10 Types of Management Styles and Their Key Qualities

Updated September 30, 2022

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Whether your manager is highly involved in daily operations or is more of a delegator, being familiar with how your manager leads can impact your daily operations and the future of your career. Learning to understand and anticipate your manager's style can boost compatibility between you and ensure that you adapt to the kind of work that your manager expects and appreciates.

If you're a manager, you can also benefit from knowing about the various ways to direct a team, support team members and resolve conflicts, all of which produce different results in terms of work productivity.

In this article, we review 10 different types of managers and explain how these management styles can be effective.

What is a management style?

A management style describes the way a leader oversees and supports a team. Management styles involve methods used to direct individuals or groups of people, ways that personal qualities affect how someone exerts authority and details regarding how a manager prefers to overcome challenges or conflicts.

Different management styles can be combined to accomplish specific tasks or reach established goals. For example, if your team responds strongly to positive reinforcement but also requires heavy direction, your manager might try a combination of both to maximize productivity by setting strict deadlines but also offering incentives for achieving small goals.

Related: 7 Management Styles for Effective Leadership (With Examples)

10 types of managers

A team's productivity often relies on how well their manager leads them in undertaking responsibilities. Here are 10 types of managers you could encounter and what their management styles might look like:

1. Coaching managers

Coaching managers enjoy taking on a teacher-like role and typically have a good understanding of the different stages of professional development. They love to push their employees to improve by building strong personal relationships.

Common qualities of a coaching manager include:

  • Educating every employee

  • Considering the long-term professional development of their employees

  • Bringing the team together while also catering to each individual's progress

Related: 15 Manager Coaching Skills (With Definition and Examples)

2. Authoritative managers

Authoritative managers take most of the decision-making and task delegation into their own hands while maintaining a strict protocol around their office. They often focus on adhering to rules and making sure that employees complete tasks to the company's standard of quality.

Common qualities of an authoritative manager include:

  • Prioritizing rules and operation standards

  • Demanding the best from their employees and holding employees accountable

  • Using disciplinary action when necessary

Related: Interview Question: How Do You Like To Be Managed?

3. Results-based managers

Results-based managers primarily concentrate on whether employees meet their goals. They are more concerned that employees do their work rather than how they do it. This gives employees some power to make decisions and come up with their own methods for success.

Common qualities of a results-based manager include:

  • Being lenient in terms of protocol

  • Adapting to how their employees work most effectively

  • Focusing only on work being completed, not how it gets accomplished

4. Strategic managers

Strategic managers build their management style around the end goal they want to reach. They delegate authority to lower-level supervisors so they can focus on developing the ultimate long-term strategy for success.

Common qualities of a strategic manager include:

  • Delegating responsibility but not otherwise heavily involved in day-to-day tasks

  • Focusing on the overall view of their projects rather than minor details

  • Working independently to create plans for their employees to undertake on their own

Related: The 5-Step Strategic Management Process

5. Proactive managers

Proactive managers are always ready to offer help and advice and remain positive even in times of crisis. They typically focus on what actions they can take to overcome or solve any challenges that might arise and try to meet those challenges with a hands-on approach.

Common qualities of a proactive manager include:

  • Being enthusiastic about meeting goals through collaboration

  • Having confidence in the abilities of their employees

  • Being supportive of employees and poised to help

Related: How To Use Proactive Management Techniques in the Workplace

6. Laissez-faire managers

Laissez-faire managers ensure that they meet their goals, but they typically do not offer much help or supervision during work operations. They place most of the day-to-day and long-term responsibilities on their employees. You might work well under a laissez-faire manager if you prefer to work autonomously.

Common qualities of a laissez-faire manager include:

  • Remaining hands-off with daily performance

  • Delegating responsibility and stepping back

  • Giving employees autonomy to make decisions and complete tasks on their own

7. Democratic managers

Democratic managers listen to employee input and welcome employees to be a part of the decision-making process. They try to make every member of a team crucial to a project's completion. An office led by a democratic manager might feel teamwork-focused.

Common qualities of a democratic manager include:

  • Being open to suggestions and criticism

  • Being understanding of employees' points of view

  • Emphasizing collaboration among employees and the team as a whole

8. Visionary managers

Visionary managers rely on strategy to make a plan for their team, and they ultimately allow their employees to work autonomously. However, they do check in with employees regularly to ensure productivity is in line with their vision.

Common qualities of a visionary manager include:

  • Staying fair but being serious about achieving desired results

  • Offering large quantities of feedback

  • Trusting employees as long as they adhere to the established strategy

Related: 14 Traits of Visionary Leaders

9. Transformational managers

Transformational managers are enthusiastic about growth and adapting to changes in their industry. They motivate employees to go beyond their comfort zones and constantly improve.

Common qualities of a transformational manager include:

  • Being innovative in terms of approaches to new tasks and methods of operation

  • Motivating and challenging employees to adapt to changes

  • Being heavily involved in work processes and highly supportive of employees

10. Charismatic managers

Charismatic managers prioritize building strong personal relationships with their employees and try to cater to their employees' needs whenever they can.

Common qualities of a charismatic manager include:

  • Being friendly and charming when collaborating with employees and supervisors

  • Being kind to employees rather than authoritative

  • Providing constant support and help when necessary

Related: 5 Qualities That Define Charismatic Leadership

Read more:

Types of Manager Jobs
7 Types of Workplace Management Theories
The 17 Distinct Types of Bosses You'll Meet and How To Work For Them
10 Common Leadership Styles (Plus How To Find Your Own)


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