Even if you’ve never had a leadership role, this question may come up. Here’s how to answer it and what it says about you.
Remember that they don’t just ask about your management style when you apply for a managerial position. Hiring managers may want to know how you handle such tasks in the future, or they want to get a complete image of you as an employee.
How to answer “what’s your management style?”
What do interviewers want to know when they ask you about your management style? They want to see how you have handled similar past situations and how you will fit the company.
So, how can you give that to them?
First, think of an example of when you managed a person or a team. It can be a project you took the lead in, a successfully led meeting, or someone you successfully coached. Think of an example according to the STAR method, where you explain a specific situation, describe the task you had in that situation, the action you took, and the result.
Second, they want to know if you can adapt to different situations and different company teams. By assuring them that you have an adaptable leadership style and you are flexible, they will know that you adjust to the team at hand.
What type of management style do you have?
If you want to talk about your management skills and how that will benefit the company, it is crucial to understand your management style and how that integrates with your role.
Here are different management styles. We will go into each one of them to determine which one applies to you.
1. Autocratic management
Autocratic managers use the classic top-down approach that is prevalent in many bureaucratic organizations. It is a management style that means one-way communication and close monitoring of the employees. An autocratic manager can micromanage, which can lead to decreasing team efforts.
It may be a management style needed in times of change, where confidence and quick decision making are critical. However, if you manage experienced peers in a relatively stable environment, this approach tends to underperform.
2. Transformational management
Transformational management is all about helping employees reach their maximum potential. Transformational managers encourage their team to develop new skills and enable them to develop to their full potential.
The management style encourages change and pushes people out of their comfort zone. It increases innovation and creates an agile work environment where problems are quickly solved. Be careful not to push the team too much, as this may lead to them burning out.
3. Visionary management
Visionary managers develop a clear vision of where they want to go. By communicating that vision to the team, they encourage the team to follow that vision without much interference.
The team gets full responsibility and autonomy on how to complete their tasks. They will monitor the process by asking if they can do anything to help. Focus on the big picture is essential for visionary managers. They trust that the team takes care of the details.
4. Democratic management
Democratic managers listen to their teams and want to make decisions with the entire team. They want every employee to be heard and believe that everyone can add something to the discussion.
The democratic management style makes employees feel heard, making them work hard on the projects they believe in. It promotes a relationship between the team member and the manager, which builds trust. In the long term, it may also lead to better problem-solving when employees are comfortable making their voices heard.
5. Mentoring management
Mentoring managers want to encourage and motivate their team members to achieve goals. That’s why it is also referred to as coaching management or servant management. The employees are more important than the daily to-do list. They build relationships with their employees and motivate them to deliver.
Team members feel valued, and they will develop in their roles. The relationship-building ensures that team members will put in their efforts, learn from their mistakes, and improve over time.
6. Laissez-faire management
Laissez-faire managers give their team autonomy and trust that they can self-regulate. They provide little to no supervision and assume that employees will reach out to them when they need them.
If the organization has highly skilled workers, this management style could work. Team members are encouraged to solve their own problems and work together. However, if team members find it challenging to self-motivate, productivity and work quality may decrease.
What management style is right for you?
Your management style depends on many factors, the most important ones being:
- Your management skills and your personality.
- The culture of the company you work for.
- The team members you are currently managing.
If you want to advance in your management style, it is essential to recognize that you may need different management styles in different situations. Try to adopt the management style to the situation and the company instead of sticking with the management style you are most familiar with.
What does your management style say about you?
Your management style is all about how you use your skills to manage the team. A couple of crucial management skills include listening, communicating, and problem-solving. Even more critical is your ability to know what your strengths and weaknesses are.
If you are a leader and manager, you probably have a default leadership style. That is how you will build your reputation and how people will view you. Be aware of that because it influences how your team interacts with you.
You can see what works and doesn’t work about your management style so that you can adjust and improve that. Spend some time assessing your current management style and change or enhance the aspects you would like to change.
Over time, you will become the leader you want to become!