Managing your small business effectively means effectively managing the people that work for you. Being a good manager involves understanding yourself and the style of management that comes most naturally to you, as well as understanding your employees and the style that works best to motivate them. There is no definitively right or wrong management style the most appropriate style varies according to people and circumstances.
An authoritative manager establishes a broad, overall, long-term vision for moving the business moving and then allows his team to work with minimal supervision. This style of management works best when employees have a substantial amount of respect for the manager in terms of the proper vision for the company and an overall ability to lead the business and them to financial success. An authoritative manager generally only steps in occasionally to offer encouragement or instruction, so the team must already have the necessary skills to complete tasks and work well pretty much on its own. The authoritative style is not well-suited if your team requires extensive training on how to perform individual jobs.
A pace-setting style of management is often best used situationally, such as when a specific project must be completed in a timely manner. Pace-setting managers lead by example. They jump and take a significant amount of the workload upon themselves and expect employees to follow their lead in stepping up to the plate and working hard. The pace-setting style typically works well when your business has a talented team that requires little hands-on direction or instruction, and in a situation where little coordination or cooperation between employees is necessary.
A coaching management style is focused on employees’ long-term development. Coaching managers actively encourage their employees to learn and develop their skill sets and talents. Companies run by coaching managers offer specific learning opportunities within the company or support employees in obtaining additional education or training elsewhere. This style is well-suited for a workforce with high motivation but a lack of skills in certain areas. Coaching is also a good style when a company is expanding or transitioning in a way that requires employees to master new skills. For example, if your brick-and-mortar retail store is expanding to an online presence, it may be necessary for your sales staff to master the art of social media marketing.
Setting Your Management Style to Your People
The most effective managers exhibit a flexible management style, using different approaches that work best with individual employees. Some employees may require more of a coaching style in order to do the best job possible, while an authoritative or pace-setting style may work best for others. You can gain a lot of insight into how to manage your people by paying attention to what they respond to best.