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Tailor Your Management Style

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101homespunweb.jpgBy Marshall Loeb, MarketWatch

RISMEDIA, Oct. 1, 2007-(MarketWatch)-As a manager, your job is to intuit the needs of your employees and give them the right combination of attention, feedback and praise to keep them motivated. But the diverse range of personalities populating today’s work force sometimes makes it difficult to determine how to do that.

Don’t worry. Being a manager may be getting more complicated these days, but eliciting good results from your team doesn’t require an advanced degree in psychology. In their book “6 Habits of Highly Effective Bosses,” executive coaches Stephen E. Kohn and Vincent D. O’Connell lay out best management practices for the four most common types of people you’ll find at the office:

1. The ‘get it done’ type

Think of him-or her, of course-as the office work horse. He always seems to have his eye on the prize, so much so that he may inadvertently trample those who get in his way. Intent on eliminating obstacles, the “get it done type” has little time for idle chatter and cringes at the prospect of sitting through long, aimless meetings. Diligent and responsive, but occasionally short on patience, he is less interested in perfection than in delivering results.

How to manage him: Make your expectations crystal clear and keep your conversations short. The “get it done type” is less interested in process than being given the tools required to meet his mandate.

2. The ‘get it right’ type

Fussy and fastidious, this type prioritizes delivering the perfect product over deadlines. She tends to focus on details rather than the big picture. Any deviations from the plan will be met with resistance and errors will not be tolerated.

How to manage her: The “get it right type” strongly values step-by-step planning, so take the time to discuss how best to go about achieving your shared goal. Always be aware that quality is of paramount importance to this type and that any tactful attempt to help her avoid mistakes will be appreciated.

3. The ‘get along’ type

While he may work hard, this type is generally less concerned with deadlines and details than with building a sense of community. Social butterflies by nature, the “get along” gravitates to activities that promote collaboration and team building, and tends to wilt when left alone for too long.

How to manage him: The “get along” type thrives when managers take the time to forge a personal connection by engaging in small talk, sharing ideas and emphasizing mutual interests. For best results, avoid assigning this type to projects that leave him feeling isolated.

4. The ‘get appreciation’ type

As the name implies, the “get appreciation” type is largely ego driven. While she may appear extremely goal oriented, she is typically motivated by the need to impress, not the need to produce. “Getting it done, getting it right and getting along are of less importance to them than getting noticed and being appreciated,” write Kohn and O’Connell.

How to manage her: Be generous with rewards and compliments and this type will work hard to meet your expectations. It’s best to sandwich your criticisms between positive statements.

Marshall Loeb, former editor of Fortune, Money, and the Columbia Journalism Review, writes for MarketWatch.

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