Understanding and Changing Your Management Style / Edition 1by Robert C. Benfari
Pub. Date: 09/28/1999
Every manager wants to be a great manager. But some people just seem to be better cut out for the job, breezing through their responsibilities in ways that inspire loyalty, confidence, and results. Others seem always to be striving for greatnessalways, somehow, falling short of the mark. Is there hope for the large number of managers who fall into that latter
Every manager wants to be a great manager. But some people just seem to be better cut out for the job, breezing through their responsibilities in ways that inspire loyalty, confidence, and results. Others seem always to be striving for greatnessalways, somehow, falling short of the mark. Is there hope for the large number of managers who fall into that latter category'In Understanding and Changing Your Management Style, esteemed psychologist and business consultant Robert Benfari answers that question with a resounding YES! Benfari confirms that the ability to manage well involves six specific personality traits, all of which can be objectively analyzed and, more importantly, changed.Using a variety of self-analysis tools, including the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Benfari gives individual managers the means to rate themselves in terms of the six characteristics in question and to discover how their own personality affects their individual management style. He then shows managers how they can use that information to alter the way they handle people and situations and become stronger managers in the process.Benfari also teaches managers how to determine other peoples' personality type so that they can anticipate how those people will react in certain situations and respond to different management techniques. Managers will thus be able to interact with superiors, peers, and subordinates more effectively. They will also improve their ability to resolve conflict, solve problems, influence others, manage stress, and handle difficult situations on the job.Altogether, Understanding and Changing Your Management Style provides a valuable mix of assessment tools, real-world examples, and expert advice that every manager can use to better understand the dynamics of his or her personality-an understanding that can lead to the purposeful development of a superior management style.
Table of Contents
Preface About the Author
Introduction: What Makes a Good Manager?
Part One: A Model for Change
1. The Dynamics of Management Style: What Can Be Changed
2. Personality and Psychology: What's Your Type
3. Practical Intelligence: How Do We Make It Work?
4. Mental Models: How Do We Make the Shift?
Part Two: The Elements of Management Style
5. Needs: The Drive Towards Competence
6. Power Bases: Influence, Authority, and Expertise
7. Problem Solving and Conflict Management: Catalysts for Change
8. Values: Clarifying What You Stand For
9. Stress: Managing Work and Difficult People
10. Putting It All Together: Developing an Action Plan for Your Management Style
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I began 'Understanding and Changing Your Management Style' expecting just another book on management theory. While Benfari definitely is well versed in management theory, he's packed this book full of dozens of practical tools, advice, and descriptive case 'studies.' After reading 'Understanding and Changing Your Management Style,' I've come to see that books on management are often like the three blind men trying to describe the elephant-they each describe focus on one aspect of the whole. Benfari attempts to take in the whole picture and help the reader understand all the aspects of managing. Quite a daunting task! In the introduction, Benfari says, 'The most fruitful way of working through the book is to take the assessment in the appendixes before you start your journey' (p. xii). I was already familiar with the Myers-Briggs profile but much less familiar with the influence inventory, and the assessments of needs, conflict resolution style, problem solving style, values, and stress. I spent so much time assessing; I almost gave up on the book without even reading the first chapter! I'm glad I gave the book a chance. This book is Benfari's explanation of his 'integrated management style.' In his words, 'Changing your management style is possible once you understand what can be changed (and what cannot) and are willing to do the work to shift your assumptions, perceptions, and behavior' (p. xi). We can't change our basic wiring-personality-but we can change most everything else. Benfari even offers techniques on influencing and temporarily flexing our personality tendencies. At times, I found 'Understanding and Changing Your Management Style' to be somewhat redundant. I think this stems from trying to describe the elephant from eight different angles. No matter how many ways you look at it, the elephant is still an elephant. Much of what Benfari writes about already appears in many management theory and pop psychology books. The value of this book is precisely in the 'multiple views' packaging Benfari gives the material. 'Understanding and Changing Your Management Style' is more of a workbook than a textbook. Don't just read this book. Have a pen handy and be ready to flip back-and-forth between the section you're reading and the appendices in the back. The last chapter was a bit of a let down for me. Rather than 'developing an action plan,' it amounted to little more than re-recording the results of the assessments. Nevertheless, if you're interested in developing yourself and your management skills, 'Understanding and Changing Your Management Style' may be a useful book to have in your library.