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10 leadership styles: What’s yours?

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

Are you a situational leader or an emotional leader?

Situational leadership depends on the kind of direction and support each of your followers needs. There are four kinds:

  1. Directing. You define employees’ roles and supervise closely. Basically one-way communication; it’s pretty old-fashioned.
  2. Coaching. More two-way communication here. You’re not dictating, although the decisions are still yours.
  3. Supporting. Even more delegation. You facilitate and play a role in day-to-day decisions, leaving your employee in the driver’s seat.
  4. Delegating. You guide lightly but cede control. With your blessing, the employee decides when and how much to involve you, taking the reins.

Emotional leadership is situational, too, but based more on the theory of emotional intelligences than on the level of your involvement. There are six kinds:

  1. Coercive. The do-what-I-say style. Useful in a crisis or turnaround.
  2. Authoritative. Sets out a vision and drives everything toward making that picture come to life. Helps in tumultuous times.
  3. Affiliative. Teamwork is paramount; the focus is on emotional bonds and harmony. All the praise and striving for harmony, though, may allow drift.
  4. Democratic. Builds a mission through group consensus, participation and a sense of higher purpose. The dangers are factionalism and paralysis.
  5. Pacesetter. This style suits the visionaries, demanding excellence and self-direction from a stable of motivated superachievers. Their self-esteem may wither under the pressure, though, and the whole edifice may ride on one great, big persona.
  6. Mentor. Personal development is the main thing. You help people identify their strengths and weaknesses so they can grow and advance their careers. Depends on employees being open to change.

— Adapted from “10 Leadership Styles,” Dan McCarthy, Great Leadership, www.greatleadershipbydan.com

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