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communication style
crises
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Tough Supervision: Use It When Needed
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In this age of teams, teamwork, and empowerment, is there room for a “do it my way” style of management?

Situations that call for a quick turnaround, instant action, or unity of purpose-such as crises or emergencies—need a forcible communication style.

Such a style may be necessary when you don’t have time for debate. Don’t pull lever A; turn valve B first, you say to an employee who is about to endanger the safety of himself and others on the plant floor. In such a case, you need to tell the employee what to do without listening or permitting input from him.

But being forcible doesn’t mean bullying, yelling, screaming or treating employees in a disrespectful manner. Overusing this style could cause employees to rebel, passive resist, or quit. It needs to be used only a small percentage of the time and then by a person such as a manager who has positional or legitimate power over the employees. The employee must believe that the manager has knowledge and is acting in the best interests of everyone concerned. After all you are in a management position and your company expects you to use those skills. They have the confidence in you do to the right thing for the company and expect you to be forcible if needed.

The best managers are those who vary their management styles based on the demands of a situation. He shares insights into five other management styles:

Authorative. Whereas the forcible style sets direction around a specific situation, an authorative style tends to set direction around a goal, vision, or object and how the group will get there. This style uses both positive and negative feedback, explaining why actions are necessary and encouraging alternatives.

Affiliative. Such a style appeals to the “humanity” of employees and fosters cooperation and teamwork through compromise and communication. It is particularly effective in managing work teams.

Democratic. This style works best with experts or technical people who won’t tolerate being directed and are highly competent, having a good understanding of the job, and tend to function autonomously, yet need a manager to coordinate their activities.

Coaching. This style focuses not only on providing good constructive development feedback around job performance but also on long-term development needs of employees. New hires may especially benefit from this style.

Pacesetter. This approach is recommended for managers looking to create an entrepreneurial environment, and works best with highly motivated employees who don’t require much direction but respond to someone they can model themselves after.


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