Managers – the importance of flexing your management style

For a business to be successful, having a diverse team of people who can work together is important. Managers who can organise and motivate a team well is even more important. So, what are the different management styles, and which one are you?

Well, management theorists tell us there are six styles of leadership:

  • Autocratic
  • Democratic
  • Pacesetting
  • Coaching
  • Affiliative
  • Visionary


Which is the best style though and can you use more than one? Let’s take a look.

I’m not a natural manager

Not everyone is a natural-born leader. It might be something you’ve been wanting to do for ages or it might be something you’ve been forced into. If you’re a small business owner, chances are that management falls to you and as your business grows, so will your level of management.

Don’t panic though. You don’t have to change who you are, you just have to learn to play other roles sometimes. First things first, find out what your natural management style is. You’ll find lots of different surveys online that can help with this (I lean towards a democratic style by the way).

When do I need to flex my style?

We’ve probably all had a manager who works differently to us and thinks differently to us, etc. We’re not all built the same and it would be a boring place if we were. But while more interesting, it can make it a challenge for managers to get it right.

Part of being a good manager is recognising the different make-up of your team. Who are the extraverts, who can’t stand being micro-managed, who need a gentle nudge to share their ideas? Understanding your team is really important because those differences may need a different management style from you.

Another time when you might need to flex your management muscles is during a crisis. Imagine if a client complained about your product or service. You’ll need to rectify it quickly, so taking the lead and limiting the amount of input from others will be key. A perfect example of when an autocratic management style is needed.

I can’t be good cop and bad cop

You will always have a style that comes more naturally to you and that’s fine. However, taking the time to understand the six styles and when to use them will help to get the best out of your team and help your business to grow.

It’s easy to think of management falling into just two categories. The ‘my way or the highway’ option and the ‘let’s all talk about it together’ option. But don’t be fooled, there’s definitely more to it than that. Each of these six styles will have their place at some point, so take a little time to find out more about them.

Need help managing your growing business?

At THP we can help with all of your payroll enquiries, bookkeeping and auto-enrolment questions. As your business grows, we’ll help you to spot future opportunities and make sure you maximise your profits, contact us today with offices in CheamWansteadChelmsfordSaffron Walden, and London City.

Avatar for Mark Boulter
About Mark Boulter

Mark Boulter is responsible for the efficient running of the firm’s infrastructure, and ensuring that THP delivers the best client service. Promoting the vision and culture across all branches, people are the key: “I like people who have a fresh approach and I’m happy for them to run with their ideas,” he says.

Communication across departments is crucial and Mark pioneers this. He ensure that people and departments not only talk to each other, but that they share ideas– whether they’re about marketing, finance, sales, strategy or any other topic that can result in us offering a better service. “I think helping to develop the next generation of THP people is essential to our success,” Mark adds. “We’ve a lot of talented people and our way of doing things increasingly attracts ambitious newcomers who are looking for a fresh approach. That’s good for us and even better news for our clients.”

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