We’ve all had to work under different managers- some of them might have been great while some would have made you hate the corporate life.
The saying goes like ‘people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers’. Well, it could be true but I think that’s utter bullshit.
You leave the job because you are bored of it, don’t think you can keep up, or you hate the nature of work itself.
The above statement is highly debatable because there are other factors like the workplace environment, your colleagues and pay scale etc.
Anyway, let me be clear now- I’m not writing this because my manager paid me a hundred dollars. To be honest, at the time of writing this article, I have exactly two whole years of corporate experience. That sounds so minuscule but I guess it’s a free world and everyone enjoys the freedom of expression.
Styles of Management
There are many classifications you can find on Wiki but here are the primary ones.
The ‘my way or the highway’ approach with no questions asked and direct orders given out as in a military camp. Micromanagement evolved out of this and managers who adopt this style are the most hated.
Also dubbed as the visionary style, the leader gets the ball rolling and guides other to fulfill the objectives. This definitely wins a lot of votes from the lower tiers but not necessarily the upper tiers of management. The reason being that nobody is told how to do things and there’s more freedom, to experiment and to slack.
This manager tends to avoid conflicts and spreads peace and harmony amongst all the employees. Performance is second-priority, happiness comes first.
The more actionable style that encourages employees to be part of the decision-making process and tries to nurture the team together like the affiliative manager.
The coach invests in the long-term professional development of employees by providing adequate mentoring. These are normally the heavily experienced folks of an organization- respected and authoritative.
The manager transforms into an exemplary figure so that others can learn how it’s done and so, the standards are high. Employees are made to think harder, compete with each other and strive towards perfection.
Or your manager could have a trace of authoritative and participate or a mix of other styles. But, that’s enough said about managers, let’s see how they can be dealt with.
How to Deal With the Biggies (Managers)?
Before we get started, there are two important things I’d like to convey from the top of my head.
Firstly, no manager uses one style alone, they might prefer to use certain mixes but they adapt based on the needs. Does Darwin’s famous theory ring a bell? That’s what they’re doing and what you have to learn, to survive and steer clear of trouble.
Secondly, it’s about time you realize that you didn’t land that job to fulfill the dreams of someone else. The whole purpose is to learn new skills and enhance your existing set of positive attributes.
Now, I hope you have a different perspective before we get started.
The person above you has the authority and is giving out orders for a reason. Just do it, simple. If you think work is getting mundane, go ahead and tell the person in charge to give you something new to do.
You have freedom- just don’t slack. Appreciate the feedback received and try to experiment more.
You would have a peaceful working environment if your manager resorts to this style but it will only slow you down in terms of growth. Keep grinding, don’t stop exploring new things, and certainly do not get settled in the comfort zone.
There’s an increased likelihood of conflict of interest due to ideas emanating from all angles. Analyze individual situations, think harder, provide constructive criticism if needed and head back to the research lab if your ideas were overlooked because there were better ones. There’s so much room for improvement here because the atmosphere is super competitive.
Just follow the leader because he’s good and wants you to be that good even if he/she doesn’t show. The pacesetting style creates the perfect platform to excel in your career. Embrace it with open arms.
You know how to deal with trainers already. Listen more, absorb their wisdom and expertise and appreciate them (they like it). However, do let them know if you feel like you’re not heading in the right direction. The manager wouldn’t use this style unless you’re a noob.
There you have it, the six basic styles that are almost always varied by managers to plan and execute strategies. At one point in your life, you’ll have to manage a team (or many teams), so just work towards the betterment of your career and try not to give too many forks.