There are many definitions of what a leadership style is, but often it’s considered to be the approach that a leader takes when creating a direction and setting goals, as well as their main behaviour patterns and the characteristics that they exhibit. Having a good understanding of your leadership style can help you to improve techniques, adjust your style depending on the situation, and achieve a higher level of success when pursuing a vision.
Over the years there have been many models of leadership style presented, with the six styles of leadership model created by Daniel Goleman in 2000 often at their core. One purpose of the six styles of leadership is to give clarity to the way that leadership approach can influence the climate of an organisation and how approach correlates to success in different situations.
Each of the six styles of leadership are very different, but which one would you consider to be your style?
– Authoritative ‘Come with me’
Authoritative leadership can create a very positive environment with a leader that’s focused largely on change and the achievement of a vision. Authoritative leaders motivate others, create visions, and guide people towards positive change; they’re self-confident and very empathetic.
– Affiliative ‘People come first’
An affiliative leader is a person who aims to create great working relationships and encourage people through difficult situations. Affiliate leadership involves a considerable amount of communication and the development of teamwork to create a positive environment.
– Coaching ‘Try this’
Coaching leadership creates a positive environment with a leader that’s focused on skill development and improved performance. Coaching leaders spend a lot of time developing the strengths of others with ready encouragement and feedback.
– Coercive ‘Do what I tell you’
Coercive leadership is built on a foundation of problem-solving and is often used in an emergency situation where fast action is required. This style of leadership is very direct with the leader demanding immediate action; coercive leadership normally fosters a negative environment. Many coercive leaders have a high self-control and desire to achieve but are not very flexible.
– Democratic ‘What do you think?’
Collaboration is an essential aspect of democratic leadership. Democratic leaders put a high value on communication and teamwork with a desire to get everyone involved in achieving a vision. The high motivation and openness to ideas created under this leadership style generally creates a positive environment.
– Pacesetting ‘Do as I do now’
A pacesetting leader lays out their expectations and expects others to follow them without question, which often creates a negative working environment. This style of leadership is focused on achievement and high standards, with a leader who has initiative and is efficient and careful.
In this model of leadership, there’s no single ‘best’ leadership type, but there can be a best style for every unique situation. Understanding what style is required for each situation is one pathway to success as a leader.