Navigating various types of leadership in the workplace can be challenging. There are many contrasting styles of leadership – some easier to work with than others.
The following categorizations are not absolute; managers often transition between them based on various factors such as the individuals they work with and their personal circumstances. Paru Radia, a business consultant and coach, emphasizes that none of these managerial types should be labeled as inherently bad. People exhibit different traits at different times, and we all aspire to improve.
- The Micromanager: Micromanagers are frequently discussed and are often viewed unfavorably. They tend to closely oversee and control their team's work, struggling to delegate tasks or trust team members. However, this behavior can be rooted in workplace anxiety, driving their need for control.
How to approach them: Empathizing with their anxiety can help employees cope with micromanagers. Demonstrating responsibility, self-starting abilities, and self-sufficiency can ease their concerns. If necessary, engage in a direct conversation, presenting evidence of their micromanagement's impact on workflow, and seek a middle ground.
- The Manager Driven by the Bottom Line: Managers solely focused on the bottom line often neglect their employees' personal lives, causing stress and work-life imbalance.
How to approach them: Identify daily tasks that demonstrate progress to your manager while maintaining healthy boundaries. Clearly define work goals, set boundaries, and adhere to them to strike a balance between professional and personal life.
- The Manager Who Is Too Nice: While empathetic managers are generally well-liked, excessive niceness can hinder career growth and development opportunities for team members, leading to stagnation.
How to approach them: Express your professional development aspirations and seek guidance. If your manager can't provide it, inquire about mentorship opportunities from other sources. Address demotivation concerns and work together to maintain productivity.
- The Absent Manager: Hybrid or remote work setups can lead to managers being physically distant and challenging to reach, resulting in employees feeling adrift without guidance.
How to approach them: If the manager's absence violates workplace rules, consult HR. If schedules don't align, demonstrate leadership skills to get things done independently while maintaining open communication.
- The Narcissistic Manager: Narcissistic managers believe they are always right, making it challenging to build constructive relationships and fostering a toxic work environment.
How to approach them: Begin by acknowledging their correctness to ease tensions, then express your viewpoint tactfully to initiate a productive dialogue.
- The Last-Minute Manager: Managers who habitually operate in the eleventh hour can cause stress and hinder productivity. Communication issues, such as last-minute cancellations or assignments, may arise.
How to approach them: Politely express the importance of timely communication and task completion. If issues persist, involve higher management to find a solution.
- The Manager Who Blends Personal and Professional: Mixing personal matters with work discussions can make employees uncomfortable and divert focus from tasks.
How to approach them: Set clear boundaries and redirect discussions to work-related topics when necessary. Address any persistent issues through open communication.
- The Laissez-Faire Manager: These managers take a hands-off approach, which can lead to unclear expectations and underperformance among employees.
How to approach them: Take initiative, define tasks, and seek feedback. Clearly communicate your objectives and goals to ensure alignment.
- The Transactional Manager: Transactional managers prioritize work over personal interactions and rely on systems of rewards and punishments for motivation.
How to approach them: Understand their expectations and preferred work style. Tailor your approach to meet their criteria and consistently deliver exceptional results.
- The Servant Manager: Servant managers tend to take on too many responsibilities, potentially inhibiting team members' accountability.
How to approach them: Initiate team check-ins to distribute responsibilities more evenly and allow team members to take ownership of their tasks.
Understanding these diverse managerial types and their motivations can help employees effectively collaborate with their managers, fostering a more productive and harmonious work environment.