Hardworking, great attitude, a willingness to help team members and customers – these are all traits you expect your café workers to possess in spades. But they’re also super-important attributes for a manager. In the fast-paced world of running a café business, it’s not always easy to reflect on how your management style might affect the business. But take a little time to read Part 1 of our series and discover what your management style really says about you.
What’s your leadership type?
Everyone has a leadership style – even if they don’t exactly know what it is yet. When you’re put under stress, you’ll naturally gravitate toward a particular reaction. So it’s worth knowing all the different types of leadership so you can build on your weaknesses and use your strengths to overcome challenges.
In a study on leadership, consulting firm Hay-McBer pinpointed six different management styles:
- Directive (aka coercive): Wants instant compliance from team members.
- Authoritative (aka visionary): Provides long-term direction and is seen as ‘firm but fair’.
- Affiliative: Tries to create harmony between employees and managers, and typically avoids conflict.
- Participative (aka democratic): Builds commitment and believes every employee has a role to play.
- Pace-setting: Focuses on completing tasks quickly and to the highest standard.
- Coaching: Thinks professional development of their employees is of the utmost importance.
While no single leadership style should be considered the best or the worst, they can all be used to great effect in different situations. The key is figuring out when to be authoritative, and when to take on more of a coaching role.
How do you react when under pressure?
When you’re under pressure, you’ll instinctively turn to one of the above leadership styles that matches your typical reaction. But instead of just going with the flow and becoming the ‘coercive’ or ‘participative’ manager, stop and ask yourself why. These three questions will help:
- What would this situation look like to an outside party?
- Will my natural leadership style be the most effective one? If not, why?
- Which other leadership styles can help me become the most effective manager in this situation?
By taking the time to review the situation and think before acting, you’ll know which leadership style will be the most effective – and your team members will appreciate the thoughtful approach.
You don’t need just ONE management style
The best part about these six management styles is that you aren’t locked into just one. The problem a lot of managers run into – whether they’re experienced or just starting out – is that they automatically fall into the easiest management type for them.
But by acknowledging that different styles can work better in different situations, you can adjust your management type to suit not only the challenge you’re facing right now, but also to meet the needs of your employees.
Do you use every resource to your advantage?
If you’re running into the same old problems again and again, it might be worth reviewing your systems to see if there’s any process you need to change or tool you can implement to help. Do you use every available resource? If not, can you invest in a few solutions to make your life – and the lives of your team – a little easier?
An online communication tool can be great at getting a read on what your team members think about you as a manager, and how the café business is functioning as a complete unit. It’s like a social media tool for the workplace, and it means you can stay in touch with the team without having time-intensive meetings every Monday morning.
Use your team as a sounding board – and learn from their answers!
While it’s well worth researching all the different leadership types and how they can make you a better manager, remember that your team members are the best resource you have. Don’t be afraid to ask them what you’re doing right and what you could be doing better as a leader. Most importantly, take their answers on board – and learn from them!
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