6 Essential Leadership Styles for Aspiring Leaders

Leadership style refers to how a leader chooses to communicate with his or her team in order to achieve goals. Six important leadership styles have been recognized by Harvard University as essential tools for leaders. Using the appropriate style at the right time can have a significant impact. Emotional intelligence is crucial when it comes to deciding on the best leadership style for the situation.

  1. Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence, often known as empathy, is the capacity to recognize both your own and other people’s emotions. The intelligence part is what you do with this information to manage and adjust behaviour in a variety of situations in order to influence goals-oriented results.

Emotional intelligence, often known as EQ, is a term used to underline its rank and relevance, similar to our IQ. It both defines and distinguishes great leaders. EQ, despite being a so-called soft skill, is critical in determining the most effective leadership style to use based on the scenario and in the present moment.

The astute leader adapts his or her leadership style to the demands of the team and individuals, as well as the circumstances.

  1. Participative Style

A participative leader involves employees in the decision-making process and aggressively seeks out opportunities for consensus.

  • Hold regular meetings
  • Listen to employees’ issues
  • Focus on “how to”
  • Identify opportunities for positive feedback
  • Recognize the importance of employee morale on performance
  • Avoid performance-related disputes These leaders are often described as helpful.

A Visionary style complements and blends well with this style. Individuals are not rewarded by participative leaders; rather, the team is rewarded.

  1. Coaching Methodology and Style

This style complements and combines well with a Visionary style. Participative leaders reward the team, not individuals.

By giving continual training and balanced feedback, a coaching style focuses on the long-term growth of team members. This type of leader is often quite experienced in their duties and, as a result, has a high level of delegating comfort. Coaching leaders are sometimes willing to sacrifice quick success for the long-term growth of their teams. This technique requires the ability to accept short-term failures and disappointments.

  1. Affiliative Style

An Affiliative leader:

  • Identifies opportunities for constructive feedback
  • Stresses the relevance of how staff morale affects performance
  • Avoids performance-related confrontations

Although a leader with this style may appear to be supportive and wish to be friends with everyone, when overused, these leaders may have a hard time making tough decisions. People may be able to take advantage of time. When there are dismal results after numerous chances, opportunities, and freedom, this leader may become dissatisfied, changing to tighter reins and greater control.

  1. Pacesetting

This style pairs well with both a Visionary style and a Coaching style.

The Pacesetter:

  • Is apprehensive about delegating
  • Abandons responsibilities when excellent performance isn’t given
  • Rescues high-risk circumstances

When working under pressure, this can be a very effective method. It uplifts people’s spirits and resonates with those who learn via observation. Even the best achievers may begin to reduce their discretionary effort if the Pacesetter is overused, while other team members who are less performance-focused may feel overwhelmed by the Pacesetter.

  1. Directive

This is a style that should only be used in emergency situations. A fire department captain is an excellent example of a leader who must employ this approach.

  • Tightly controls
  • Clearly explains by directing or demanding
  • Motivates by explaining the negative consequences of non-compliance
  • Provides short-term clarity and action plan

It can be demotivating when employed excessively in non-threatening settings; nothing happens without the leader’s approval, creating a bottleneck within the team.