Styles of Manager: The Worst 4 Types of Management Styles

The key factors to success is leadership and management styles

You may get excited to land the job of your dream. But that dream can fall apart the moment you know more about the styles of manager you are going to work with.  So, what type of management style do you prefer?

There are different types of management styles in the workplace. Unfortunately, not all are good – some are the worst styles of manager you don’t want to see.

Most employees prefer to work for companies that have people-centric managers than to earn good salaries.  No amount of money can make up for working with a bad manager, who makes you dread going into work every morning.

Here are 4 Types of Bad Management Styles

1. Narcissistic Managers

Narcissistic managers are selfish and very arrogant – who can quickly change attitudes whenever it suits their interests. These egotistical managers are highly submissive to their superiors but act like warriors in front of their teams.

Most managers change their behaviors over time.  But narcissistics don’t want to change. In fact, they can be vindictive if you offer support or challenge their actions. They love themselves too much and don’t care what their employees or colleagues think of them.

Narcissistic managers rarely give credit to their team members. Narcissistic bosses destroy morale and they feel that praising their staff members for excellent performance diminishes their self-worth. They have inflated self-beliefs.  And they don’t make any effort to build or maintain good relationships within the workplace.

Related article: Are You Embarrassed by Your People Manager Skills?

How to work with a narcissistic manager:

  • Show them your admiration and respect
  • Don’t try to outshine or outsmart them
  • Avoid bringing suggestions and ideas in the presence of others


2. Abrasive Managers

Abrasive managers are self-assured and overly aggressive. They tend to consider themselves knowledgable and professionally more competent than anyone else. Their management style demands high-performance standards. So, if team members don’t perform to those standards, they get disciplined.

Trying to work hard to impress this type of manager doesn’t always work. Because no matter how much effort team members put in, it’s not enough. You need to do more. 

Employees are always expected to do better, even when they achieve more. They don’t praise for a job well done but are very quick to reprimand anyone who makes mistakes.  Morale within their teams is always very low because there are no incentives for working with this type of manager. 

Abrasive managers feel that by being super aggressive and confrontational, other people will comply quickly to their demands.  But such attitudes always create an environment of fear and damages workplace relationships.  

Also, their relentless drive to achieve high performance push them into constant conflicts with colleagues.  They ignore the feeling of others and often try to justify their aggressive actions. 

How to deal with the abrasive manager:

  • Always keep a calm composure and confident
  • Don’t show any sign of fear or tentativeness
  • Focus on your strengths
  • Don’t criticize them

3. Secretive Management

Secretive managers are very insecure and paranoid about losing their jobs. Because of their constant fear, they micromanage teams and keep things to themselves.

Their management style prevents open communication between the managers and the subordinates. Team members cannot engage in discussions on complex matters. They keep their teams in the dark about company strategies and job plans. Their style of management prevents direct interactions and the free exchange of information.

All the necessary information, data is carefully managed and communicated selectively. Which means information is only released on a need to know basis. This makes it harder for teams to do their jobs.

Secretive managers are very suspicious of people, including those who are compliant. These managers prefer to remain distant and not interested in cross-working or collaboration. To them, all colleagues have hidden agendas. So they do everything to avoid dealing with them whenever possible.

And where there is a need to collaborate with colleagues, they still work with them at arm’s length – always keeping everything close to their chests. 

How to deal with secretive managers:

  • Don’t let your standards slip
  • Keep doing the job to a high standard
  • Make sure you don’t gossip and complain
  • Don’t criticize or provoke them

4. Compulsive Managers

Compulsive managers have a rigid mindset and believe that their way is the best to manage people and operations. So, there is no reason to learn other skills or listen to others’ ideas. Their management style flourishes by applying rigid methods to hold employees accountable.

These managers tend to have a fixed mindset and are often obsessed with the details.  They usually focus on a limited set of controllable actions and neglect other critical areas of their job.  That always prevents them see the whole picture.

Employees are strictly required to follow the procedures, use the pre-approved words, and do things in the prescribed order.

Compulsive managers always feel that being closer to employees undermines their authority. So, they push back and separate themselves to protect their space and power.

They treat people like robots that cannot think for themselves. It’s only the managers that can think and decide what has to do.

So, the managers produce plans in the blind belief that by sticking to the rules, employees will deliver perfect results. Employee’s participation and input are not allowed. Employees are monitored continuously to make sure that there is no deviation from rules and procedures.

How to work with compulsive managers:

  • Show them that your way will work out
  • Avoid arguing about what way is best
  • Feed their ego, don’t criticize them
  • Explain how your ideas fit into their plans

Styles of manager? – Of course, some people use more than one method to manage people.  And it is possible to switch from one to another depending on the situation.  However, the worst managers only have one way of managing, and they do not try to learn anything new or to change. 

Many styles of manager – what is the worst type of management style do you know?  Please leave your thought in the comment box

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