Leadership: Styles and Emotional Intelligence

It is true that the style of leadership is unique for every individual – but it should not depend on their personality. In fact, style is the strategy a leader chooses to adjust the organizational climate and handle failures just as well as success. The styles and emotional intelligence are intertwined, with each of the six leadership styles requiring this or that emotional capability; the organizational climate is influenced by the style as well.

The coercive leadership style might prove efficient in an emergency since it is mainly achievement-oriented and uses self-control as a catalyst of action. However, this style should be deployed cautiously: when no pressing factors persist, it can stifle the establishment and demotivate its employees.

An authoritative leader allocates the goal their workers have to achieve and uses empathy to encourage them to make decisions on their own. In case of stagnation and confusion, such style is an ideal performance booster. On the other hand, to make the most of this style, a leader and their team should have an approximately equal level of expertise.

If a leader is primarily concerned with internal team relationships, affiliative style is the most optimal choice; this style requires empathy and social skill to make the best of it. However, too much accomplishment showcasing can leave poorer results overlooked. At the same time, lack of constructive critique and advice from the leader leaves the team nonplussed and floundering.

Democratic leadership style can enhance the corporate environment and make everyone feel valued and cared for since it is driven by the leader’s self-awareness and social skill. The one serious drawback of this style is that the employees’ feeling of unguardedness can result in their inability to promptly come to a unanimous decision.

The pacesetting style suits best for leaders that can provide an example of strong performance themselves. The competencies it requires are the leader’s conscientiousness and result-orientedness. Such style is highly motivating for those who already have been motivated and skillful in the first place. Those who do not show such results, however, might feel the leader is overly demanding and be displeased with such severity.

The coaching style is a wrong move with those workers who are persistent in their old habits and ways. As for those who have acknowledged their weak points and seek personal development, this style is the best, provided that short-term goal achievement is not the ultimate priority. To succeed in this style, the leader has to be able to empathize and aware of themselves as well; through self-awareness and self-development, such leader can figure how to develop the others most efficiently.

In fact, a successful leader should be able to use as many styles as possible – at least four of them – and be comfortable with switching from one to another. Emotional intelligence in leaders makes them sensitive to the slightest changes in the environment due to this or that style and enables them to act accordingly. In a nutshell, an effective leader should be fluid and capable of adopting the styles, as necessary. For that sake, the leaders are to learn which style requires which emotional capabilities and what is the connection between the style and performance. The results would be the best indicator of whether a leader is successful at that or not.