Different Management Styles – And Coping

August 22, 2009

Young professionals generally aren’t the boss.  We’re at the start of our career and have to follow the instructions of those in charge.  I’m involved in a graduate program which has a couple of rotations over two years.  Over this time, I’ve had the opportunity to experience several different management styles.

  1. The Phantom Manager – They are there, but not there.  These managers are it in name only.  They don’t control you, don’t guide you and generally don’t make their presence felt.  Approach – Continually and actively seek feedback.
  2. Outcomes Manager – “Get it done.”  I’ve had managers who seem to not worry about how you get it done, as long as it is.  This can be dangerous.  Don’t break rules that may get you in trouble.  Approach – Explain and justify why you don’t feel comfortable doing it.
  3. Manager Manager – This manager loves to manage.  Got an issue?  Meeting.  New week?  Meeting.  Meeting?  Meeting.  Approach – Refuse meetings without a purpose.  Focus on short term outcomes.
  4. Worker Manager – Are they your boss?  Sometimes it can be hard to tell with these managers.  They do your work, don’t delegate and generally fail to manage. Approach – Seek guidance from them to encourage management of you.

There are numerous posts, research, textbooks and university courses about the different types of management styles.  Over the next few weeks I’ll talk about the different approaches and my experiences of them in the work place.

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3 Responses to “Different Management Styles – And Coping”

  1. Lance said

    i am used to dealing with the phantom manager as my two supervisors both work part time and find it very difficult to catch up with me (or so they say) and the director is in the office around 5-10% of the week. How I like to deal with my phantom managers is try and make a regular meeting time, once a fortnight maybe, and actally be prepared for the meetings (generally, i am the only one who does this) and at least then, if anything bad happens you can cover yourself. Other than this, multiple solutions always work ok; when it comes to decision time and you need that last minute final approval, don’t hope that your one solution will satisfy your manager (i have found this out the hard way), have a few altnerate options just in case you are a little off mark and only have one chance to meet them.

  2. […] wanted to follow up on a great comment by Lance on a post of mine.  He refers to a few techniques he’s developed to deal with both […]

  3. uzma shereen said

    please explain the management styles in detail

    Blogger’s Note – Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll make plans to elaborate more on this popular post. Keep checking back. Thanks.

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