or accountability. Your stories could involve flexibility, decision making, or adaptability. Be sure you focus on how you got your team to attain desired results.

Use the DISC Method

A fourth way to find your management style is by using the DISC behavioral assessment. This involves the four primary behavioral drives: dominance, influence, conscientiousness, and steadiness. Dominant managers speak boldly and confidently. They’re competitive and have high expectations for themselves and their team. Influential managers combine emotion with work and focus on forming relationships with coworkers. They enjoy sharing ideas and coordinating projects with their team. Conscientious managers prioritize accuracy and detail. They work on being better each day. Steady managers consistently approach work. They are easygoing, composed, cooperative, and sensitive to employees’ feelings.

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