Updated for use in our Leading Through COVID series
This week we’re kicking off a six part series about leadership styles. We’ll be using the six Leadership Styles as defined by Daniel Goleman in his book Primal Leadership and we’ll be exploring how each of those different leadership styles can be useful during this new abnormal. Each is rarely used alone and none of them should be used all the time. The goal is to develop your ability to use each style so that you can apply the right leadership style to each situation. Every week we will focus on a different style, helping you to understand the style itself and when and where it is needed. First up is the Affiliative Style.
The Affiliative Style is all about building relationships. An Affiliative leader is focused on the person and not the task. They take time to establish deep connections, share their feelings, and build trust. They are concerned for the employee as a whole, not just what work output they provide. They strive to create harmony and balance on the team. Because of this focus on connecting with individuals leaders who match this style build great loyalty within their teams.
Affiliative leadership is an effective approach right now because almost every company is dealing with employee engagement issues. The Affiliative style should be your go-to when you need to build a more cohesive team, when you need to take time to boost morale, and when you need to improve communication. Because Affiliative leaders are great at creating connections with others, they are great at building mutual respect and confidence. They are able to bring groups together and smooth out differences. They are known for creating strong, happy, trusting teams.
This style of leadership is not effective when used alone though. Even during COVID. It’s over focus on praise tends to let poor performance fester which leads to even more widespread disengagement and sanctioned incompetence. Affiliative leaders are also not good at helping team members grow and develop through constructive feedback. They are too concerned about damaging the relationship to deliver this critical information, so employees are left to try and figure out how to improve on their own. Which only adds to their stress levels during an already anxious time.
Stay tuned for next week’s installment where we’ll cover the Visionary style.
If you’re interested in learning what style of leader you are, take our Leadership Styles quiz here.