Different managerial styles
The process of becoming an effective manager starts with learning the right managerial style. Some of the managerial styles are people-oriented, while others are project or product-oriented. The chosen style depends on the skills, knowledge, and resources as well as desired results that are available to the manager. There are three effective managerial styles: participatory, directing, and teamwork.
Participatory style is about allowing each employee to complete the entire task. If it is not possible, the manager should ensure that an employee knows and understands his part of a task. When people are working in a team, the role of the participative leader is to help each team member to see the picture of the whole project and motivate them to perform better (Kippenberger, 2002). A participative leader takes time to explain the details and roles of all employees. The manager should be able to give employees a sense of value and encourage them to contribute to the project completion. A participative manager can coordinate the contribution of the group and each member. Moreover, the manager strives to minimize possible difficulties faced by employees. Participative manager rewards the results as well as motivation. In simple words, the participative style requires the involvement of the manager in the process.
Directing style of management is more effective when there are many employees and there is a need for a top-down managerial approach. The manager is expected to give answers to the questions of what, how, why, when, and where. Directing leader is expected to tell employees what they need to do, how they need to carry out the task, and when they should complete the project (Kippenberger, 2002). The directing style is referred to as impersonal because the main responsibility of the reader is assigning roles and responsibilities providing advice and direction on how to carry out the tasks. Directing managers are more effective in setting expectations and standards. Communication strategy is detail-oriented and unambiguous. Directing leaders tend to set very clear goals and are prone to make quick decisions. Regarding rewards, employees are evaluated only for the final result.
The teamwork style of management refers to the effective leading of a team. The primary role of a teamwork leader is to optimize the process of project accomplishment. Teamwork managers should motivate people to apply their knowledge and develop their work-related potential (Kippenberger 2002). The success of teamwork depends on the proper coordination of efforts among the team members through effective communication. The manager is responsible for preparing clear and concise reports. The most important aspect of teamwork managerial style is the willingness of a manager to reward the team for high performance and to teach how to achieve positive results if the team is not successful.
A good manager, a leader should be proactive and reactive at the same time. He should analyze the situation three steps ahead and work as a master of his environment. Effective leader prevents problems before they appear. The manager should be flexible and adaptive, he should be able to adapt to the changing environment. The manager should be a good communicator and be willing to listen to others. A good manager asks many questions and leads his employees to the right decision. Great leaders should be respectful of others and confident in their abilities (Whetten & Cameron, 2006). Effective leaders remain enthusiastic and optimistic, they are self-motivated and are devoted to helping employees to uncover their potential.
Open-mindedness is one of the important leadership characteristics. A strong leader takes into account all options before making a decision. Managers utilize available resources for the greater benefit of all. It does not mean that a good leader has answers to all questions. Great managers strive to find answers to these questions using the resources they have. Effective leaders should recognize the efforts of their employees and reward their performance. The manager should be knowledgeable and educated. Without an in-depth understanding of theoretical information, the leader will not be able to lead people effectively in a real-life workplace setting.
An effective manager should be open to change and consider all points of view. He should be willing to assume risk and responsibility for his actions. For example, if the leader thinks that changing a policy may bring positive results, he should devote all of his efforts to it. A good leader is open to ask questions and is interested in the feedback he receives. Moreover, great managers should continuously evaluate events and programs essential for the overall progress of the company (Whetten & Cameron, 2006). Good leaders evaluate and change programs, and they are willing to contribute to the company’s growth. They continuously think about alternatives and seek opportunities to motivate employees to perform better.
Finally, good managers are organized and consistent. Great leaders are always prepared for meetings and events. Moreover, they ensure that their employees and people around them are prepared as well. Managers are confident, respectful, and consistent in their actions and promises. A good leader is followed by people because he is willing to take into account the opinions of others and can lead them. The manager is a delegator, a person who understands that not all tasks can be accomplished by him. In addition, an effective leader knows how to organize the talents of people around him. The manager should be a motivator and initiator. He is the key person in planning and implementing new policies and ideas.
Without effective communication processes, the establishment of a motivating environment and organizing employees would be impossible. Every message delivered by the manager has to carry some purpose or objective. The manager, as a sender of a message, intends to accomplish something through the communication process. Workplace communication occurs with the objectives to inform, persuade, motivate, or teach (Guffey, 2007). The definite purpose is what makes business communication different from conversation. Every message delivered by the manager has to support the company’s mission and goals. Another objective of the communication process is to ensure understanding and high performance among the employees.
Workplace communication is formal and is carried out through formal channels (either horizontally or vertically, depending on the organizational structure). The efficient accomplishment of objectives cannot be achieved without a proper exchange of information. Information is passed from employees to managers and among the departments. Policies and instructions are passed from managers to employees. The manager is responsible for creating a message about plans and objectives as well as informs the upper manager about the problems in departments and provides recommendations on how to improve the overall performance in his/her department (Guffey, 2007). Formal communication can be internal (among employees and supervisors) and internal (among the company and its customers).
The communication process is about passing information from one person to another. The major difficulty in the communication process is related to a proper understanding of the intended message by a receiver. The communication process consists of the following elements (Guffey, 2007): sender, message, channel, receiver, distracters, and feedback. Managers are responsible for the continuous improvement of their communication skills and ensure that their messages are properly understood. Effective communication contributes to the increased profitability, reduced work-related stress, improved quality and customer satisfaction, and better morale and job satisfaction. Mediators who learn how to communicate effectively can reduce tensions in mediations sessions and ensure that the opinions of all people are heard. Effective communication helps sales managers to increase sales and customer satisfaction.
Different people perceive the same message differently. Therefore, the message sent by the manager should be as clear as possible. In addition, the manager should take into account the personality of the message receiver. For example, the workaholic person thinks first and tends to categorize things, responsible and organized. Thus, the messages should be very concise and to the point. Reactor personality, on the contrary, is used to describe an emotional person who feels first, is compassionate, and sensitive. Thus, the messages should be more detailed and with explanations.
Organizational culture and change
Similar to the communication process, organizational culture plays a very important role in creating a positive working environment. The primary responsibility of a manager is to ensure that all employees share the same values and are devoted to the organization’s success. Culture is established and transmitted by the manager through formal channels of communication. In simple words, culture is the personality of a company and is comprised of values and norms as well as behaviors of employees (Schein, 2004). Organizational culture is difficult to define or express, however, it should be felt by every employee.
Corporate culture is a system of organizational values and is shaped by society by the leadership style, competition, and personality of a manager. A loyal manager who promotes informal communication and participative leadership style will create a more family-like organizational culture; while the autocratic manager is more likely to promote discipline and formal subordination. Organizational culture is traced not only in communication patterns and managerial style; it also impacts the strategies, services, and behavior of company employees (Schein, 2004). The importance of culture is especially evident when the company is going through change. Employees and managers realize that they are a part of the company and they become motivated to contribute more. Organizational culture has a powerful influence on how people act and work. Recalling the cultural change at British Airways, the strong organizational culture contributed to the transformation of the unprofitable airline into a successful company with an image of profit and politeness.
Jeffery Sonnenfeld outlined several types of organizational culture: academy, baseball, club, and fortress (Schein, 2004). Academy culture should be imposed when employees are highly skilled, the organizational environment is stable, and employees prefer working their way up within the rank system. Baseball team culture is applicable when employees are exceptionally skillful and consider changing place of employment when there is no attachment to the organization. Club culture is effective when employees feel being members of a team and stay with the organization for many years. Fortress culture, on the contrary, is promoted when there is no stability within the company and there is a threat of reorganization. In such a case, employees are not motivated to perform better and there is no clear vision of the company mission. Failure to establish working culture may lead to an organization’s failure.
- Guffey, ME 2007, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6th edn, South-Western College Publication.
- Kippenberger, T 2002, Leadership Styles (Express Exec), Capstone Publishing.
- Schein, EH 2004, Organizational Culture and Leadership (The Jossey-Bass Business & Management Series), 3rd edn, Jossey-Bass Press.
- Whetten, D & Cameron, K 2006, Developing Management Skills, 7th edn, Prentice Hall Press.