Participative v Authoritarian

Do you believe your staff love their work and take pride in doing the best possible job?

Or do you think that they see it as a burden, and just do it for the money?

These assumptions can influence how you deal with people.

Douglas McGregor in this 1960 management classic The Human Side of Enterprise described two types of managers – Authoritarian  and Participative which still holds today in management theory.

If you believe that your team members dislike their work and have little motivation, then, according to McGregor, you’ll likely use an authoritarian style of management. This approach usually involves micromanaging people’s work to ensure that it gets done properly.

The problem with micromanaging

Micromanaging  can demotivate people in the long term and make them more dependent on you and that’s the opposite of what you want as a parent leading a team of supports for your family member.

The more you get involved, the more they will expect you to get involved.

The problem with too much freedom

On the other hand, if you believe that your people take pride in their work, then you’ll more likely adopt a participative management style.

Managers who use this approach trust their people to take ownership of their work and do it effectively by themselves. This tends to be the most popular management style but sometimes this approach gives people too much freedom.  Less-motivated individuals may also take advantage of this more relaxed working environment and not get stuff done.

Know when to use which style of leadership

Good managers now when to use each style.  You may use an authoritarian style of management for new starters who will likely need a lot of guidance, or in a situation that requires you to take control like in a crisis.

But you wouldn’t use it when managing a team who are used to working under their own initiative, and need little direction.  If you did, it would likely have a demotivating effect and may even damage your relationship with them.

What’s your leadership style?  What’s worked? What hasn’t ?  Consider what style would work best in the situations your team are in.

Become a better leader so that you can step back

Learn how to become an effective leader of your team of supports so that you can empower them and step back from the daily grind of management in the Lead Your Team Project


Categories: Lead Your Team