The coercive management style can be shockingly tough but effective when used under the right circumstances. This style works best in urgent situations when action is required immediately or with underperforming team members who face being let go if they do not course correct.
The goal of this style is immediate compliance. So a manager using this style wants swift action with no questions.
Here are some characteristics of the coercive management style:
- Coercive managers give clear directions or orders with no desire for debate
- The manager monitors performance closely
- Managers using this style give negative corrective feedback
- Leaders employing this style employ a rigid structure of top-down communication
- This style tends to focus on and enforce rules and regulations above all else
- Coercive leaders tend to make decisions for their team without soliciting the team’s input
- These managers enforce rules and consequences for poor performance
This style may seem unnecessarily harsh but there are circumstances where this is the most effective tool in a manager’s toolbox. For example in crisis situations where minor delays can cause significant harm this style is the best choice of management style. Coercive managers also thrive in work environments where safety or regulatory protocols must be followed to the letter in order to prevent negative outcomes.
Join our Pro Tips Pipeline
This management profile is often useful to turn around poor performing departments or for short-term training in the areas of safety, risk, security, governance, and compliance. Short-term use of this style by seasoned leaders can increase productivity, improve safety, reduce deviation from policy, improve rule enforcement, and leap smaller team projects forward quickly.
The downsides of this managerial style is that it doesn’t work long-term and it does not inspire loyalty. This type of leadership is best used sparingly and with carefully considered reasoning. Just like a hammer in a mechanic’s box of tools, there are occasions were it is the perfect tool but it can also do significant damage if used improperly.
The coercive management style is one more tool for your management toolbox!