Top 5 Management Styles to Aim for in the Workplace (New Guide)

The methodology of getting all stakeholders within an organization on a common platform in an effort to utilize their skills and abilities for the betterment of the organization is known as effective organization management.

In a nutshell, management is responsible for utilizing different management styles and the manpower under their disposal to get the best possible results. Therefore, you need to be employing the best management styles.

So, what are Management Styles?

Every manager has a distinct way of managing the team that they are supervising. The way in which a manager or a supervisor handles the staff and team reporting to them is known as management styles.

Likewise, you could define management styles as the methodologies, capabilities and techniques managers utilize in managing situations and expressing leadership within an organization. The structure of the organization and employees that operate within that company, also affect the management’s style of working.

While there are many management styles in theory, what I’ve discovered based on reading lots of research on management styles is that what differentiates top-performing managers from moderately successful managers is that successful managers sort of play chess while the moderate managers play checkers.

You must be thinking; what is the writer implying in this write-up? Well, as it turns out, checkers pieces are confined to a specific movement pattern. It is in parallel motion, which denotes a restricted style of management where employees don’t have a lot of liberties at their disposal.

On the other hand, chess pieces have different capabilities as they can move in different directions and at different pace levels. Their movement is limited too but in their own respective way. As compared to checkers, chess pieces have more room and movement areas across the battlefield.

On that note, the top managers have the capacity to utilize the staff at their disposal in a way that maximizes productivity and the results for the department and eventually the organization.

How Leadership and Management Styles Impact an Organization?

When an individual in any field is making the decision of joining an organization; the first thing they consider along the salary and the perks is who will be their line manager/supervisor and what is their reputation. If the management styles they are implementing are in line with the individual’s goals and aspirations, then in most cases, they make up their mind on joining the organization.

Effective and efficient management styles can greatly improve the productivity of organizations.

There are multiple management styles proposed by theorists. However, we’ll be covering the top five in this article. Each of these styles has its pros and cons, and managers can use more than one style while supervising their teams.

Management Style #1: Autocratic

This is an example of an authoritative or directive style of management style. In this style, the power to make decisions lays completely in the hands of the leader.

They make all policy-level decisions. Giving concrete directions and expecting complete obedience, this management style is a hallmark of a manager who most employees would dread currently.

Such managers create work routines and tasks for employees and the employees must subsequently show complete obedience to such supervisors.

A major part of the autocratic management style involves:

  • Supervisors do not take into considerations ideas and suggestions of their employees
  • Employees make decisions after pre-approval of their line manager
  • Policy statements and direction is provided by the autocratic leader only
  • A hallmark of autocratic management style is that employees in most cases lack motivation
  • An advantage of autocratic management styles is that decisions are made at a faster pace

Management Style #2: Democratic Way of Working

In such management styles types, the democratic leader through participation achieves consensus. Therefore, in a nutshell, it is the 180-degree opposite of Autocratic management style. The phrase most common to such leaders might sound something like “What do you think about this?”

This style of leadership and management style types helps in building and fostering teamwork and building ownership within the team on company and department objectives. The flipside to such management styles is that it’s hard to operate it in situations where there is a time constraint as obtaining feedback of employees and building a decision based on this is time-consuming.

Democratic management styles include and revolve around:

  • Superiors normally welcome feedback and input from their employees
  • Employees have enough leeway with their supervisors to brainstorm important company objective setting and milestone achievements
  • Promotes healthy communication between all layers of the organization
  • Supervisors do give a mindful hearing of their subordinates before making a decision

Management Styles #3: Coaching

Coaching is a management style that takes into consideration employees’ needs, training assessment plus motivation. Even though there are other management styles that can be adopted readily i.e. like the boss approach; managing through coaching style is becoming increasingly popular in the workplace.

The key points which support the coaching way of management styles include:

  • Relationship vs Task: Coaching management styles place great weight on building a good rapport with employees and utilizing that as the basis for task motivation.
  • Crisis vs Calm: Coaching way of leading is most suitable when the organization is operating on a status quo basis where the leaders within the group can have ample time and resources to train their employees.
  • Orientation for Time Framing: Coaches have the tendency of maintaining a long-term goal and vision for their organization in mind while making a decision.

Management Styles #4: Pace Setting

This is an example of a leader who sets extremely high standards for himself and subsequently requires a lot from his team as well. This way of working and leading within a function only works if an entire department is a well-oiled machine and with the right frame of mind to deliver the objectives for their leader.

Otherwise, pace-setting leaders may disseminate an organization. Such management styles normally have a negative impact on the overall organizational culture like a coercive leader. If I had to summarize such a management style, it would be “An obsession for doing things better and faster; and expecting the same from everyone within the team”.

Management Styles # 5: Affiliative

In these management styles, employees are grouped together based on teamwork and create harmony between people. If there is broken trust within your organization & your employees than the affiliative management style is the one to utilize.

One major obstacle though when implementing the affiliative way of working is employees may think that mediocrity will be acceptable to the supervisors. To sum up the affiliative management style; this style works best when you want to motivate employees. As this is a requirement for most organizations; this management style is often adopted by most leaders.


Management is a constantly evolving phenomenon in today’s day and age. We have to improvise, and cannot stick to one management style by taking it as a benchmark. We would love to hear your feedback based on your experience in the industry.

Originally published at on January 28, 2020.




nTask is an all-in-one online project management software trusted by smart teams to organize work. Sign up today — it’s free.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

4 Ways a Compliment Sandwich Destroys Leadership

Jeff Nock of Iowa — Why Remote Workers Need Real-Time Employee Feedback

Why More Leaders Should Be Building Trust And Authority

Becoming a Leader in a Land of Plenty

My Organizational Culture

Leading From The Heart

Easy to learn, hard to master

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store


nTask is an all-in-one online project management software trusted by smart teams to organize work. Sign up today — it’s free.

More from Medium

Why do I believe all productivity systems are wrong

Daily Post #413 Management principles

Why should I use Slack?

3 pain points all Product teams face