A leader should alter their leadership techniques and management methods based on the experience and motivation level of the employees they are directing. For example, a new young recruit would require a different approach from a long-term trusted ally. Also a highly motivated employee will take more initiative versus a less motivated employee. Using the wrong management methods will be ineffective and could be insulting.
 Which technique will be most effective?
Leaders should adapt their management methods and techniques based on the management and leadership experience as well as motivation level of the people they are working with. Ask yourself what will be the most effective:
- Is a teaching moment needed sharing something new?
- Would a more collaborative discussion of the issue at hand be most productive?
- Do you just need to ask the right question to provide the needed direction?
- Is it important and helpful to explain the cultural context of the issue under discussion?
- How often should you check back to monitor progress?
 Leadership Style Matrix
|Highly Motivated||Not Highly Motivated|
|Inexperienced||Provide problem description, preferred solutions and check back infrequently.||Provide detailed instruction and check back quite frequently.|
|Experienced||Provide the problem description, discuss solutions and available time and ask to be consulted if needed.||Provide clear requirements and check back frequently.|
 Related Best Practices
- Management Styles
- Lessons to Build Effective Leaders
- Manager 101
- Management by Walking Around
- Communications Best Practices
- "The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done", Peter F. Drucker, 1966.
- 6 Effective Ways Listening Can Make You a Better Leader, Glenn Llopis, Forbes, May 2013.
- Management Styles - Directing, Discussing, & Delegating, Paul B. Thornton, 2005.- This article defines the three basic styles of managing, when and how to use them - directing, discussing, and delegating.
The author of this page is John Macpherson
John Macpherson is currently Chairman of the Board of the Anvil Corporation. Anvil is a 100% ESOP-owned corporation providing full-service engineering, design, procurement, and project management services in the U.S. and Canada.
John joined Anvil in 1971 and served as Anvil's President from 2003-2009. He has extensive experience in business management, engineering management, project management, and design engineering, primarily for the petroleum refining industry. John led Anvil's efforts to apply computer technologies to all aspects of engineering, project management, and resource management.
John holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Davis. He also attended the Program for Management Development at the Harvard Business School. He holds Professional Mechanical Engineer licenses in the States of Washington and Alaska.