Happy New Year! A new year is a great time to check in with ourselves, establish new goals, and work out how we will accomplish those goals. The fresh start of a new year may be just the thing we need to put our best foot forward and begin to make huge strides for the future.
Ever thought about your management style? There are many different styles of managers and many ways to successfully manage. The important aspect is to recognize yours, so you can enhance its strengths and shore up its weaknesses.
Both are valid and suitable styles – if the weaknesses are addressed. Knowing which one you more closely resemble can give your insight as to how to be more efficient and effective when dealing with your employees and running your shop.
Let’s start with the most common – project-oriented managers. These managers love to lead and stay ahead of the pack. Goal-oriented, they can envision where they want to be or which direction, they would like to drive their business - and then steer the course. They’re risk-takers; often preferring to shape their own ideas rather than work in group collaboration. Project managers are highly creative, so they develop new approaches to problems or obstacles, sometimes without motivating others to buy into the solution. They relate to people on a more transactional level. They’re more independent. They might serve on a committee or work team, but they never belong to any of them.
Strengths of this kind of managing style are that it involves stirring emotions, raising expectations, and urging people toward new directions. The other side of this is that these managers can be preoccupied and lack empathy. They are so focused on what they want and what they see that they lose sight of the needs and dreams of others.
If you are this kind of manager take time to explain your visions. Be open to other viewpoints and use some employee suggestions to make everyone feel as if they are on the team. Use the drive and energy to inspire others by allowing them to be part of your team. Tolerate imperfection and less-efficient work styles. If your employees were all like you, they’d be in business for themselves. It takes all kinds to create a successful team.
The other general type of manager focuses on people rather than projects. They look for ways to involve employees in decision making. Exercising goodwill toward others, they sometimes lack the tough-mindedness and persistence that are required to keep the team sharply focused.
They tend to be reactive to problems and decide on goals based on necessity rather than personal or professional achievement.
People managers prefer to work with others rather than being involved in solitary activities. It’s important to them that everyone gets along and feel part of a group. Focusing on how to get things done as peacefully and productively as possible, they maintain control while paying attention to the balance of power among the employees.
An important distinction is that these managers work toward making everyone feel valued for their work. They are social creatures and feel comfortable in the interplay between employees and customers.
While they are good at seeing the strengths and weaknesses in employees and motivating them to do their best work, people managers tend not to be as good at foreseeing trouble, setting goals, or instigating sweeping change.
Both styles are valid and productive. But they have their unique weaknesses. Whether you’re a people manager, a project manager, or a combination of both, by knowing your strengths and weaknesses you can improve your leadership skills and interpersonal relationships.