Discovering your management style

Whether you’re a first-time manager or you’ve been leading a team for 20 years, knowing your natural management style and developing it can give you, and your team, more confidence in your leadership.

Many have tried to organize management styles into simple categories, but there are likely as many styles of management as there are managers. That’s because each individual has an approach that feels most natural to them.

If you’re trying to play the role of what you think a manager should be, rather than actually being a manager, you’re likely alienating your staff. That’s because people are good at spotting an imposter, and employees can easily tell if your style of management is a front.

To determine where your leadership strengths lie, begin by examining how you interact with peers outside of work. The natural way you relate to your peers will help you understand the most natural way you’ll relate to your employees. Use those strengths and build on them.

Even people who think they aren’t natural leadership material may find that they’ve more strengths than they realize. My husband protested for years that he wasn’t a good leader. Then he was promoted to a management position.

He quickly discovered that he’s a natural born teacher. His management style is a coaching approach. Employees he worked with years ago still contact him to ask his advice and learn from him. The man who thought he would make a terrible leader discovered he’s an absolute favorite among his staff.

Good managers have learned that there are many styles of leadership, but the best one to use is the one that feels most natural to you.