Being a successful leader is something that every boss strives to be. However, your adopted style will depend on the circumstances and, most importantly, your business and its sector. Continue reading for three popular leadership styles, based on the work of Daniel Goleman, to help you decide which would be most effective for your enterprise.
Affiliative leadership is an emotional style of leadership that emphasizes getting people working together towards a common goal. One of this model’s main advantages is that workers feel a certain way; they know they are valued and empowered to make a difference. This style works best in stressful periods when relationships between co-workers need to be rebuilt after conflict or a work-based failure of some sort. Many people respond positively to the feeling of being cared for and the receipt of praise or incentives, such as custom branded gift cards.
While this style certainly creates a positive atmosphere, there remain flaws with it. Poor performance by individuals or teams can go unnoticed or certainly be allowed to continue. Criticism, no matter how constructive, is not strictly part of this style. Conflict tends to be avoided, and so mistakes can and will be made. Despite this, leaders who use this style successfully actually tend to spot breakdowns in relationships within the workplace and put something in place immediately to repair and improve the situation.
The democratic style of leadership allows team members to help with the decision-making process. It encourages everyone to have a voice and encompasses a feeling of togetherness and fairness. Good leaders must accept that they do not know everything and therefore cannot possibly solve all problems alone. Asking members of the team to put forward possible solutions or attempt ways forward can work wonders. Job satisfaction is often high with this style of leadership.
Unfortunately, this method of approaching situations can often lead to a discussion around possible ways forward taking far longer. It becomes almost a tennis match of ideas going backwards and forwards with a conclusion taking a long time to reach.
An authoritative leadership style relies on the leader making decisions on behalf of the team and expecting them to follow them. These leaders rarely consult their staff when deciding ways forward, which can leave people feeling disrespected and undervalued. However, these leaders usually have high confidence in their own expertise, leading others to be in agreement with their choices and future steps.
One major drawback of this style of leadership is the pressure under which it places the leader. This can make for stressful situations. They are almost solely responsible for everything and, as such, carry a vast amount of weight on their shoulders. Conversely, however, this reduces the time spent making decisions meaning a more significant emphasis can be placed on future action.
One critical positive of this style is that the chain of command is evident. The leader is known to everyone, and so the chances of another member of the team attempting to take command and steer the rest in a different direction are lessened.
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