Essential Question: Why are elements of all leadership styles important to manage change?
“Great Leaders move us. They ignite our passion and inspire the best in us. When we try to explain why they are so effective, we speak strategy, vision, or powerful ideas. But the reality is much more primal: Great leadership works through the emotions. No matter what leaders set out to do – whether it’s creating strategy or mobilizing teams to action – their success depends on how they do it. Even if leaders fail in this primal task of driving emotions in the right direction, nothing they do will work as well as it could or should” Primal Leadership – Goleman, Boyatizis, McKee 2013
Daniel Goleman defines six leadership styles for effective team performance: commanding, visionary, affiliative, democratic, pacesetting , and coaching, . Through research he found that leaders used one of these at any one time and that styles come from the use of Emotional Intelligence. It involves being aware of the environment, his/her emotional needs and feelings, and adjusting the style to suit the more appropriate setting. Because situations vary, different leadership styles are important for different circumstances.
Commanding/Coercive – is a dictatorship style of “Do what I say”. This style of leadership is used in urgency, when time is scarce, and in crisis. A mother seeing her child dash into oncoming traffic would probably use a commanding leadership style to keep the child from harm. The weakness of this style is that members could feel stifled like their opinions are not being asked for.
Visionary/Authoritative – moves people towards a vision. This style is best when a new direction is needed. The weakness of this style is that it doesn’t tell members how they can go about to get to a new vision or goal.
Affiliative – focuses on emotional needs. This style is needed for getting members through stressful situations or when healing is needed. The weakness of this style is that it typically just focuses on the emotional needs.
Democratic – listens to both the good and the bad and focuses on participation. This style can be used to gain input and buy-in. The weakness of this style is that it could spend too much time on listening rather than effective action.
Pacesetting – focuses on building goals that are challenging and exciting. This style is useful when working with members who are already performing well. The weakness of this style, if done wrong, it can have a negative impact on the climate.
Coaching – helps people find strengths and weakness and links those to large goals and actions. This style is useful to develop long term strengths of individuals. This style if not done properly can come across as micromanaging.
When I think of leading through change I think of my role as a parent. My children are growing and changing and I am trying to lead then down the path of success but it requires all 6 leaderships styles. The style of leadership depends on the situation.
We have probably all had leaders in our lives that basically use one or two styles of leadership. Of course we know from experiences that leaders who have a limited number of leadership styles run into problems. For example think about a parent or teacher whose idea of leading is primarily through “commanding” style. What about the parent whose only leadership style is “democratic”. Those with limited leadership styles are going to run into issues. We know that emotional intelligence plays an important role. The most effective leaders are those that can assess a situation and identify and use the most effective style of leadership for that particular circumstance.
Comindwork Weekly / Work Productivity Tricks The Six Leadership Styles (Goleman). (2015). Retrieved October 30, from http://www.comindwork.com/weekly/2015-07-13/productivity/the-six-leadership-styles-goleman
Fullan, M. (2014). Leading in a Culture of Change. Somerset, NJ, USA: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated. Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.com
Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R. E., & McKee, A. (2002). Primal leadership: Realizing the power of emotional intelligence. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press
"Six Emotional Leadership Styles." Six Emotional Leadership Styles. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2015. http://changingminds.org/disciplines/leadership/styles/six_emotional_styles.htm
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