Different types of managers
There is no such thing as a good or bad management style, but one that is more or less adapted to the situation and context of the company. A good manager needs to be able to switch from one management style to another depending on the situation: this is what we call situational management. This means adapting one’s management style and being able to move from directive to more participative management, for example, if the context so requires.
We’ve decided to detail the 4 most frequently encountered types of management here, to give you as many keys as possible to adapting your management to the situations you encounter.
Directive management focuses on results and little on relationships. This is a very vertical, top-down management style, in contrast to the
Managers with a directive style prefer written communication and precise instructions, and limit oral interventions to sharing information that’s the same for everyone. Decisions are centralized, he retains strategic choices and orders precise actions.
The directive manager is in control, monitoring results and the correct application of processes. He expects his staff to apply the methods provided, and to demonstrate the same rigor as he does.
This type of management leaves little room for personal initiative on the part of team members, and is therefore well suited to emergency or crisis situations where decisions need to be made quickly. This management style also works well with inexperienced teams or those just starting out, who need to be closely supervised in order to gradually gain autonomy.
Unlike directive management, participative management focuses less on results and more on relationships.
The participative manager positions himself as the equal of his team members, and encourages exchange, collaboration and self-expression. He believes in the power of collective intelligence. He positions himself more as a facilitator or coach than as a leader, helping to reveal each person’s strengths. The focus is on support, advice and listening.
Objectives are defined collaboratively, as are action plans. Initiative is encouraged, and everyone is free to share their ideas. His attitude helps to create a friendly working atmosphere and a high level of personal involvement. This type of management encourages creativity and innovation.
Delegative management is a management style that favors autonomy and empowerment. The delegative manager, as the name suggests, delegates a maximum number of tasks to employees, while passing on instructions for achieving objectives (action plans, methods, available resources). Once the instructions have been given, he leaves the employees to their own devices and regularly reviews the results with them. Here, the focus is neither on results nor on relationships, but on empowering everyone: the delegative manager responds to his team’s requests, but lets them take the decisions.
Contact points are therefore used to define monitoring indicators, draw up action plans and track KPIs. In this way, employees are given full responsibility, which means they are more involved.
The delegative manager expresses his confidence in his team by letting them get on with things, while guiding them towards the objectives to be achieved. It provides indirect support by encouraging initiative and providing useful information to help achieve results on time.
This management style encourages the acquisition of new skills and innovation. This type of management works very well with experienced people. Be careful, however, not to create insecurity for your employees if they find themselves confronted with situations that are beyond their control. The delegative manager must be able to remain available, and offer the possibility of regular check-ups for employees who feel the need.
This management style is as much about relationships as it is about results. The persuasive manager acts as a coach to his team, pushing them to excel. He motivates his staff by involving them in decisions without imposing. He adopts an open communication style, influencing rather than imposing, and argues his choices to win everyone’s support. In this way, it sets the objectives to be achieved, while involving the employees, who thus feel free to express themselves and autonomous.
Persuasive management supports its teams, emphasizes positive results, and encourages exchange and challenge. He pays particular attention to motivating his teams.
Adapting management styles to remote working
With the rise of telecommuting, adapting management styles to a remote team has become crucial. Remote working presents challenges in terms of maintaining team motivation, cohesion and communication, both between team members and with the manager.
When working remotely, the directive manager will focus on setting precise objectives and using online project tracking tools such as Trello or Asana. The participative manager, who naturally favors collaboration, will involve team members in decisions by using online collaborative tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams. The delegative manager will entrust his teams with responsibilities and strike a balance by making extensive use of communication channels to maintain trust. Finally, the persuasive manager will highlight the advantages of remote working to keep his teams motivated and interested.
The impact of the type of manager on the team and the company
The choice of manager or management style within a company has a significant influence on team dynamics and overall organizational results.
A manager’s impact goes beyond supervision to include aspects such as productivity, employee satisfaction and company sustainability.
As we have seen from the different styles described above, the management style adopted has a direct influence on the attitude and motivation of team members. A caring manager who listens and understands the individual needs of his employees creates an environment conducive to collaboration and professional fulfillment. Conversely, authoritarian or distant management can generate stress, mistrust and a harmful climate within the team.
An inspiring leader, capable of defining a clear vision and involving his or her team in achieving objectives, stimulates commitment and enthusiasm among employees. On the other hand, a manager lacking in communication or strategic vision can compromise employee motivation, leading to a drop in productivity and a deterioration in the working climate.
At organizational level, the type of manager helps shape the corporate culture. A manager focused on skills development, recognition and innovation fosters the creation of a positive, proactive culture. Conversely, a manager focused solely on immediate results, to the detriment of employee well-being, risks generating a culture of competition and fear of failure.
Whatever his management style, a good leader must seek to :
- develop the autonomy of team members;
- adapt your management style to situations;
- listening to employees, being available;
- create a work environment conducive to personal fulfillment.
How can you identify the ideal type of manager for your company?
To identify the ideal type of manager for your company, it’s essential to clearly define the company’s objectives and strategy.
An “ideal” manager must be aligned with the organization’s core values and ambitions. If the company’s focus is on innovation, creativity and adaptability, a manager with transformational leadership skills could be the preferred choice. Conversely, a company focused on stability and rigor might benefit more from a manager oriented towards strategic planning and efficient operations management.
The next step is to analyze the organizational culture. Every company has its own unique culture, which influences the way work is done and professional relationships develop. An ideal manager must be in harmony with this culture, or be able to transform it in a positive way. For example, if a company favors a collaborative and inclusive environment, a manager focused on teamwork and open communication might be a better fit.
Understanding the managerial skills required is also a key step. Depending on the specific challenges faced by the company, such as change management, talent development or conflict resolution, it is essential to determine which skills should be given priority. An ideal manager must possess a set of skills adapted to the company’s current and future needs.
Finally, involving employees in the selection process can provide a valuable perspective. Employees have a thorough understanding of operational needs and interpersonal relationships within the team. Their participation can help identify the managerial characteristics that foster a productive and fulfilling work environment.
It’s very ambitious, even utopian, to try and define an ideal manager. Management is more about human relationships than theories. A good manager must have the situational intelligence to adapt himself – and his management style – to the context, the company and his team.
At all times, the manager’s key objective must be to lead his or her team to the best results, while promoting the well-being and fulfillment of each individual.