Six Styles of Emotional Leadership


Six Styles Of Emotional Leadership

In 2002, Daniel Goleman, in collaboration with Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee, released a revolutionary book, Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence. The book outlined six leadership styles that focused on emotional intelligence and situational importance. 

The concept is that different situations and individuals require different leadership styles to create optimal productivity and employee satisfaction. 

The six leadership styles are not mutually exclusive. An effective leader implements all six styles at different times. To determine which leadership style to use, emotional intelligence is crucial. Understanding how to use each leadership style in the appropriate situation will create an effective, adaptable leader. Before knowing which leadership style to use, you need to know what they are. So, what are the six leadership styles? 

Table of Contents

The Authoritative Leader 

The authoritative leader is an expert in their field and leads others by leveraging their knowledge and expertise. This leader knows the task at hand and how to achieve it. They do not need help with information or expertise. Instead, they know how to inspire and energize the group. This leader shows empathy for employees while guiding them towards a common goal. They are organized and know how to read the environment to motivate their team. 

The authoritative leader is sometimes known as the visionary leader. This is because they have the foresight needed to get a job done. Their confidence leads and motivates the team. In general, the authoritative leader is a mentor, and their team members are their mentees. The mentees are inspired and learn from their leader, leading to a highly motivated environment. 

This leadership style is practical when a company is under new ownership or during a general restructuring. The authoritative leader takes responsibility for the success of the team and leads them to the goal. 

The Democratic Leader 

The democratic leadership style is fruitful in groups that value equal participation from everyone. This style emphasizes everyone working together as a group. Ideas flow freely, and creativity abounds. Everyone is considered equals in this environment, but a leader offers the group guidance. The leader will also retain the ultimate say in the decision-making.

Democratic leadership is a good choice when different team members have specific expertise vital for achieving a goal. Different members of a team have different skill sets. Often a leader does not have all the expertise needed to finish a project alone. For example, if accounting knowledge is required, but the leader lacks accounting knowledge, leaning on the team member with that expertise is crucial. A democratic leader is attentive, open, and actively listens to everyone on their team. This emotional leadership style encourages productivity and morale. Every member of the group feels included and motivated. This type of leadership style also instills a sense of trust and respect vital for healthy work relationships. 

The Affiliative Leader 

An affiliative leadership style is a practical approach for harmonizing a disjointed team. This leadership style emphasizes collaboration as a way to resolve conflict or other friction within the group. Leaders using this style need to place focus on the emotions of everyone involved to steer them in the right direction properly. Using communication and team-building affiliative leaders build emotional connections among the team. This produces a group that works together in a harmonious cohesion. 

To successfully utilize the affiliative emotional leadership style, collaboration is critical. Everyone in this situation feels like an essential part of the team. Decision-making is a team process. This is, in general, the most effective of the leadership styles when everyone feels valued, worker satisfaction, and productivity increase. 

The affiliative leader must ensure they maintain transparency. This instills trust among the group and makes each member feel valuable. Employees feel free to express their creativity and speak up about ideas or possible issues that need attention. 

The Coaching Leader 

The coaching leader focuses on the employee’s individual development to drive growth for the entire company. This leader takes the time to have in-depth conversations with team members and aligns their personal goals with company goals. Coaching leaders help their team see how their goals are in unity with the company’s growth. 

The coaching leader helps to cultivate employees. They help individuals who need to learn different skills. If an employee is not meeting expectations, the coaching leader helps the employee find the path to success. This approach works best when the underperforming employee is motivated to improve but requires guidance and inspiration. 

A coaching leader must be proficient in recognizing individual strengths and weaknesses. In turn, an employee needs to be open to realizing their strengths and weaknesses. Together the coaching leader and the employee can work to strengthen weaknesses and utilize strengths. This style helps to further the goals of the company and each employee.

The Pacesetting Leader 

The pacesetting leadership style is useful when a team must deliver high-quality work by a specific deadline. In this setting, leaders demand high performance from everyone and lead by example. They do not take it easy on members who aren’t meeting expectations. Instead, pacesetting leaders require everyone to take the initiative and work diligently to meet goals and deadlines. 

In this leadership style, having an adequately trained team is essential. Each member of the team needs to have the knowledge to complete their tasks independently with minimal support. The pacesetting leader will likely jump in and work just as productively as their employees. The leader needs to know how to motivate the team while expecting superior results actively. This leadership style works best with short-term projects or goals. Consistent use of the pacesetting leadership style can lead to low morale and burnout. 

The Commanding Leader 

The commanding leadership style demands action or change to occur immediately with no questions asked by the employee. Sometimes this is called the carrot and stick approach. This authoritative approach is not optimal in everyday operations as it can create a disharmonious work environment and is not very effective long-term. This style is most effective when there is an immediate need for change in a company. New rules or regulations might need rapid implementation or require immediate restructuring without time for discussion. 

While all of these leadership styles are useful in appropriate situations, none of them should be used all the time. Understanding emotional cues will help determine the best method to achieve optimal satisfaction. Employee satisfaction is directly linked to work productivity. 

This is an excellent overview of the Goleman leadership styles, but each style is multilayered and complex. For more information, watch for our future blogs, where we will cover all the leadership styles in more depth.