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4 Kinds of Managers and How to Handle Them

Aug 12 2016

In any workplace, there will always be a boss. That boss might be you; it might not. When you’re in production, a manager will always be behind your back, looking and observing how well you do, giving you responsibilities and feedback, and being the person you report to.

But it’s not a one-sided relationship. Your boss will always have something to say to you; the good managers will ask for positive or negative feedback on how they are as a leader and co-worker. However, there are bad managers, too.

Let’s face it: Managers are also human beings with dreams, hopes, ambitions, problems, and challenges. Along with those, however, are the same subjective matters, perspectives, and observations on how they are as leaders and what their strengths and weaknesses are. Should it be up to you, the employee, to know if your manager is good or bad? Should it be up to you to know how to deal with different kinds of managers?

Yes, to both. This not only facilitates good office dynamics but also makes your job slightly more tolerable. Here are four (of many) types of managers and how you can deal with them.

1. The Micromanager

How They Are: Micromanagers always want their instructions followed—to the letter. They are the “do it the way I tell you” type. Don’t be surprised if they’re constantly behind your back, watching every moment you work, waiting for you to make a mistake, and nitpicking any liberty you take with your task. This not only puts you in an uncomfortable position, in more ways than one, but also disrupts the natural flow of work, making the whole process take longer than it should be.

How to Deal with Them: A micromanager is often needy with control because of insecurity. Otherwise, they would be more open to new things. You will, most likely, won’t have the necessary training to address that psychological issue, but one way to please them is by easing them into the transition that you are capable without their constant presence and demands. Don’t be too “in your face” when showing that your process is more efficient. Suggest that there are different ways. Let them come to their senses.

2. The Consultative Manager

How They Are: They are typically the ones who, like their type name, consult before making decisions. This could be in the form of a team meeting, asking for input on better procedures, or a one-on-one meeting, looking for feedback on their style. While this is good (and even admirable) in its own right, it does have some cons. If the consultation turns democratic, then the whole decision-making process may double since explaining plans, consequences, and counting of votes take time. But this type of manager will always be on the good side of their people because they respect the individual and collective voices of the team.

How to Deal with Them: Of the four in this list, Consultative Managers are probably the most open to suggestions. Take that opportunity to exercise your freedom; their openness is an avenue for growth. It may look like a lazy attempt to cherry-pick good ideas, ones they may never have thought of, but having those thoughts undermines the freedom your manager wants you to fully appreciate. Instead, be involved. The chance is already there. Why not take it?

3. The Leader Manager

How They Are: This type of manager takes pride in how they do their work. They always strive to set an example. The pro: if they are good workers, then they are the model managers, always aiming for excellence. The con: if they are less than desirable, then no matter how much you want to make them change, they won’t. On one hand, you have a manager you can emulate, even after you resign from work. On the other, you’ve got someone no one wants to work with because they think they’re right even when they’re wrong.

How to Deal with Them: The good kind is easy to deal with. They are worth imitating, so you are free to do so. If they’ve got good work ethics, then their habits will rub off on you. If they reward good work and effort, then you will be more than happy to give your 100 percent—and eventually land that manager position yourself. If they always foster a welcoming atmosphere, then you will be keen on that too. Seeing their people being shaped into someone better is their reward.

The bad part, however, is dealing with the opposite. If you see how bad they are, then it’s not worth picking up their habits—it will be bad for you in the long run as well. While making them change for the better is almost impossible, staying away from their habits is advisable. The best you can do is to make an example of yourself. Be the good guy. Hopefully, they will start acting their position too.

4. The Perfect Manager

How They Are: These are the managers you paradoxically have lots and nothing to say about. They are extremely competent in any service. They are very open when it comes to anything that can be beneficial to the team. They are understanding of the different problems that can arise in work and life, and will actually do their best to help you in any way they can. In short, not only are they the perfect managers; they are also the perfect friends.

How to Deal with Them: At this point, you probably trust your manager to know enough (even more) details about your job, your team, and you personally. The best thing you can do is to be honest with them, especially about your weaknesses and how you are standing as a part of your work group. Knowing their personalities—in that they will always provide each member with an opportunity, support, and initiative to grow (because come on, they’re the ultimate managers)—they will appreciate your openness about your own shortcomings, your drive to succeed, and your consideration for your team.

Those are only four of the managers you may have, or may have had. They can even be a mix of two. No matter the case, there are good managers, and there are bad ones. While it may be puzzling to figure out how the bad ones became managers themselves, confronting them about it may worsen things for you and your teammates.

Like it or not, you will be going to the office for most days of the week. You will see your teammates, work with them, and report to your manager. If you can’t handle him, you will only harbor those kinds of negative thoughts until you quit—maybe even long after. Keep these tips in mind. It may help you in the long run the same as this professional service, especially when you’re already at the top and handling managers yourself.


Cardinal, Rosalind. “6 Managements Styles and When to Use Them.” Huffington Post. March 15, 2015.

Jackson, Erick. “The Different Types of Management Styles.” Measure Management. n.d.

Jacobs, Deborah L. “How to Manage a Micromanager.” Forbes. May 7, 2012.

Laws, Steve. “THE SEVEN TYPES OF MANAGER – Where do you stand?” LinkedIn Pulse. February 8, 2015.

Shannon, Eric. “The six different types of managers and how to work with them.” Latpro. December 12, 2004.

Rick Enrico

Author Bio

Rick Enrico is the CEO and Founder of SlideGenius, Inc. He regularly publishes expert presentation tips on the SlideGenius blog. You can connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.