Employees who work effectively with their managers are sensitive to their boss’s work style while fully recognizing their own needs and styles. You cannot change your boss’s style, but you can become aware of what it is about him/her that facilitates a good work relationship. Through this understanding you can establish a way of working that makes you both more productive; in addition you can adjust your style in response to your boss’s preferred style.
What are these four styles? Although there are four primary categories of managers – TOPS: Trendsetter, Outgoing, Perfectionist and Stable – I said in my interview that “most humans are complex creatures who can have a little of each quality. Once you’ve figured out your boss’s style, you can come up with an appropriate approach.”
Most people would probably agree that managers don’t have to be liked or admired; however, it is your responsibility to manage your boss because s/he is your resource for achievement, and a major stumbling block who can thwart success.
Characteristics of The Four Manager Styles
Below are some characteristics that depict each style. It shouldn’t be too hard to recognize not only your manager, but yourself. (Remember, everyone has a combination of four styles; however, within the work environment, one style is usually more predominant than the other three.)
- Willing to experiment, likes change, is a risk taker.
- Acts with self confidence.
- Prefers variety and challenges to a routine job.
- Takes on leadership roles. Is competitive and controlling.
- Prefers flexibility, little control by others.
- Communicates easily with many people.
- Responds well to recognition; values helping people.
- Loses focus and wastes time with too much talking.
- Wants everything to be right, in compliance with laws, standards, policies and procedures.
- Dislikes chaos or unpredictable working environments.
- Overly critical and demanding of self and others.
- Always wants to find a better way to do something.
- Avoids surprises.
- Works/communicates well in a small group.
- Works steadily on routine tasks; is neat and organized.
- Needs detailed directions.
For additional details about how to develop a better relationship with your manager as well as practical strategies for working with each style please see TOPS™ Managing Up.