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Many professional management discussions, at schools and various research centers, are about the best management style in the work place. Search for a theoretical recipe of best behaviour goes on and on.

I am sorry to say that there is no universal recipe for best managerial style in any office. Judging by my humble experience, you need to use different methods in different times, in addition to a few simple things you should do always: be consequent, protect basic values and be communicative and professional. On that base, you can change your managerial style as moment (or organisation state) requires.

Today many managers trust in technology to measure workers performance, mistaking hours at work with effectiveness. Those managers make sure that their workers are on time, put in required number of hours and look busy when those hours tick by. Some managers realise that not hours, but results are important and allow for some freedom, including working from home. Some more move even further, encouraging flat structures, freedom of dress and choice of workplace (home or office).

I think that each approach is valid in certain times. We all know Maslow’s theory (if you don’t, find it here) and you need to adapt your managerial style to that theory. What I mean is: if your organisation is in crisis, which endangers basic needs of your workers, you need to be strict, soldier-like in order to give people a beacon of light. In such times there is no time to wander aimlessly around. But if crisis goes away and basic needs are satisfied, people will demand (even sub-consciously) more of you. You may need then to guide them to fulfill their higher needs, whatever those may be, while fulfilling assigned duties. You may need to educate your people, let them grow, or let them (or make them) go away if they will not measure up.

It is not easy, but if you are in the position of authority, nothing is easy, unless you will choose it to be. But such decision will have its effect on people you manage. And here nothing can be done, unfortunately.