Tuesday, December 16, 2008

On the Other Hand...

I was recently asked "What's your favorite management style?" As in, what preferences do I look for, or need, in my manager. I honestly replied that I'm still trying to figure that out.

More often than not, different roles require different management techniques. Depending on my role and responsibilities, I require different management support. And I think it's the same for any position- at any given time, your present role will dictate what type of management you need.

For example, if I'm scheduling work teams for an upcoming project, I don't require a manager to do it and have me communicate it. What I do need is a manager who will back me up when an employee has a problem with the schedule, or I communicate there isn't enough resources. Or if I have a large punch list, I don't need a micro-manager asking every five minutes if project W or V is done.

When job descriptions tend to gravitate to the "Other duties as assigned" territory, management styles should alter to fit the employee role. A production (otherwise known as "Goods") role requires direction and approval management. Relationship-building ("Services") role requires mentorship and policy oversight. Or to use a sports metaphor, production roles are like football plays. X's and O's, everyone knows their part to get the ball across the goal line. Relationship roles are dynamic and fluid, more like an MMPORPG (Massive Mulit-Player Online Role-Playing Game)- a set environment and a few rules. But you do whatever is allowed in the construct to accomplish your goals.

So each role requires different styles, since X's and O's aren't enough when you have Y's, Q's, and AE's (diphthongs).

And looking back at my answer, I think I'll rephrase it to this: Whichever leads me to my next level.

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