Tips for Managing Different Work Styles

If you’ve been in a management position for any length of time, you know that each of your employees has a different work style. The way people think, structure, organize, and complete their work is tied up in their personalities, and when you understand this and know how to work with it, you can begin to be a more effective manager. Understanding different work styles is more than just a matter of assessing strengths and weaknesses. It requires a willingness to look at your employees as people, embrace their diversity, and meet them where they are.

There are many different models for assessing employees’ strengths, work style, and behavioral tendencies, but whichever you use, it’s important to acknowledge that people are not just one way or another. This makes management challenging, but by observing the workflow of your colleagues and team members and noticing how they work, you’ll be able to leverage their strengths to improve the efficiency and productivity of your organization. Because each team member is multifaceted, it’s, to make sure that many different work styles are represented in every project. The four basic work styles found in any office are:

  • Logical, analytical, linear and data-oriented: This person focuses on achieving a stated goal or outcome, and is good at analyzing data, processing information logically, and solving complex problems. This is the colleague to put in charge of keeping the project on budget.
  • Organized, sequential, planned, and detail-oriented: Strong in establishing order, structuring projects and tasks, and accuracy, this team member is the one who will make sure your work is completed on time and without typos.
  • Supportive, expressive, and emotionally oriented: This team member is good at building relationships, facilitating team interaction, and selling ideas. This is the person to put in charge of keeping everyone up to date on the project and effectively communicating your ideas throughout the organization.
  • Big-picture, integrative, and ideation-oriented: Skilled in serving as a catalyst for change, finding solutions to problems, and integrating and synthesizing ideas, this team member will bring variety to your team’s thought and execution and won’t allow you to stagnate.

So how can you effectively manage all these disparate work styles and personalities? First, take a look at your own management style. You might be an authoritarian manager, direct and in control, asserting strong authority and expecting complete obedience. On the other hand, you may be more of a visionary, leading through motivation and allowing your employees to handle the day-to-day details. Some managers are transactional, focusing on motivating employees using rewards and incentives, while others are servant leaders, supporting their employees through coaching and mentoring. A pacesetting management style means you lead from the front, providing instructions and pace, and expecting your employees to keep up, while laissez-faire managers give their employees freedom with very little oversight. On the other hand, you might have a democratic management style, based on the philosophy that everyone deserves to have a say. Democratic managers encourage team members to share their thoughts, ideas, suggestions, and potential solutions, to help each other and benefit the company.

Which style is right for you? It depends largely on your own strengths, personality, and experience, and the needs of your team. The culture of your company should also impact your style because different companies need different types of management, and even within one company the management style may need to shift over time. To be an effective manager, you need to be flexible.

Whatever kind of manager you are, it’s also important to promote diversity in your work environment. You can do that by meeting your employees where they are, adapting your style to meet their needs and help them develop their strengths. Effective management also means understanding what motivates your employees and where each of them fit best into any given project. Give people jobs that maximize their strengths and will keep them productive and happy, and you’ll have an effective team. Make sure you set a clear vision for your team and welcome the various styles and perspectives that will move it forward. Taking time to understand your employees’ work styles, focus your energy into developing their strengths and putting them in positions that will best utilize those strengths.

One way to gain a better understanding of your employees and what motivates them is through off-site training. At Texas Training and Conference Centers, we pride ourselves on providing companies with training facilities that feature high-quality equipment and exceptional service. Our computer labs and other spaces come equipped with internet accessibility, printers and fax machines, Wi-Fi setup, on-site tech support, full projection systems, workstations, whiteboards, and computers furnished with the most cutting edge technology, to ensure that your training event is a success. Soundproof rooms, continental breakfast, and optional catered lunches are just a few of the other ways we provide the little niceties that make a big difference for your event. For the past 18 years, we’ve provided exceptional service to businesses throughout Houston, and we have the expertise to help you make your event a success. To learn more about Texas Training and Conference Centers, call us at 832.982.1708 or contact us through our website.

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