Essentials of
Small Business Management

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What Is Your Management Action Style?

Do you find it difficult to move from task to task or are you very flexible when it comes to retaining and evaluating a lot of different information? Or perhaps the idea of having to manage others really turns you off? On the other hand, maybe you're the type who has never been bothered by the idea of delegating and loves the challenge of long-range planning.

There are all different types of managers. Some are much more successful than others. Many times managerial success is directly tied to your own personal strengths and weaknesses as well as your personal action style. The chart below outlines three common management action styles and describes the strengths and/or weaknesses of each type. Before we go any further, let's take a look at each one.

Action Style Choices For Managers

INACTIVE

RE-ACTIVE

PRO-ACTIVE

Who is leading? Co-workers; chance; nearest personality disorder Chance; nearest personality disorder You
Can subordinates depend on leader (trust)? No. Cannot predict what will happen. Yes. Can expect late, usually disorganized, often negative behavior. Yes. Can feel safe because they trust action even when they disagree.
Frequency of stress situations Immediately, at level of chance; increases over time because team does not develop to meet increasing demands. Never ending; often self - producing. Little emotional stress (burnout); physical stress only when systems are temporarily disrupted.
Severity of impact Often unknown until after weeks or months, then severe. Severe; to survive, staff block awareness; subordinate staff productivity is minimal. Minimal for given issues and of brief duration.
Quality of training for subordinates Little, if any, effective training provided; most done by other subordinates. Training negative because it's given to correct action already taken. Organized; gives what is expected to do job, time to practice and re-evaluate.
Productivity Random level; level development on one or few individual subordinates. Low level; too busy to get any task done; lots of partially completed tasks cause lessened level of support from others. Good level; efficient use of time and resources.
Service delivery By individual, not team, so not consistent. Higher than needed; number of poor decisions because of time. Consistent; slowly changing and improving.

You probably noticed rather quickly that being pro-active in your approach as a manager will get you much further and cause you much less stress than being either reactive or inactive. So why is it that all managers don't take a pro active approach? Well, managers are human too. Like everyone else in the world, they have their own perceptions and their own personal weaknesses.

Below is a list of the five most common reasons for each management action style. As you read through these, be honest with yourself. If you feel weak in any of the areas, it is to your advantage to acknowledge it now before you become a manager. Not only will you raise the productivity level of your employees, but you will also save yourself a lot of personal stress and frustration. If you already relate to the pro-active action style, then hats off to you!

Common Reasons for Each Action Style

INACTIVE

RE-ACTIVE

PRO-ACTIVE

Personal thinking pattern Often can't move from task to task; incomplete thoughts Not at ease planning; not creative; difficulty predicting Retains many pieces of data; very flexible; can evaluate from many points of view
Ability to design systems Often has difficulty understanding systems; usually better with concrete tasks with specific steps to follow Most decisions made independently; sees most issues as unique Uses new data to evaluate and re-evaluate systems; generalizes easily
Understanding of dependency among complex variables Not a clue and often doesn't understand even when it is explained Sees each issue separately, takes action without considering impact(s) Usually considers several options and looks for impact of each one
Confidence Unsure of self as a person and/or skills Often was skilled at non-manager tasks and when promoted perceives self as skillful manager; often doesn't see own style and doesn't know there are problems Realistic self-confidence; usually watches other managers and self with intent to learn and improve
Assumption of responsibility Can't tolerate feeling responsible; often make issue of team work; often hopes other staff will do task Sees responsibility for each task; doesn't think of long range responsibility; often hopes for change in other systems Proud to be responsible for day-to-day and long range effectiveness

(North Texas Women's Business Development Center, Dallas, TX)

 

David L. Heiserman, Editor

Copyright   SweetHaven Publishing Services
All Rights Reserved

Revised: June 06, 2015