The Impacts of Different Leadership Styles

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Here’s a look at some of the leadership styles Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Annie Mckee speak about in their book ‘Primal Leadership — Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence’.

The leadership and management style adopted by a leader largely impacts employee morale and behaviour. Here is a quick look at three of the most popular leadership styles and how they affect employee motivation and behaviour.

1. Visionary leadership Style
Visionary leaders are inspiring leaders. They are able to convey a vision to their followers in a way that engages them and are skilled at leading a team towards the achievement of a common goal. They do not, however, ‘dictate’ how that end goal will be accomplished. They encourage proactivity and motivate their employees to take the initiative and to discover solutions to problems on their own. Visionary leaders are empathetic leaders. They are motivated by learning and instil this zest for knowledge in their team members.

This leadership style has a strongly positive impact on the climate of a company and tends to affect employees behaviour and morale in the following ways.

  • It moves people towards shared dreams.
  • Followers are motivated by the vision and feel a sense of connection and solidarity.
  • A culture of learning and professional development results in highly skilled and knowledgeable employees who are keen to contribute to the success or the organisation.

The visionary leadership style is most appropriate when changes require new vision, or when clear direction is needed. It is useful for helping teams to manage change, and it may not be so effective when working with a highly experienced team.

2. Coaching leadership Style
The Coaching leadership style ensures that the personal goals and values of individuals are aligned with the goals of the company. A coaching leader is empathic, motivating and encouraging. This style is highly effective for the development of team members to enhance the success of the organisation.

This leadership style has a highly positive impact on the climate of a company and creates a positive impact on employee morale and behaviour in the following ways:

  • It connects what a person wants to the organisation’s goals.
  • It establishes rapport and trust and increases motivation.
  • It improves performance and develops and retains talent.

The coaching leadership style is useful in helping team members develop long-term skills and for assisting those who may be struggling to identify their position of influence in the company. Coaching needs to be a collaborate effort however and won’t be so effective with an employee who is not committed to change. It’s important that leaders take the time to get to know their employees so that it’s easier to identify when and how they require guidance and support.

3. Affiliative Leadership Style
An Affiliative leader understands how crucial it is to invest in their people. It lays emphasis on efficient team collaboration and connection, encourages inclusion and the resolution of conflict. An affiliative leader values the emotional needs of their team.

This leadership style has a positive impact on the climate of a company and affects morale and behaviour in the following ways:

  • It creates harmony by connecting people to each other.
  • It prevents emotionally distressing situations.
  • It establishes positive working relationships.

This style is meant to heal rifts in a team, motivate during stressful times, or strengthen connections.

Our next blog will highlight the impact of the 3 other leadership styles that Daniel, Richard and Annie discuss in the book.

Tania Watson is the founder of Creative Coaching and an executive coach, organisational consultant and leadership specialist. Creative Coaching is a successful company dedicated to the development of senior leaders in organisations through one to one coaching, intact team development and group facilitation. If you or someone from your organisation would like to have a no obligation conversation about how Creative Coaching may be able to help, please email Tania directly at

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