People mean everything in the workplace. The chemistry that forms between a working team can, in the best circumstances, define the successes that they collectively achieve; but in any case, it is surely the main defining factor of whether work is a pleasant and fulfilling place to be.

None of these relationships is quite as important nor as influential on the others as the relationship between you and your boss. But the problem with trying to build this relationship is that there is a pecking order in place: your boss may be deliberately inscrutable, or tactfully aloof, and it can be hard to figure what they’re all about and how you can best work together.

Also read: Management Psychology 101: Practical Behaviorism in the Workplace

Thankfully, while each boss has their own flaws, eccentricities, and special traits, management styles seem to manifest in one of six main types. This means that if you can figure out the management style of your particular boss, you’ve discovered a kind of ‘Rosetta stone’ to their character. You can begin to maximize what you’ve learned about their aims and expectations, and from there build a more fruitful partnership.

Even a so-called ‘pace-setting’-type boss can be won over if you figure out how to stay on the tracks. This kind of boss leads by example – and that example is often formidable. There may not seem to be time for questions, but if you work hard and pose challenges as opportunities, you are likely to win their respect and a shot at a more meaningful conversation.

Also read: Leadership, Mentoring and Trust

The ‘affiliative’-type boss is a bit more about the team – regardless of how the team feels! They will attempt to strengthen the unit even at the cost of overstepping some personal boundaries, so if you can learn to be honest and define your own needs, you can craft the space that you need in this set-up.

For a closer look at all six of these most prevalent management types, check out this new infographic, and start getting to know your leader a bit better as soon as you can.

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