Book Image

Mastering Management Styles: Expert Guidance for Managers

By : Harris M Silverman
Book Image

Mastering Management Styles: Expert Guidance for Managers

By: Harris M Silverman

Overview of this book

Table of Contents (12 chapters)
Mastering Management Styles: Expert Guidance for Managers
About the Author
About the Reviewers

The elements of management style

Management styles have several aspects. Some academic taxonomies of management styles get very complicated by mixing up the different elements in various combinations and giving each combination an abstruse name, but it's best to think of management styles in terms of their various elements, and then to combine the elements yourself.

When managing any employee or situation, you should always be thinking of all of these elements.

Two axes

The most important elements of management style, and the ones that will do the most to define your approach in the eyes of others, are the two axes of:

  • Direction versus Consultation

  • Control versus Autonomy

The direction/consultation axis refers to the extent to which you keep decision-making to yourself and the extent to which you invite input from others.

The control/autonomy axis refers to the extent to which you determine how people should do their jobs and the extent to which you allow them to choose their own approach.


The amount of guidance you provide your employees is another key element of management style. Guidance comes in three main forms:

  • Coaching

  • Mentoring

  • Support

Coaching refers to the formal steps you take to develop an employee's skills in certain areas. These could be hard job skills, or soft skills such as communication or interpersonal skills.

Mentoring is a broader process, usually informal but sometimes formalized, whereby a more senior employee helps a less senior employee advance his or her career in various ways.

Support refers to steps you take less formally to help an employee along. These can include dealing with concrete issues, such as addressing obstacles that may have been created by other areas of the company and that make it difficult for your employee to get the work done, and softer issues, such as a lack of confidence on the part of the employee.


The final main element of management style is orientation. This is the extent to which you manage in the interests of the organization as opposed to those of the employee. Although it may sound obvious that you are hired to serve the needs of the organization, dealing with people is never that simple.