Management styles - which one is the most effective?

Author: Danny
Date: May 1, 2021

Introduction to management styles

Management styles are how a manager runs their team. There are many different types of management styles, but which ones are better suited for specific teams?

Do you have a management style and qualities that are best suited for your teams and employees? Factor in the good management styles can help you improve as a leader and assist the leaders and managers within an organisation to get more out of their employees.

You might be the kind of leader or management team that likes to take charge and have a more authoritative approach. You may even like being able to coach your employees on how they can improve their performance. However, it’s still essential for you to know what management styles are best for each person because this will make managing them more straightforward, give you more self-direction and set you up to become a management expert!

Some managers naturally step into the role of "father figure" while others prefer to be more like an "authoritarian." These two management styles are very different, but they both have their place in today's workplace.

It's often argued that a manager would have their default management styles based on their own experiences and opinions. However, to be the most influential leader, you could try to be more dynamic and change your style depending on the situation you find yourself in.

Arguably your team members and your organisation’s objectives can also play a part in determining what leadership styles managers should adopt.

Additional factors should be considered, such as business objectives, the vision and goals of an organisation, and other essential things such as current performance and employee engagement.

Managers, leaders and executives all strive to give their teams the best chance at success. That's why we want you to be armed with information that will make your leadership skills more robust than ever before! With this article, you'll learn how a leader and manager can build better relationships between a manager and others within an organisation by enhancing employees' self-esteem by employing the most effective management styles.

Let's explore and discuss a selection of the most common management styles, tips on why and when to use them, and the disadvantages of each. 

Democratic management style

This style of management has been proven to be more effective because it allows for improving communication skills and increased productivity. By implementing a democratic management style, you can improve your organisation’s performance and increase employee job satisfaction.

What is a democratic style?

One of several popular management styles today is the democratic management style. A democratic manager focuses on building trust, creating an environment where employees feel valued and appreciated, and providing regular feedback, so everyone knows how they're doing.

This style is characterised by the participation of all members in decision-making processes through an open communication channel.

This management style is an excellent way to give your employees a voice and help them feel like they are being heard. Additionally, this management style has been seen to improve employee motivation.

Managers must be able to take into consideration what their subordinates want, and this management style does just that! It’s essential to make your team feel like they have a voice and a stake in the company. Giving them this power can help get them and other team members more motivated, which will yield wonders for both you and your team!

Why use a democratic style?

If you’re looking for a way to increase your company’s productivity or improve employee morale, consider implementing this type of leadership style into your organisation! It will allow everyone involved with the company – from executives down to entry-level employees – to feel valued and respected as part of the team.

The democratic style is one of the best for improving productivity and employee morale because it’s participatory. Employees who feel like they have a voice in the company are likely to put in more effort and be more productive than those who don’t. This means that your business will profit from this type of management style as well!

When to use a democratic style

There are several scenarios when you should use a democratic style. One of the most common is when you need to build a sense of unity among your team. If everyone feels like they have an equal voice in company decisions, it’s much easier for them to feel connected and united with one another. Whenever people feel disconnected or disengaged from their tasks, be sure to give them more opportunities to have their voice heard.

An excellent example of when to use a democratic style is when taking on large projects where the project would benefit everyone involved and have input on decisions. Working with a team of employees who have different opinions and approaches can add a whole new creative process to a project.

Here are typical examples of when using a democratic style may be beneficial:

  • When you have a team of people who are not experts in their field
  • When you're working with a group of people, that needs to be managed, but they need the freedom to make decisions independently.
  • When there's no clear leader, and nobody knows what they should do next.
  • When you want your employees to have a say in how things are done 
  • When the team has a lot of experience and knowledge
  • When the team is very diverse
  • When you want to empower your employees
  • When staff skill levels are wide and varied

What are the problems with employing a democratic style?

There are arguably significant problems with the participative democratic management styles that could lead you to reconsider this type of management at your own company.

The biggest problem with the participative democratic style is the lack of control over decision making. It can be challenging for managers to make changes or take corrective action when they no longer have control over the decision-making process. If this happens, it's common for people in the organisation to resent the change and start looking for new jobs elsewhere.

Another issue is employee complacency as one of the many adverse side effects of this type of management. There's a good chance that employees will stop trying as hard when they think their opinion is being heard and valued because there are so few consequences to poor performance.

This style also increases conflict due to the lack of hierarchy, which can lead people outside of your company (or even inside) to question what you're doing and why you're making decisions in ways they don't understand or agree with. This leads to an increased risk for sabotage, especially if it becomes personal between managers and subordinates instead of just business-related.

When executed poorly, a democratic style can be inefficient because it's challenging to reach a consensus. Arguably the best management styles motivate employees and increase productivity, while the worst are those that lead to conflict or inefficiency on the one hand and apathy on the other.

The participative democratic leadership style has excellent benefits like building trust among team members but could be too risky for many companies who need more control over their decisions.

Coaching management style

One common approach is to be a facilitator and employ a coaching style to help your team members succeed. When working in an open, collaborative environment, you can set the right tone and empower them to make decisions independently.

You may have heard the word "coaching" thrown around when it comes to management. But what does that mean, and what is a coaching manager style all about?

What is a coaching style?

This style of managing is a way of managing staff that involves feedback and advice. It's an informal method in which managers guide their employees by giving them feedback and advice about improving themselves as employees. This technique aims to encourage your team members when times are challenging and to know more about both them and yourself.

You'll see who needs guidance and support, who is excelling and doing well, and who might need further training because they lack specific skills.

Taking an interest in coaching employees or allowing them to go on courses to help them improve their skills can help them feel valued by you and the business, improving employee retention.

Why use a coaching style

This style can increase employee retention because it recognises and values the needs of your employees by helping or encouraging them to develop new skills that match the company's culture. The coach also encourages employees' development for career progression and personal fulfilment.

If your team enjoys their job and are rewarded by you, employees will feel less of an itch to move on elsewhere, which could be detrimental for your business if they have valuable knowledge or skills that take time to replace.

Employees may also recognise where their strengths lie more easily when coaching is used as a management style.

Employees' commitment to the organisation will be strengthened by coaching, as it focuses on mutual respect and cooperation for a common goal.

Additionally, this approach can also improve productivity because employees are encouraged to take responsibility for their training course, which means that they may have more time to carry out tasks.

When to use a coaching style

A coaching management style is used when an employee needs to develop specific skills or improve themselves. This might be due to their performance, a lack of training on your part as the manager, or personal development reasons, such as changing careers. A coach manages employees by giving them feedback, coaching them on how to improve their skills and working with them to set personal goals.

An excellent example of when to use this coaching approach would be with a new employee. This style is not the best approach for employees who are already at their full potential or have skills and knowledge that they can share on their own without guidance.

Here are common scenarios that demonstrate when this style can be beneficial.

  • When you want to improve employee morale and increase productivity
  • If employees need to be accountable, not just leadership
  • When the team needs a reminder on how they can do better or when there are behaviours that need coaching (such as being late)
  • To help team members grow in their roles by providing

What are the problems with employing a coaching style

It doesn't work well if there's no need for an immediate change in performance.

It can be challenging to tell when coaching isn't going well. It's easy for the employee and manager to feel frustrated that they're not getting on with one another without realising that this is a problem of miscommunication or misunderstanding.

It doesn’t help if you don't have enough time as an employer or feel emotionally drained.

It's difficult to coach someone who doesn't want coaching or has a different management style, and it can be challenging for the person being coached to get off track too because they didn’t initially have any problems in that area of their work.

Coaching is essential if an employee struggles with something critical like safety or producing good quality work to meet their performance targets.

Arguably a manager can only be effective if the person being coached has a level of motivation to change and improve themselves to get anything out of the process.

Pacesetting management style

The pacesetting management style is a type of management that has been used since the 1960s.

There are many different types of management styles; this one focuses on speed and efficiency. Pacing managers will set high goals for themselves and then try to reach them as quickly as possible to move on to another plan.

What is a pacesetting style?

Pacesetting Management Style is a management style that has been around for many decades. It's a standard style and can be used for both public and private companies and government agencies.

An individual with this type of management will set targets or goals to encourage employees to excel in their work, often by rewarding good performance. They'll also have high expectations for their employees, demanding excellence from them on all levels.

Pacesetting managers will set high goals for themselves and then try to reach them as quickly as possible to move on to another plan. They'll also have a strong focus on numbers and quantitative data, preferring this information above qualitative input from their employees.

Why use a pacesetting style?

The Pacesetting Management Style is a popular choice because it allows for various methods to keep employees motivated and productive during their workday.

Pacesetting managers are often rigorous and will keep employees on task to reach their goals. 

To succeed in this management style, employees must have the necessary skills and resources needed for their tasks. Pacesetting managers are also more likely than other managers to work with a team rather than alone.

Pacesetting Management Styles can be an effective leadership technique when used correctly because they employ various strategies to keep employees motivated and productive. Managers and leaders who adopt this style also expect high-performance levels from the people they work with, which can encourage exceptional results when doing well as a part of a healthy culture.

When to use a pacesetting style

Arguably, this management strategy only works with a highly motivated team. Although using this style frequently wouldn’t be the best option, it works well when a significant change is needed. As an effective leader or manager, you should always push for excellence; you know that when a challenge presents itself, there is always a way to overcome it.

A Pacesetting Management Style is compelling for organisations that need to meet a deadline, with either one disaster looming or multiple concurrent deadlines, as it forces employees to focus on their tasks at hand. The management style also allows new policies and strategies to be implemented more quickly.

An excellent example of when to use a pacesetting management style is with a team experiencing complacency and apathy. Additionally, use this management style In the following situations:

  • When an organisation needs a lot of work done quickly or has multiple projects that need attention at once
  • When you have very task-oriented goals for your team or individual employee, such as deadlines 
  • When a change in direction is needed, such as implementing new policies or strategies.
  • Organisational organisations need a culture that favours intense work and high performance.

What are the problems with employing a pacesetting style?

The downsides to using a Pacesetting management style may lead to burnout for your staff and teams if they aren’t used the right way. If you have high performing employees who know what is expected of them, this management style can work wonders and keep people motivated throughout their day. On the other hand, some employees have a hard time with change and need to be told what they should be doing.

If you are working in a team environment, the Pacesetting management style can lead to resentment as there might be people who don’t feel they have an opportunity to share their thoughts or help come up with solutions. This may cause employees to become disengaged and unhappy at work, which will lower.

Laissez-Faire management style

One of the more popular styles is laissez-faire, which means letting employees do whatever they want with their time so long as it doesn't hurt productivity. Laissez-faire managers who adopt this style believe that employees are the most qualified to use their time wisely and decide how they want to work. This management style often leaves tasks up in the air, but it also gives workers a sense of freedom--which can be motivating and therefore improve a team's performance.

What is laissez-faire style?

The idea behind a laissez-faire attitude is that if workers are given enough space to make their own decisions about how they spend their day, then some will be able to think of creative solutions for problems while others will solve problems in ways no one ever thought possible.

This is the opposite of micromanagement, which we'll explore later in this article.

Why use a laissez-faire Style?

The Laissez-Faire management style can be beneficial because it gives employees a sense of autonomy. Managers and leaders who adopt this style often want to know how to create a productive and efficient work environment whilst taking a hands-off approach.

This management style empowers your employees as you are giving them more responsibility and autonomy. Employees may be motivated to do better work because the management style is hands-off, which means there's less supervision and looking over their shoulders. Many workers whose leaders employ this style report feeling more happy and comfortable at work, and as a result, perform better than they would if they had a manager looking over their shoulder every minute of the day.

This management style can encourage creativity within a team. Often, employees will develop creative solutions to clients' problems if they are given the freedom to do so.

When to use a laissez-faire style?

If you are looking for a hands-off management style, it's time to consider the Laissez-Faire style. It's an approach to managing your team that leaves them free to make decisions and take care of their work. Instead of micromanaging employees in this type of environment, managers must spend more time on tasks such as strategic thinking and setting goals to be sure their staff has what they need to succeed.

One example of when this may be appropriate is if you have highly skilled employees in their field and know what they need to do to get work done without constant guidance from a manager or supervisor. organisations need

Additional examples of when to use this style:

  • Your staff has a certain amount of experience, and your management style is making them less successful.
  • You have productive employees with little supervision, but their efficiency can suffer when they feel like they're being watched all the time.
  • You want to hire people for creativity or collaboration, not production.

What are the problems with employing a laissez-faire style

One of the disadvantages of a laissez-faire management style is that employees might not always know what they should be working on. This can lead to wasted time and resources for your company, which will impact productivity levels. However, if you maintain strong communication with staff members, this problem can usually be avoided.

This management style is not the best strategy if you're working with a team of people from diverse backgrounds, as this could lead to conflicts or disagreements between teammates.

Others may become less motivated because they no longer have someone telling them what to do and when to do it, which can be challenging for some employees who need that structure and guidance.

Micromanagement style

The word micromanagement is often considered a nasty one. The dictionary defines it as "the act of closely overseeing something or someone, typically in an interfering manner."

Some people feel like they are being micromanaged when that is not always the case. You need to know how and why you would use Micromanagement for it to be beneficial!

It's hard to know how much input is too much when it comes to managing your team. One person might think 5 hours of feedback a week is appropriate, while another may find that number excessive and overbearing.

If you find you need to micromanage some employees, it's essential to find the right balance.

What is the micromanagement style?

A micro-management approach is a management style where a manager closely oversees and controls what their team does, often interfering.

A micromanagement style is often used when the manager wants to control every aspect of their employees' job.

Micromanagement is not always a bad thing - in specific scenarios, it can be quite helpful and even beneficial! It's just essential that you know how to use it properly.

Why use a micromanagement style?

The micromanagement management style is a popular management approach because it ensures that employees complete every task and project to the company's standards.

It also helps managers catch mistakes before they happen, which minimises errors and maximises efficiency.

Micromanagement can also help employees learn their jobs better by being hands-on with them.

When to use a micromanagement style?

Micromanagement is not always an efficient management style, and managers should use it judiciously.

The first step in balancing the balance between being hands-on and delegating is figuring out what your priorities are as a manager. 

Here are some additional scenarios where a micromanagement approach could be beneficial:

  • When your employees are new and need more attention
  • When you have limited resources or don't want to take on a more significant workload with other tasks, managers might delegate.
  • When you want to make sure your employees are doing the best job they can
  • If you have a high turnover rate and new hires, you need time for training.
  • When managing staff with different skill levels - it's less overwhelming when tasks are broken down into smaller segments.
  • You want to make sure employees complete tasks according to company standards.
  • It helps catch mistakes before they happen (which minimises errors)

What are the problems with employing a micromanagement style

Managers might be busy, but their job is to delegate. If a manager has an assistant or team of assistants, they should not need to micromanage the day-to-day tasks charged to them. organisations needSome argue

A micro-management approach is problematic because it can lead to potential staff turnover and a general disengagement of the workforce.

There are some who argue that micromanaging creates an environment where employees have very little autonomy, which will lower their morale and enthusiasm for performing tasks. Employees might also feel as though they cannot take risks if they know any mistakes made along the way could be scrutinised by management. This lack of risk-taking may ultimately result in higher costs due to missed opportunities or delayed projects when essential tasks are not appropriately delegated.

The main downside to micromanaging is that you miss out on knowing what's going on with your team members--the successes and failures alike--because there's no one else doing those things but yourself!

Summary of management styles discussed in this article.

The democratic management style is a method of management that focuses on employee participation and input in the decision-making process.

A coaching management style is a way of leading employees that focuses on creating an environment in which employees feel valued and are empowered to do their jobs effectively.

One of the best ways to ensure your success is by setting goals and rewarding employees using a pacesetting management style.

A laissez-faire management style means that the manager does not interfere with the employees' activities, allowing them to do their work in their way.

Micromanagement is when your manager watches over every little detail you do and is generally not liked by employees. This is necessarily finding the right balance with a micromanagement approach, and additional style is imperative to ensure these employees perform well.

Micromanagement is not always a bad thing - in specific scenarios, it can be quite helpful and even beneficial! It's just essential that you know how to use it properly. 

Management styles not covered in this article

While we have covered many of the common styles of management, we haven’t covered them all. Other techniques such as an authoritative management style, an innovative management style, a directive style, an autocratic management style and a participative management style are just a few of the others you may come across. Here is a very brief overview, and we’ll aim to cover them in more detail in a future article. 

Authoritative management style

An authoritative style is a management style that tells people what to do and how to do it. Authoritarian managers are directive, say to their employees what needs to be done and when it needs to be done.

Examples of when managers should use an authoritative style are:

  • When the situation is urgent, and there isn't time to give people a lot of instructions.
  • When an employee doesn't know what they need to do
  • When the worker can't figure out what they need to do by themselves.

Visionary management style

A visionary style is a management style that is inspirational and conceptual. Visionary managers focus on the big picture vision for their organisation, and they are visionary with ideas and concepts to meet business needs and achieve their vision.

Examples of when managers should use an innovative style are:

  • When the company is in crisis and needs a new direction.
  • A visionary style should be used when management wants to motivate employees with visions that are not attainable yet but give them hope of what they can accomplish in the future.
  • Managers should use an inspirational style if they want their employees to work hard without being told how

Directive management style

A directive style is a management style that is planned and organised. A directive manager focuses on the present and what must be done to meet business needs while still being mindful of future goals.

Examples of when managers should use a directive style are:

  • When there is an urgency to get something done in the short term
  • To maintain order and control of employees when you want them to do what they are told without question or deviation from your plan
  • When people need clear direction on how managers should complete their tasks, as well as feedback after completion

Autocratic management style

An autocratic style is a management style that is planned and organised. An autocratic manager’s focus is on the present task and what needs to be done for future jobs to happen.

Examples of when managers should use an autocratic style are:

  • When there is an urgency to get something done in the short term
  • To maintain order and control of employees when you want them to do what they are told without question or deviation from your plan
  • When people need clear direction on how employees should complete their tasks, as well as feedback after completion

Participative management style

A participative style is a management style that is organised and planned. A participative manager’s focus is on the present task and what needs to happen for future jobs to occur.

Participative managers are proactive individuals who always have a plan of action. They also create an environment where employees can share their ideas freely without fear of retribution from their colleagues or managers.

Examples of when managers should use a participative style are:

  • When there is a need for employees to be guided on what and how employees should complete tasks
  • In an emergency where somebody needs direction as soon as possible without having time to create a plan


Management is a complex undertaking that can be difficult to navigate. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to effectively managing people, but general principles and styles can help managers lead more efficiently and productively.

There are many different types of management styles. You should use a multi-style approach to management to know the right kind for specific situations. The examples we provided will help you understand how to handle delicate work situations with an empathetic touch or take charge in times of crisis without being too aggressive. If you want more information on which type of management style is best for your company's needs, let us know! We have experts who specialise in each area that would be happy to chat with you about what might work best for your organisation at this time. Which example has resonated with you?

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