“Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it's amazing what they can accomplish.” — Sam Walton
Workplaces often carry a reputation of having tough environments with no room for emotions. But don’t we all wish to develop emotional bonds and have a family-like feeling even at the workplace? Well, that’s achievable! Affiliative leadership is all about that and more. Follow this article to know what affiliative leadership is and how to bring it into practice.
Affiliative leadership is one of Daniel Goleman’s six leadership styles, proposed way back in 2002. And even today, it is considered one of the most effective leadership styles. Affiliative leadership focuses on creating a positive work environment by building strong interpersonal relationships. Affiliative leaders tend to be more open with their employees. They help them succeed by leveraging their strengths rather than focusing on weaknesses.
Leaders with an affiliative leadership style value their followers' input on important decisions. They also care about their well-being, particularly their job satisfaction. For these leaders, the happiness of their team members is the top priority. They believe that if employees are happy, they will perform better.
Below are a few characteristics of affiliative leadership that cover everything about this leadership style. Let’s take a look!
Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, was a great example of affiliative leadership. He focused on empowering employees and creating a family atmosphere within the company. As a result, he saw high levels of job satisfaction among his employees and extreme loyalty, which helped him make Walmart one of America's most popular retail stores.
The concept also works in political settings, with Barack Obama (former US President) being an excellent example. Obama emphasized consensus-building over other leadership styles. He encouraged input from others and believed in having different perspectives. He made sure everyone's voice was heard in every decision made within his administration.
As the affiliative style has both pros and cons, it’s important to understand how one can become a good affiliative leader. Below are some tips that can help you:
People often think of leadership styles as something you are born with or that you can’t change. However, research by psychologist Daniel Goleman reveals that we all have leadership strengths that can be enhanced with effort.
Goleman has identified six leadership styles—visionary, coaching, affiliative, democratic, coercive, and pacesetting. While one style may be more effective in a given situation, no single style works best in all situations.
1. Authoritative Leadership Style
Authoritative or visionary leaders offer inspiration, set goals, and create a sense of urgency. They often have strong convictions about what needs to be done, but they don't always spell out exactly how to do it.
2. Coaching Leadership Style
Coaching leaders get things done through others by setting high standards and giving specific feedback. They believe in delegating responsibility but not authority, so they hold team members accountable for results without micromanaging them.
3. Democratic Leadership Style
Democratic leaders listen to input from everyone involved and solicit ideas for solving problems. They encourage participation in decision-making, even if it means putting off action until everyone agrees on a course of action.
4. Coercive Leadership Style
Coercive leaders take charge by asserting power over others. Their primary concern is getting things done quickly and efficiently, regardless of whether team members feel included or engaged in decision making.
5. Pacesetting Leadership
Pacesetting leaders expect top performance from themselves and others. They push for quick decisions, immediate implementation, and measurable results. While pacesetting leaders tend to perform well under pressure, they also tend to alienate those around them who aren't willing or able to keep up with their pace.
In the times that we are living in, every employee wants to be empowered, and that’s why the affiliative leadership style is getting popular. Are you planning to take on an affiliative style? Stick to the rules, be patient and hopefully, it will yield good results.