Do you remember back to that first time you were placed in a leadership role? I was working at a burrito restaurant (not that one) in college when I became a manager for the first time. It can be a lot of new responsibilities and headaches but with the right tools and knowledge you can be the best possible manager for your team, leading them to new successes and personal growth. If you are a boss, manager, or leader at your tax office then this is the article for you. In this week’s article we discuss nine management styles and effective methods for optimizing them in the workplace.
Possibly the most infamous management style, a micromanager is constantly over your shoulder, demanding consistent updates, and in general a strain on your already heavy workload. However it’s not necessarily all bad. For example, the micromanagement style can be helpful to new hires or trainees who are still learning the ropes and need extra assistance from time to time. If this management style describes you then be careful as it may be contributing to a higher stress workplace as well as preventing your team members from growing and taking on more responsibilities in your tax office.
Now we are moving on the opposite end of the management spectrum, laissez-faire management. Don’t let the name fool you, people with this management style may not be as proactive but that’s because they trust their team to get the job done. This management style promotes independence in your tax office as well as flexibility and creative problem solving. The downside to this style is new hires can feel lost and confused with a lack of hands-on instruction. Employees can often feel unsupported or undervalued while dealing with a laissez-faire manager.
Managers that fall under the democratic management style tend to treat the members of their team as more of a constituents. This fosters a more collaborative work environment where decisions made by the manager are often talked over with the team before formally announced. While the manager maintains full decision making power it allows the team members to feel heard. Democratic managers have to be good at sifting through personal preferences when consulting with their team and distill their advice into a more usable form. This means they may not make the most popular decisions.
Another unpopular management style, the autocratic manager adopts a more,”my way or the highway,” strategy for dealing with the tax office. While this style has a variety of weaknesses such as, low workplace morale, narrow minded goals, and an often inflexible strategy it’s not without its benefits. With one personal calling the shots your tax office can be more organized and accomplish goals faster with everyone working towards a clearly defined objective.
This is often what comes to mind when you picture a “good” manager. People with the visionary management style have a clear goal for the business, can effectively delegate tasks, and even inspire their team members in the tax office. While this is effective in many ways it does have some pretty large weaknesses, especially depending on the industry or level your business is at. Visionary managers will usually need to be grounded at some point, often it’s the accounting department or bookkeeper who steps in to let them know that their “grand vision” just isn’t in the budget.
“We are all one big family here,” is thrown around a lot in some workplaces and it’s usually not true. However if you or your manager fall into the paternalistic management style then perhaps it’s more of a reality at your workplace. These managers often care more about the lives and personal well being of their employees rather than business goals. While this method is ideal for high employee retention and office morale it does lead to issues when that manager has to make a decision that negatively impacts the staff.
The transformational management style has a specific focus on the self-improvement and growth of their employees. These managers see the potential in others and work to nurture it in order to receive the best possible work from their team. This style can often backfire as team members who grow quickly can either ascend to a leadership position themselves or leave for better opportunities at other businesses.
This style is like a hybrid or the previously mentioned Transformational and Micromanagement styles. While still focused on employee development it has a more hands-on approach to it, taking more of a mentorship role. Those with a coaching management style tend to be more empathetic and excel at communication which helps to boost office morale and loyalty. The downside is similar to the transformational style, where the employees are often headhunted because of the skills they developed. It also has a negative impact on the manager themselves as this style requires a lot of hands on time and energy, leaving little time for their own work or development.
Similarly to the autocratic management style, persuasive managers have a clearly defined vision and goal for the business. Unlike autocratic managers, managers who fall under this style are more likely to explain the reasons for their decisions based on research, logic, or experience. This leads to team members having a greater respect for their managers as they recognize their expertise in their industry. The downside to the persuasive management style is similar to the downsides for the autocratic style as just because the persuasive manager has logical reasons behind their decisions they don’t always share them with their team members.
Becoming a leader in the tax industry should be the goal of anyone currently preparing taxes, but becoming a leader means a whole new set of responsibilities and new skills that you will need to develop. With a better understanding of these nine common management styles you will be able to effectively communicate with your team and clients for a more productive tax season.
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