Six Styles Of Leadership
What images does your mind conjure when you hear the word "leader"? I find that it varies (wildly, if I may add!) depending on the situation. There is the quiet, gentle leader that I find in leaders like Mahatma Gandhi. And then there is the fierce, bold leader such as Alexander or Napoleon. What then makes an effective leader?
The late David McClelland, a noted Harvard University psychologist, found that leaders with strengths in six or more emotional intelligence competencies were far more effective than the ones who lacked such strengths. According to a research by the consulting firm Hay/McBer, there are six distinct leadership styles, each originating from different components of emotional intelligence. Each of the styles, taken individually, have a direct and unique impact on the climate of the organization (Find out what makes the "Climate" of a company).
However, most importantly, the research indicates that leaders with the best results do not rely on only one leadership style; they use most of them in a given week—seamlessly and in different measure—depending on the business situation.
So what are these six styles of leadership and when do they work best?
- Coercive leadership ("Do what I tell you")
- Coercive leaders demand immediate compliance and this style is best reserved for a crisis situation, to kick-start a turnaround, or with problem employees.
- Authoritative leadership ("Come with me")
- This style mobilizes people toward a vision and works best when changes require a new vision or when a clear direction is needed.
- Affiliative leadership ("People come first")
- These leaders create emotional bonds and harmony and this style works well to heal rifts in a team or to motivate people during stressful circumstances.
- Democratic leadership ( "What do you think")
- Democratic leaders build consensus through participation and is useful to build buy-in or consensus or to get input from valuable employees.
- Pace-setting leadership (" Do as I do, now")
- These leaders expect excellence and self-direction and this style works best to get quick results from highly motivated and competent teams.
- Coaching leadership ("Try this")
- Coaching leaders develop people for the future and help an employee improve performance or develop long-term strengths.
Leaders who have mastered four or more—especially the authoritative, democratic, affiliative, and coaching styles—have the very best climate and business performance. And the most effective leaders switch flexibly among the leadership styles as needed.