Give your employees a gift: Change your management styles

Poor leadership is one of the main causes employees leave their job. It is often destructive when a manager is more focused on their own needs and success rather than the team’s growth and performance. This behaviour might lead to emotional downfalls like insecurity, fear and oppression by the part of the sales representatives, eventually creating regular turnovers.

The key to becoming a successful manager relies on their part, to understand the human nature. This understanding is referred to as emotional intelligence: the ability to relate to, communicate with and motivate the members of the team.

Therefore, what are the management styles to avoid?

There are several ways of defining the traits of a poor leader, and I have tried to sum them up into four different categories:

The Clone Coach

This type of manager, coaches every seller to be an exact copy of himself thinking that this is the best way for the team to achieve success. He does so though, by disregarding its teams experience, knowledge, personality and skills, making it hard for the sellers to outshine.

The Super-Seller/Pace-Setter

Typically, their strategy revolves around the motto: “you get the prospects, I will do the rest.” These managers tend to be selfish in the way that they try to sell more than anyone on the team, “setting the pace” for their subordinates. They care about their own performance and numbers, rather than the team’s overall results; basically, it’s all about them. Sellers on their team usually feel discontent and demoralized, for they can never reach the standards of their leader.

The Disciplinarian/Authoritarian

It’s “his way or the highway”. They feel more superior and dedicated to the job than the rest of their team. Though their style might work well in crisis situations, their disrespectful attitude creates a climate of fear and abuse leading to high staff turnovers.

Statistics prove that in 2012, 12% of sales reps left their position and 10% of managers were fired.

(eBook “Crazy Sales Figures”)

The Pal

Though this type of profile might be appreciated by sales representatives, it is not constructive for the overall performance of the team. The “pal manager”, is friends with the majority of the team because most probably he was once, one of them. He feels part of the “gang” and has confidence and trust in his people. Though, by acting as a friend, it makes it harder for sales reps to take them seriously and it can cause problems when they are required to act more authoritarian.


Fortunately, these are not the only managerial styles that have been adapted throughout the years. The one that exceeds them all though, and has been proven to be the most successful for both the leader and its team is:

The Coach/Participant

These managers, know what emotional intelligence means and rely on its benefits to sustain their team and its performance. They observe, critique and encourage their people, and at the same time they care about the employees growth, success and comfort in the work environment. This behaviour benefits employees because it increases their self-esteem and productivity. The coach, presents clear objectives to his team but nonetheless, is always open to suggestions and input from them.

sales coaching effectiveness

Graph extracted from the Sales Effectiveness Study 2012 (

Outlining the different styles that are not helpful in a work environment, can help managers learn what behaviours are better to be avoided. If you fall under one of those categories, it is time for you to rethink your leadership strategies and adjust your scheme to include the well-being of your team as a priority. Respect, constructive criticism, good communication, openness and motivation are essential criteria managers should master and advocate in the work environment, and should always and foremost be taken into consideration.

To have a great understanding of sales reps’ motives and behaviours, you can read the infographics in the eBook “Crazy Sales Figures”.