Even the world’s top leaders cannot always score points for their supervisory styles.
Lary Page, for example, had a difficult CEO style that led him to the idea of firing all project managers at once. As a result of such an unpopular move, he had to step down from the manager’s position in favor of Eric Schmidt. Eric Schmidt took on more of a paternalistic supervisory style. Page and his co-founding partner Brin remained on the sidelines in terms of their public managerial role but still largely contributed to the company’s growth.
But not every company is Google. Mistakes that you make with your supervisory styles can cost you a client, your best talent, and even the company.
Moving towards a more humanistic, decentralized, and circular view of management and supervision is not just an idea — it is a way of giving a new breath to any organization that struggles with obsolete supervisory styles and practices.
Best Supervisory Styles according to Employees
When asked what made their managers excellent CEOs, employees said that empathy, fair dealings, delegated decision-making, approachability, and providing growth opportunities are part of the supervisory styles that distinguish a great manager from an okay manager.
If you are familiar with Mary Follet’s school of management, she sails far from the leader-follower relations. Mary Follet talked about leaders and learners, in which every party in a partnership plays a reciprocal role, while the main leader is a common purpose.
As long as you have the ear to listen to your employees, you can learn a lot from them. That helps with engaging with a common purpose and creating a rewarding supervisory style.
Characteristics of a Rewarding Supervisory Style
Practicing these essential CEO leadership skills will help you to have an effective supervisory style:
- Fast decision-making. Make quick decisions based on incomplete and unclear information.
- Stakeholder engagement. Engage stakeholders to understand their role’s importance on the team.
- Proactive adaptation. Change according to customer behavior and market trends, don’t lead the team by the book.
- Reliability. Consistent follow-through on word with action.
The famous leadership styles autocratic, democratic, transformative, and laissez-faire are outmoded. You can expand on these basic supervisory styles with uncommon practices to create a unique management style.
Learn more: How to Improve Your Persuasive Management Style
Uncommon Supervisory Styles
Many successful leaders don’t come in a standard size. Apart from the two dominant traits they have—contagious enthusiasm and great strategic tools, they have some other exceptional characteristics that create a specific supervisory style.
Pacesetting Supervisory Style
Pacesetters set the norm. Pacesetting leadership usually creates high standards so that the team follows with identical results. Building high-performing teams is only possible if you start high and the team then exceeds expectations. Such teams require minimal management and are highly skilled. The team culture strives towards constant improvement.
The downside of the pacesetting supervisory style is that it can drain your team’s resources. In the long term, it can cause stress.
Affiliative Supervisory Style
The affiliative leader is focused on people and practices advanced communication skills. The focus on emotional bonds doesn’t have to be an isolated tool in your management arsenal so that your only goal as a supervisor is to create harmony at work. You can use the affiliative supervisory style as a conflict-resolution method, for stakeholder engagement, and to acknowledge employees. Affiliative leadership can be extremely useful under stressful circumstances.
Coaching Supervisory Style
The leader as a coach doesn’t issue commands but asks questions. The role of the coach is to support your staff in finding their own way. So when they come to you with a problem, you don’t deliver the solution on a gold platter. Moreover, your best solution may not be your team’s best solution. As a coach supervisor, you hone problem-solving abilities and point out similar experiences to stimulate growth. So you don’t get approached for a similar issue next time.
Adding a coaching element to your other supervisory styles is necessary if you want to grow your team and your business.
Learn more: Coaching as a Leadership Style on Virtual Teams
Integrative Leadership Style
Mary Follet was so ahead of her time that it was hard to find her spot in academia and corporate politics. Having seen the benefits of her singular thinking approach towards organizational power distribution, more organizations have adopted her excellent ideas.
What does it mean to have an integrative leadership style?
1. Circular behavior
Circular behavior is based on the “power-with” principle. This is unlike the “power-over” principle typical for authoritarian leadership. The power-with principle is about integrative influence. Integrative influence means that every leader, co-worker, and team member has an equal opportunity to influence each other.
2. The winning leadership type
In a situation that is always evolving towards integration, the three types of leadership don’t stand an equal chance of helping organizations grow. Among the leadership of position, the leadership of personality, and leadership of function, the last one comes as a clear winner.
3. Integrative unity
Integrative unity means thinking non-confrontationally. Conflicts are resolved through integration, and not by domination or compromise. Decisions are made based on facts and power, and not by imposing expert opinions or pressuring consent.
The integrative supervisory style favors cooperation before obedience.
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