Do You Know How Your Leadership Styles Affect Your Team’s Performance?

Share Button

Do you know how your Leadership Styles affect your team’s performance?

This is a question that stumps most people I know.

And the reason is because most of us are not aware of the leadership styles we use on a day-to-day basis. Most of us have no idea how we come across to others during the course of our workday. Very few of us take the trouble and the time to take stock of our own leadership styles to understand the impact on our team’s performance.

Based on Dr. Daniel Goleman’s research, there are 6 distinct leadership styles. Which style you exhibit on a day-to-day basis will determine the performance of your team and the people around you.

In case you are not familiar with Dr. Daniel Goleman, he is an internationally known psychologist and a visiting professor of Harvard University. He is the author of several international best-selling books including Emotional Intelligence, Working with Emotional Intelligence and Primal Leadership.

Out of the six styles, two are correlated to negative performance, while the other four styles correlate to high performance.

The six leadership styles are:

    1. Visionary
    2. Commanding
    3. Coaching
    4. Affiliative
    5. Democratic
    6. Pacesetting

All of us will have one of these styles as our dominant style. In other words, we use one style most often and usually by default. Under stressful situations, our dominant style usually manifests itself above all other styles.


A Visionary Leader is a visionary and focuses on the end goals. He does not dictate how to achieve those goals and will generally give people the leeway to devise their own means. Visionary Leaders give people freedom to innovate, experiment and take calculated risks.


The Commanding Style is sometimes referred to as the Coercive Style. The Commanding Leader employs the top-down command and control style of leadership. He demands that others comply with his expectations immediately. He will not hesitate to take drastic actions against those he perceives to be non-compliant or under performers.


The Coaching Leader focuses on long-term personal development of employees. He works with them to conceptualize, plan and develop long-term development goals and guides them to achieve those goals.


The Affiliative Leader’s top priority is to maintain peace and harmony among team members and employees. He values individuals and their emotions over tasks and goals, and strives to keep individuals happy.

The hallmark of the affiliative leader is a “People come first” attitude.


A Democratic Leader encourages participation from his team regarding the directions the team should take and what actions they should prioritize. He will solicit input from others as a way to build “Buy-in”.


A Pacesetting Leader sets extremely high-performance standards and holds everyone to the same standards. He is obsessed with doing things better and faster and expects the same of everyone around him. Pacesetters focus on individual effort and expect others to be competent in their roles.

So which two leadership styles are correlated to negative performance?

They are:

  • Commanding
  • Pacesetting

The rest of the other leadership styles are all positively correlated to high performance.

In other words, if you use too much of the Commanding or Pacesetting leadership styles, the chances are you will stifle the performance of your team.

So which leadership styles do you exhibit on a day-to-day basis?

Would you like to find out what your leadership styles are?

If you would like to receive insights into your leadership styles, email to and indicate your interest in finding out your Leadership Styles.

Share Button
April 14, 2015

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *