There are diverse types of management styles in the workplace. New research by the consulting firm Hay/McBer found six distinct leadership styles, each springing from different components of emotional intelligence. The styles, taken individually, appear to have a direct and unique impact on the working atmosphere of a company, division, or team and, in turn, its financial performance.

The research indicates that leaders with the best results do not rely on one leadership style; they use most of them seamlessly and in different measures, depending on the business environment. Coercive leaders demand immediate compliance. Authoritative leadership mobilise people toward a mission. Affiliative leaders create emotional bonds and harmony. Democratic leaders build consensus through participation. Pacesetting leaders expect excellence and self-direction, and coaching leaders develop people for the future.

However, irrespective of the management style, an essential function of a manager is to identify their employee’s strengths and weaknesses and, using the information, stimulate improved performance. An employee who plays to their strength is happier and leads to more content employees, which is ultimately advantageous for the business.

Communication between a manager and their team is crucial. A way to ensure this occurs is to set specific dates for performance appraisal or even a scheduled “check-in” with employees. The purpose of the performance appraisal is not to identify faults but to assist the employee in reaching their full potential through an engaged process.

There are certain guidelines to consider as you assess your employees to identify their strengths and weaknesses. Ask for feedback from other employees on your team. It could be helpful to gather information from fellow employees, as one person’s assessment of an employee’s strengths and weaknesses may not be accurate.

Pay attention to employees’ failures and successes. Although employers generally tend to focus on their areas of weakness, the employee’s areas of strength should also be discussed. The employee’s duties and responsibilities may be adapted to allow them to work in an area where they thrive, benefitting the employee and the employer.

Determine where the team have succeeded and look at what everyone’s contribution was to the success or failure. Focus on consistency among team members’ roles. If an employee is consistently responsible for a certain task and has been doing it consistently and effectively, that will play to their strength. It is also important to determine an employee’s strengths and weaknesses outside of teamwork. Some employees have different strengths and weaknesses when working independently instead of in a team.

By identifying employees’ strengths and weaknesses through effective communication and systematic performance appraisals, managers can develop their employee’s strengths and assist in improving weaknesses.

In conclusion, irrespective of a particular manager’s style, or a combination thereof, it is in the employer’s and employee’s best interest when managers engage with their employees in a meaningful manner to assist them in growing and reaching their full potential.

Article By: Aletta Eksteen
Dispute Resolution Official – CEO Cape Town