There are many different management styles and manager personality characteristics. All can be appropriate or inappropriate based on a number of factors such as:
Type of business
Size and make up of business unit
Goals and Objectives
It may be that in a high-stress and mission critical situation, a more autocratic style might be appropriate (think military battle situation). At other times, a much more team-oriented style would be better (think a business unit where collaboration is key). In most business settings, a manager gets promoted to a leadership position based on performance, seniority, and other factors unrelated to “style of management.”So if management style is somewhat a given person-by-person and a manager is put in a position of responsibility to lead a business unit regardless of “style”, what can be done to improve performance? The answer is that every manager needs to get better at certain core skills regardless of their style, or sometimes in spite of their style. One such skill to explore is “interpersonal” management.”Interpersonal management skills represent a more collaborative style in leading the business unit. A manager may find times when the project or problem requires a more collaborative approach and interpersonal skills would boost results. What are some of the basic characteristics of “interpersonal” management?
Encourage participation in developing projects and solutions and sharing of ideas.
The manager shares all information relevant to the task at hand.
Power and authority are delegated, where appropriate, to carry out specific tasks and assignments.
Managers support and encourage “team-work” in planning and executing the assignment.
These basic approaches to fostering interpersonal management are not particularly difficult to employ when the situation requires. The problem is that most managers, particularly male managers according to many studies, come to the table with a more “authoritative” style or mind-set. It is the common “command and control” style that does not include much interpersonal/collaborative interaction. Certainly, the more directive and authority driven styles can be productive and have their place. The challenge to productivity and execution by managers who naturally employ this style is those situations where collaboration is needed to carryout a project.The key here is “recognition.” The top managers will realize when a situation, problem or project is such that “interpersonal” skills will be needed to foster the teamwork and collaboration needed for a particular assignment or project. These managers think-through what the assignment will require as part of the pre-project planning and review process. When they conclude that business unit or team collaboration will be the winning approach, they deliberately modify their management style to integrate more interpersonal skills into their management.It is a thoughtful and deliberate application of style modification. This is a hallmark of very effective leadership and it is called Versatility. Managers who can adopt a different style to fit the circumstances at hand are showing the versatility to match the situation. It can be a winning formula.