Management Styles – Which Works Best?

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Management Styles – Which Works Best?

Working in a management role can be a tough job. Not only do you have to look after your team and please them, but you have to keep those above you happy too. This can cause complications at times when handling your subordinates, how can you manage them in order to reach the company goals? Do you simply tell them why it’s important? Is that enough motivation for them? Or do you discipline them and have strict guidelines and rules. It can be tough to know which method will bring the best out of people and there can be a lot of trial and error in order to figure out what actually works.

What Methods are out there?

There are many different management styles, each has its own benefits and flaws, some are:

Autocratic :

This style consists of the manager simply stating to the employee what they must do, otherwise, there will be consequences if not followed correctly. Usually, the result motivates the employee out of fear. However, this is not a universal style that will always get results. Some employees may react to this method in a negative way, either by becoming too upset causing unproductiveness or they may start to antagonise the employer as they don’t respect authority.


Managers who are democratic tend to involve their employees in the decision-making process. This method intends to provide motivation through collaboration and assures employees to put forward their opinion. However, the manager is the final decision maker and will carry that responsibility. At the end of the day, they will ultimately do what they think is best. This can be motivating for individuals as their opinion matters and provides value to their work. Unfortunately, it can be debilitating at times, especially for those who really believe in their method or idea and to those who have invested a lot of time and effort for it not to go through.


This management approach would conduct and direct their staff towards the goal but encourages employees to come up with strategies to get there. It’s a very laid-back approach, essentially the manager will tell them what outcome they want and will have little to no involvement with any of the decisions that lead up to its outcome. This can be a very effective method for employees who are eager to prove their worth and move up in their career. Most people who react well to this method are self-motivating. They enjoy having the freedom to innovate new ways of doing their processes. However, there are employees who need structure to their work schedule and who do not cope well with independence and can unintentionally create a disruptive atmosphere.

These styles can be interchangeable. It could be that your workforce works well with a Lassiez-Faire approach but there’s just one employee who is slacking. Therefore, a different management style such as Autocratic should be used for that staff member. It may be that half your team responds well to an Autocratic approach, but the rest feel oppressed by it.


For a manager, picking just one style will not transfer positively to all your staff universally. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. There will need to be understanding of what sort of atmosphere and culture you already have and what your current staff react well to. A basic rule is that if you have staff who are relatively young and new to the job world or have individuals who are quite unpredictable then its best to use an Autocratic approach.  If your workforce is more mature and understands the importance of your work, then maybe a more Democratic style will best suit. Individuals who are self-motivating, determined and thorough in their approach will respond best to a Lassiez-Faire method.

Not only do you need to adapt your approach to your workforce, but also to yourself as a manager. There is no point delivering an Autocratic method if you are unable to be consistent with it. Do what you can within your capabilities and apply it to your staff.

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Written By Leyla Hussein


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