6 Different Leadership Styles And How To Make Them Work For Your Business

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Although most leaders have a dominant leadership style that influences the way they motivate their team, they do not have to be limited to using that one particular style for every scenario.

Latest research suggests that leaders need to be more flexible in the way that they motivate their team, and adjust their leadership style according to the needs of their team.

A recent Harvard Business Review study, led by psychologist and science journalist, Daniel Goleman, has revealed that the leaders that get the best results are the ones who make use of a combination of different leadership styles.

In Goleman’s three-year study, with over 3000 middle-level managers, he discovered 6 different leadership styles that have the potential to improve a company’s bottom-line profitability, when used effectively.

Take a look at the leadership styles that he uncovered and see how you can use them to your company’s benefit.

Goleman’s 6 Different Leadership Styles

1.The Pacesetting Leader

Leading by example defines this style of leadership, and pacesetters expect their team to act like them.

Effective when: You have a team that’s skilled and self-motivated.

Not effective when: Your team is poorly-trained, as they can find it overwhelming when attempting to keep up with the pace you set, and become discouraged by not meeting your expectations.

2.The Authoritative Leader

This leadership style is focused on the ‘bigger picture’ as well as the end result. Authoritative leaders will usually set a certain vision for their team and leave the team to figure out the best way to achieve it.

Effective when: Your team needs direction and inspiration.

Not effective when: You’re working with a team that has more skills and expertise than you, and who need a detailed explanation of how you plan to achieve the vision you have set for your company.

3.The Affiliative Leader

People are always priority for this leader, and they work to unify their team by developing meaningful relationships with each member. Their encouraging and nurturing spirit, makes it easy for them to develop friendly relations with their team.

Effective when: Your team are highly stressed or going through emotional trauma.

 Not effective when: You are wanting to improve your team’s performance, as too much praise and nurturing can lead to mediocre performance.

4.The Coaching Leader

This leadership style aims at developing the skills and knowledge of their team members.

Effective when: Your company needs to broaden its skillset, and when you want a loyal and capable team.

Not effective when: You are dealing with uncooperative team members who are unwilling to change or learn.

5.The Coercive Leader

This sort of leader expects immediate compliance, and has very little tolerance for those that defy their requests. Their military-like leadership style gets results quickly and creates a necessary sense of order and structure.

Effective when: Your team is in a crisis, or an emergency situation.

Not effective when: You use this style of leadership to manage your everyday business operations, as the ‘do what I say without asking questions’ approach can create conflict, as well as prevent your team members from coming up with creative and innovative ideas. 

6.The Democratic Leader

This leader places great emphasis on the opinions of others, and requires a general agreement before going ahead with any decisions.

Effective when: You are wanting to encourage team participation, or when you are unsure of a certain decision.

Not effective when: You need to make a decision and are limited with time, and when your team faces an emergency situation.

Now that you know your leadership style can impact your company’s financial performance, we hope that you learn from these 6 different leadership styles and recognise when to use them, so that you are able to produce powerful results and lead your team to success.