What Is Your Team Management Style?

6 min read
Jul 14, 2017
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Frank underwood team management style

We tend to think of ourselves in ways that are more flattering than are warranted. It’s probably our human tendency to see ourselves through rose-colored glasses! We tend to believe that we are better customers, better employees or better bosses than we actually are.

The sad truth is that if we ask customer service agents that talk with us or our colleagues, we will probably hear that there is a lot of room for improvement.

But while customers and most employees come and go (employee turnover rate in 2016 was almost 18%), in most cases managers, leaders and bosses work in companies for years. Leaders are responsible for productivity and results, but also for a good working culture and morale of their team.

It’s a lot, but no one said managing is a simple job!

Luckily, your management style can influence how easy it is to communicate with people and motivate them. Today, I’ll help you to check what is your team management style and to find out what are the pros and cons of it.

#1. Are you into “command and control?”

Formal style office command control team management

Do you think that:

If you think so, then you are most likely the follower of the ""command and control"" management method, built on the concept of military management. According to this method, the team leader instructs their team members to complete a task, and if they refuse, they will be punished.

Leadership style: Autocratic. Such leader makes their own decisions without consulting employees or other team members. Employees are expected to obey and comply with the decision that is made by the leader.



It all sounds doom and gloom, but in fact, this management style is extremely popular. In most jobs, people are hired to perform specific tasks day by day and are not involved in decision-making. Once they refuse to perform a task, they are fired.

Many people call this management style obsolete because over time it becomes clear that the more autonomous jobs people have, the more they are engaged, productive and happy. We all want to know that we matter, right?

So if you’re a follower of a “command and control” management style, I’d recommend shifting to more modern ones.

#2. Is “Econ 101” your management style of choice?

Office Econ 101 team management style

Do you think that:

If you think so, then you’re probably the follower of the “Econ 101” management style. This strategy was built on a belief that nothing works better than money in terms of improving productivity. We all work to have enough money for living and to realize our dreams, right?

Leadership style: Autocratic or democratic (consulting with employees before making a decision, two-way communication approach). Motivating people with money is nothing new in business, but the way you do it can differ - that’s what these two extreme styles can be adapted for “Econ 101.”



Times, when people worked hard to afford a credit and buy an expensive house, are gone. Now, with the blooming Millennials generation, it becomes clear that people would rather “want to” work than “have to” work.

People want to be proud of what they do, they want to be recognized, they want to be a part of a winning team. They want to know that their experience matters and they want to know that their work contributed to the success of the company.

Carrots are good, but sometimes you feel like having something else, right?

#3. Do you like “Engage and create?”

Modern office engage and create team management style

Do you think that:

If you just read about your working philosophy, it looks like you’re into “engage and create!”

This management style was created as a response to limitations of “command and control.” It’s a much more flexible and progressive team management strategy, where a team leader is not in charge of a team, they are a part of it. Its focus is to get people engaged because when people are engaged, they are more likely to succeed.

Leadership style: Laissez-Faire. It’s a leadership style where a leader allows team members do their job on their own and at their own pace. There is little management almost no authority implemented. The bottom line is to stimulate creativity and generate great results.



This team management style works best in industries where creativity is a number one concern. People working in teams like product design or advertisement need a lot of flexibility and freedom and this is where “engage and create” works best.

Just take a look at any startup. At first glance, it looks like all these people just have fun in fancy offices, sipping coffee and clicking on their Macbooks. In fact, all of them are responsible for important part of product or company building, and it makes job interesting, desirable and fun.

Have you found your team management style?

Leaders are people who do the right things; managers are people who do things right.
Warren G. Bennis

Looking at above team management styles, it’s easy to say: “engage and create” is the best, the rest of them sucks!”

I am convinced though that every single management style as well a leadership style can be changed into something awesome in the hands of the right person. I also think that because one management style works for Apple, it doesn’t mean it will work for Starbucks.

The truth is, in the hands of a good leader, even “command and control” might be fun - as long as they are aware of pros and cons all these styles have.

You migh also like Emotional Intelligence in Leadership: The Godfather Way.

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