Part Two: The Power of Emotional Intelligence Continued
In part one we talked about the emotional intelligence domains and the associated competencies that are a prerequisite to good leadership. Now we’re going to move onto the different leadership styles. The direct leadership styles discussed in Primal Leadership are: 1. Visionary. 2. Coaching. 3. Affiliative. 4. Democratic. These first four are good for building a resonance leadership that drives positive emotions and feelings that was discussed earlier. The last two of: 5. Pacesetting, and 6. Commanding can also be effective leadership styles, but must be used sparingly because they can cause dissonance, or negative feelings and emotions.
A visionary leader gets buy-in from others because this leader helps people understand their “why”. This kind of leader is inspiring, and is empathic. A smart company realizes that vision offers a company its unique ‘brand’ or a way to distinguish itself from other companies in the same field or industry. Smart companies use this vision as a standard for performance and performance feedback. It helps employees see how they contribute to the big picture.
The coaching style doesn’t scream bottom-line results, but in a surprisingly indirect way it gets results through the leaders really getting to know their people, establishing rapport and trust, and successfully linking their daily work to their long-term goals. Coaches are really good at keeping people motivated. And motivated people tend to improve the bottom-line.
Affiliative leaders nurture personal relationships. They value downtime because it builds up emotional capital that can be drawn from when times get tough. They focus on the emotional needs of their people over goals and are good at healing rifts and bringing a team back together. They are good at solving conflict and creating harmony. These leaders also have some vision. Joe Torre, manager of the famed New York Yankees baseball team was a good example of an affiliative leader.
Democratic leaders are great at listening to others. They truly hear what people say. They are great communicators. Democrat leadership style works great when leaders aren’t certain which direction to go. They’re great at getting buy-in. They’re also great at implementing the vision that others haven’t been successful in doing. Democratic leaders actually execute the vision and tend to get fresh ideas all along the way from their workers on how to implement the vision even better.
Now, onto the last two leadership styles. Pacesetting works great when one already has a team that is highly motivated and needs very little direction, and are competent. Since very few of us are leading the UConn Husky girls’ basketball team, we need to use the pacesetting leadership style sparingly. Coach Geno Auriemma probably doesn’t. This style can be misleading because in the beginning one can get results. However, pacesetting in the wrong environment usually turns our vision into just pure survival. It poisons the climate. And that’s bad for everyone.
Of all the leadership styles, the commanding style, which is really the coercive approach, doesn’t just poison the climate, but it can destroy it! It destroys the morale of the workforce as people walk around on egg shells afraid to do anything. They spend a good amount of their energy, not being the creative genius that they were meant to be, but rather just trying to stay off the radar. Now, to be fair, there are still some commanding leaders left over in the military and medical fields, for example, who are still getting good results. But, unfortunately, many of these gains aren’t real or lasting.
Their gains are usually short-term gains with an extremely high cost, especially to personal and human capital. When these commanding leaders are finally pushed out the door, that’s when what they really did comes unraveled and then it comes all crashing down, taking years to rebound; if ever able to rebound from the former wrecking ball. This is when it probably makes sense to find a good affiliative leader who can come in and heal the rifts and damaged relationships that the last leader left in his or her wake.
Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker and educator. To learn more about Dan please visit his website at: www.DanBlanchard.net. Thanks.