How to Merge Differing Management Styles Into a Cohesive Team

Getting all the components of a company working smoothly together first means getting managers on the same wave length.

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By Brett Relander

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The approach of a manager has tremendous influence on staff productivity, as well as that of the entire organization. As each department in an organization is responsible for its own efficiency, each department manager may have his or her own unique leadership style. Consequently, the way in which a manager delegates responsibility, makes decisions and interacts with staff can impact the entire organization. When managers exercise differing leadership styles, it can sometimes make it difficult to bring all departments together in the most productive manner.

In order to form the most cohesive management team possible, it is often necessary to bring together a variety of leadership styles. This is often easier said than done. When managers with similar leadership styles interact with one another, communication tends to be somewhat easy. Conversely, when managers with differing leadership styles interact, communication as well as cooperation tends to be strained, and it becomes a challenge to get anything done. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that organizations bring differing leadership styles together to form a more cohesive management team.

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First, it is important to recognize that while there are different leadership styles, no one leadership style is better than another, but some styles tend to work better in some situations than other leadership styles. There may be some situations in which it may be better to give the lead to one manager based on the desired outcome.

In addition, it is important to define clear boundaries. Setting ground rules can be particularly important when multiple leaders share the management of the same team or group of employees. Ideally, leaders should spend some time discussing their leadership philosophies, how they prefer to manage, and how they would like to check in with one another. Such check-ins can prove to be invaluable in terms of ensuring that everyone is clear regarding their separate goals and responsibilities, while also setting the stage to analyze individual management styles. Doing so can help leaders to become more aware of other types of leadership styles. This will not only help leaders to appreciate what others are able to bring to the table, but also provide the opportunity to upgrade leadership knowledge and skills in the process.

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Leaders with differing management styles will also find it beneficial to open up to one another while maintaining a strong sense of goodwill. Even if managers with differing styles are never able to completely define established boundaries, taking the time to get to know one another better can prove to be helpful in understanding each person's perspective while also appreciating individual differences.

Working with differing leadership styles is challenging. Through overcoming these challenges, it is possible to create a more productive organization. By learning to work across diverse leadership styles, it also becomes possible to sustain successful and motivating relationships while driving improved organization results.

Related: 4 Leadership Styles Showcased on 'Game of Thrones'

Brett Relander

Managing Director at X1 Sports Nutrition

Brett Relander is founder and managing director of X1 Sports Nutrition ( He has a degree in exercise science, is certified as a Master Fitness Specialist and in the biomechanics of resistance training, and is an advocate of all-natural nutrition and advanced performance training.

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