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Modern organizations recognize that to be leaders in their industry, they need a workforce that represents the society in which it exists. …
Based on the book Primal Leadership by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee, there are 6 different leadership styles you should know about. The main premise of the book is that it is neither IQ or skills that make a great leader. The secret to great leadership is a high level of emotional intelligence. There’s obviously more than one correct way to lead a group of people, and while certain leadership styles may be more warmly received than others, choosing which to rely on depends on the circumstances, your personality, and the state of your team. What’s important to keep in mind is that there isn’t one perfect approach to leadership. In fact, you’ll most likely wind up using all of them eventually. It’ll be on you to switch between them as you go, deciding on the best style to employ according to the situation.
Leadership styles refer to the behaviors that leaders use to interact with their employees. It covers everything including how they motivate, give directions, accomplish goals and empower their team. It’s important that as a manager, you empower your employees to become great leaders, too. They should understand that a leader doesn’t need to be in a position of authority to have an impact. Enabling your employees to become leaders themselves will only create a more autonomous and productive environment for your team.
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The visionary leader moves people towards a shared vision. It’s not about how to get there, it’s about getting your team to understand where you want to go. This style works best in the moments where a new direction is needed.
What’s great about this style is that it promotes autonomy and allows people to innovate and experiment to get towards a goal. Failure is accepted, and employees can feel comfortable trying new things that will help move that mission forward.
Many organizations out there don’t have a clear mission, which can often lead to employees feeling unmotivated. That’s why it’s so important to have a mission or a “why” behind what you’re doing.
As an example, our vision at Officevibe is to empower managers. Incredibly simple and powerful, it’s also an exciting vision.
This leadership style, like its name suggests, is all about coaching employees to get better at what they do. Things like one-on-ones are where managers with a coaching leadership style thrive.
However, there is a difference between micromanaging and coaching. As a manager, your goal is to help them evolve in their role, to challenge them so they can surpass themselves while giving them the tools, advice, and support they need to succeed.
Coaching leadership is not dictating what a person should do every step of the way, but rather guiding them towards an improved version of themselves so they can best contribute to the team, while also meeting their own personal objectives.
One of the biggest mistakes that leaders make with this style is focusing on improving the weaknesses of their employees. As a leader, if you want to get the best results from your team you need to focus on their strengths.
Managers with this leadership style act as an affiliate, making connections throughout their organization. Their focus is to create a more harmonious workplace where everyone knows and works well with each other.
Often, employees will have disagreements among themselves and may not like all of their coworkers, but this leadership style aims to fix all of that.
If trust is ever broken in an organization, an affiliate leader is the perfect person to mend those cracks.
A democratic leadership style is all about creating group alignment towards a result. This leadership style is best used when you, as a leader, aren’t 100% sure of which direction to take and you want to source the wisdom of the crowd to help you make the call.
This approach can be extremely powerful when you need to make big decisions, are planning for future strategies or even when making strategic choices that may impact the future of the business.
The knowledge of collective intelligence is always greater than the knowledge of one person alone.
A pacesetting leader sets goals for their team that they expect will be reached no matter what. They demand a lot from their people and exemplify what is expected of the team.
This leadership style has the potential of being detrimental to your team, so you need to be extremely careful when using this approach, and that it works best in short bursts.
Sometimes you may need to expect a lot from your team, whether it’s due to the company going through challenges that force you to be more demanding to meet objectives – or for any other number of reasons.
The trick is to balance this style with recognition. You need to make your team realize that while you’re asking a lot from your team and it may be tough, it’s also only temporary.
The commanding leader leads with fear.
These leaders typically come across as cold and emotionless. Most of the time, this style has extremely negative effects on company culture and is highly ineffective.
This style should be only used when in situations of crisis. But even then, it’s likely not the best approach to take. It’s generally recommended to avoid using this style altogether. Unless you’re in the military…
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Let us know what styles you’ve used in the past. This post has been updated to reflect current views.