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April 13, 2021 Tuesday 11:17:14 AM IST

Primal Leadership

Leadership Instincts

In their best seller book titled Primal Leadership, Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee introduced six emotional leadership styles. Each of these styles has a unique effect on individual's emotions, and each has strengths and weaknesses in diverse circumstances. Four of these styles encourage harmony and positive outcomes, while two styles can lead to tension, and should only be used in particular situations. According to the authors, the six styles should be used adaptively, based on the particular needs of the situation and the people that you're managing.

The Visionary Leader

Individuals employing the Visionary leadership style are motivating, and they move teams toward a common goal. Visionary leaders dictate their teams about the destination they are moving towards, but not how they're going to get there – they give followers the freedom to identify the route to reach the common goal.  Empathy is the most compelling characteristics of visionary leadership. Visionary leadership is works best when the firm needs a new vision or a dramatic new direction, such as during a corporate turnaround. Nevertheless, it seldom works when you're working with an experienced team. If you use visionary leadership style too often, it can be overbearing. To cultivate a visionary style, concentrate on improving your proficiency, vision, self-confidence and empathy. Get enthusiastic about change, and let your team see your excitement. You also need to persuade others of your vision, so emphasis on refining your presentation skills.

The Coaching Leader

The Coaching leadership style links individual's personal objectives with the firm's larger objectives. A leader using this style is empathic and reassuring, and concentrates on building teams for future success. This style encourages to have personal conversations with employees for aligning their long term life goals with that of the organization's mission. This style is ideal each time when you have an employee who struggles with cultivating long-term skills and could benefit from a coaching or mentoring relationship. Nevertheless, this approach may backfire when it's used with a team member who is unwilling to make effort or who needs a lot of handholding. To be adept incoaching style, it is very crucial to know your team members very well and keep in touch with the needs of them which can be done through informal coaching and mentoring.

The Affiliative Leader

The Affiliative leadership style encourages harmony within the team. This style connects individuals together, promoting inclusion and managing conflict. To use this style, you must put others emotions ahead of yours and value their emotional needs. This style is ideal when the trust among the team members has been broken, or if the team needs to be motivated through a stressful time. Leaders who use this style are highly engrossed on emotion. So, learn how to manage conflict and how to be positive.

The Democratic Leader

The Democratic leadership style concentrates on teamwork. Leaders using this style keenly seek input from their teams, and focus more on listening than directing. This style works well when you have to introduce a new idea to the team or when you need rich inputs from the team members. Leader should stay away from employing this style with naïve people, lack competence, or aren't knowleadgble about a situation. It will be more apt to ask for input from team members who are enthused, well-informed and capable. The best way for developing Democratic leadership style is by participating your team in problem solving and decision making process, and educating them of active listening and facilitation skills.

The Pacesetting Leader

The Pacesetting leadership style concentrates on performance and meeting objectives. Leaders employing this leadership style expect high quality outcomes from their teams, and often the leader get more involved to make sure that goals are met. The Pacesetting style doesn't pamper poor performers – everyone is held to a high standard. Even though it can be a successful style in many different contexts, it can have a detrimental effect on the team, leading to fatigue, exhaustion and high employee turnover. This leadership is ideal when you need to get superior results from an inspired team, swiftly. Since this style concentrates on high performance, it is important to learn on improving the overall work quality your team by employing systems like Six Sigma and Kaizen. Always take extra efforts in training the team and engaging them in high-performance coaching to help them be at their best.

The Coercive Leader

Most of the time, coercive style depends heavily on orders, the (often unspoken) threat of reprimand, and tight control. Individuals in contemporary, democratic nations are used to having a level of control over their lives and their work, and this tactic denies them of this. Since the propensity to misuse this style is very high, it tend to have an overwhelmingly negative effect on a team. This style of leadership is ideal in crisis situations, to get adapted to rapid changes, and with troublesome employees. Since it can be easily misused, leaders should be very when setting out to develop a Coercive leadership style. If done well, leaders will be able to perform well in tensed situations, manage crises with ease, will be able to think on your feet, and make good decisions under pressure.

Each style works best in diverse situations, echoing differently with your team, and creating different results. Because of the simplicity of the concept, anyone can learn how to use these leadership styles. But it's important to keep in mind that these styles have to be employed based on the context and the needs of the team.

Dr. Manu Melwin Joy

The writer is an Assistant Professor at School of Management Studies, CUSAT

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