6 leadership styles. Find out which one is yours.

by | Nov 10, 2021

What is your leadership style?

Having your own business means acquiring responsibility especially when you are in charge of a work team and one of these responsibilities is to assume the leadership of your work team.

Being a leader means that you have the knowledge, attitudes and behavior used to influence people to achieve the desired objectives. This means that a leader has the ability to assess the situation, the work and the people who are part of his team to design a strategy that helps him to successfully lead each work team.


Types of leadership

There are many ways in which we face this responsibility, that is to say there are many ways in which we can assume the role of leader of our team, many times this goes according to your personality. However, according to psychologist and professor Daniel Goleman in his book Leadership that gets results there is no single perfect form of leadership, a good leader must adapt to the circumstances and change their leadership strategies.

A good leader adopts the type of leadership that is compatible with the work team, the objectives, the time and the needs of each project. So if you want to identify what your leadership style is and evaluate if it is the best for your project, keep reading because here are Goleman’s 6 types of leadership, their characteristics, strengths and weaknesses.


1.- Coercive

Coercive leadership is a leadership style that is characterized mainly because its main objective is that the team fulfills the tasks given immediately, for precise and concrete instructions are used, in other words, orders are given that are not questioned.

This is very helpful when you have to achieve objectives in a short period of time, because quick results are prioritized over other things.

If you feel identified with this leadership style, it is best to apply it only in certain and sporadic circumstances, such as in specific projects and with a short delivery or development time, because this type of leadership used in the long term can generate a bad working environment, causing demotivation and frustration among your team members. Therefore, the ideal is to adopt this attitude only in specific moments of crisis to bring the work to a successful conclusion without leading to the collapse of your work team.


2.- Orientative

The orientative leadership style is characterized by being diametrically opposed to the previous one, since it is a more charismatic style, whose objective is to mobilize the team members through the leader’s vision and making them see what their role is within the organization.

The leader has a clear goal and tries to get all team members to share the same way of seeing the future of the company.

It can become the most effective leadership style of all that we are going to see today, this is due to the improvement of the work environment, so it is best that you adopt this style most of the time, it is especially useful when you are about to make a major reform in the company or any major change that needs the maximum motivation and involvement of the team.


3.- Affiliative

This leadership style focuses on creating a harmonious work environment for the staff, so the leader seeks to create emotional ties with each member. It is about putting people in a leading role, leaving tasks and objectives in a secondary role.

This type of organization is especially useful when it is necessary to make communication flow, since it allows a fruitful exchange of ideas, for example in a creative meeting or in a meeting to design marketing strategies, or in any type of meeting where it is necessary that the members feel comfortable and confident to express themselves freely.

With this way of leading there can be a problem, and that is that when the team’s performance is affected, it will not be so easy to give negative feedback to the collaborators.


4.- Democratic

This type of leadership has the objective that the decisions must be taken jointly, that is to say, all the members of the team are involved in the decision making process, this makes them more committed to the project. If you want to assume this type of leadership you should know that you will need to meet constantly with your team to raise problems and coordinate decision making.

This type of leadership can be used perfectly when the leader does not have a very clear idea of what direction to take when faced with a specific problem, it is also very useful when there are high levels of competition among team members.

The problem with this type of leadership is that if it is used in all situations, it is certain that both the leader and his collaborators will have to spend a considerable amount of time making decisions and designing strategies for action in the face of different problems.


5.- Exemplary

The exemplary form of leadership is also known as imitative leadership, it focuses on the maxim of “using the leader himself as an example” to lead the rest of the staff. This type of leadership works best in certain circumstances, such as when it is necessary to find collaborators with a high level of performance, for example the CEO of a company can be established as an example to follow with area directors or department heads.

This type of leadership is especially useful if there is already a previous motivation among the team members and even if they are highly competent and able to work without supervision, as they do not need someone to lead them but an example to follow who sets high standards and constantly challenges their ability, intelligence and imagination.

As we have said, it is only convenient to use it in certain conditions with people with very specific qualities, using it in other conditions and constantly can be counterproductive, as it can deteriorate the work environment or not meet the objectives set for the team.

6.- Formative

This leadership style has as its main objective the development of staff talent, so it focuses a lot on helping each member to discover their strengths and weaknesses, so it gives tasks according to their capabilities, to encourage them.

If you are interested in this type of leadership, you should know that you will probably not be able to meet short-term goals, and may even have some failures. However, in the long run it will be worth it, since you will end up collaborating with highly qualified personnel.


What is your leadership style?

If you already feel identified with one or some of the types of leaders we have just described or you do not feel completely identified with any of them, you can take an online leadership test that will help you evaluate how you assume the role of leader and if it is the best way.

No matter what leadership style you assume the important thing is that at the end of the day you meet the objectives that have been proposed for the team, the important thing is to get the job done.

Of course, if you have identified with a type of leader does not mean that you always assume this role, because as you can see each one is ideal in different circumstances, it is best to identify what your team is like, what their tasks are and from there determine what type of leadership you need to get the job done.


Do you already know what your leadership style is? Tell us if leading the way you have done has brought you any problems, if so, tell us how you have solved them, we love to read your opinion.

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