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The library of essays of Proakatemia

Leadership styles and how to recognise them

Kirjoittanut: Ilias Anezary Abbad - tiimistä Sointu.

Esseen tyyppi: Yksilöessee / 2 esseepistettä.

Leadership that gets results
Daniel Goleman
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 7 minuuttia.


After spending my first semester at Proakatemia, I’ve realized how important it is to be a good leader when you’re working in a group to reach a goal. Leadership means you have to guide the group, inspire everyone, and make sure the team can work well together. There are many different ways to lead, and each style has its own unique features and effects on how a team performs and gets along.

The book “Leadership that Gets Results” by Daniel Goleman Dives into the different ways you can lead a team and the impact these Styles can have. It covers Insights that are useful for anyone, whether you’re in charge of a team or not.

Leadership That Gets Results is a book by Daniel Goleman. He is known for his thoughts on how leaders can manage their teams better by understanding their feelings and the feelings of their team members. This book talks about different ways leaders can act to make their teams do well. In this essay, the focus will be on using these ideas for a team like Sointu, which has people from many countries and speak different languages.

When managing a team with members from different places, there are special challenges. It can be hard to talk to each other sometimes, and people might misunderstand each other. But such teams also have a big chance to bring new and great ideas because they see things from various points of view. In this essay, I will look at how the leadership styles described by Goleman can help make the most of my team’s differences and strengths.


Overview of Goleman’s Leadership Styles

In his book, Daniel Goleman describes six different leadership styles. Each style has its own way of dealing with situations and people, and they can all be useful depending on the situation. This is the breakdown of these styles and how they work:

  • Coercive Style: This style is all about telling team members exactly what to do. The leader makes all the decisions and expects everyone to follow them without questioning. This style can be helpful in a crisis when quick decisions are needed, but it might not be good for teams like mine where trust and understanding are important. Using this style too much can make team members feel like their ideas are not valued.
  • Authoritative Style: An authoritative leader guides their team towards a vision or goal. They are good at making clear what the goal is and how the team can achieve it. This style can be very effective in giving direction to a team that lacks clear goals. In an international team, this can help align everyone’s efforts, even if we come from different backgrounds and have different ways of doing things.
  • Affiliative Style: This style focuses on creating emotional bonds and harmony within the team. An affiliative leader works on keeping people happy and connected. This style is great for building team spirit and improving how people work together, which is especially important in a diverse team where members need to feel connected beyond language and cultural differences.
  • Democratic Style: A democratic leader asks for input from everyone and makes decisions based on the group’s ideas. This style is good for getting team members involved and making sure that everyone’s voice is heard. It can be very useful in an international team, as it allows for many different perspectives to be considered and helps to reduce misunderstandings.
  • Pacesetting Style: The pacesetting leader sets high standards and expects all team members to meet these standards on their own. This leader leads by example and is focused on performance. However, this style might be challenging in a team with language barriers, as it assumes a level of understanding and self-direction that might not be present.
  • Coaching Style: A coaching leader focuses on developing people for the future. They help team members identify their strengths and weaknesses and encourage them to improve. This style is very beneficial for a diverse team because it helps each member grow individually, which can boost the overall performance of the team.

If someone decides to take the lead role, it’s crucial to know when to use each of these styles. Not every style will work well in every situation, especially when dealing with language barriers and cultural differences. For instance, while the coercive style can be effective in urgent situations, relying on it too much could harm team morale, particularly when team members already face challenges in communication. Contrarily, the affiliative and democratic styles can be very powerful in building a cohesive team environment where everyone feels valued and heard, fostering a sense of unity and cooperation.

Challenges of International Leadership

Leading an international team involves navigating a range of complexities, such as cultural differences, language barriers, and varying expectations. These challenges can significantly impact communication and collaboration but understanding and addressing them is key to effective leadership. Here’s how each challenge can manifest and strategies to handle them:

Cultural Misunderstandings: When team members come from different cultural backgrounds, their ways of thinking, communicating, and interpreting behaviors can vary widely. For example, in some cultures, being very direct is appreciated and seen as honest, while in others, it may be viewed as rude or aggressive. As a leader, it’s crucial to foster an environment where these differences are respected. One way to manage this is by encouraging open discussions about cultural norms and practices. This can help team members understand each other’s perspectives and reduce conflicts or misinterpretations.

Language Barriers: Communication is often the biggest hurdle in an international team, especially when not all members are fluent in the common language used. This can lead to misunderstandings and information gaps. To overcome this, I can implement clear and simple communication practices. Using visual aids, repeating important points, and confirming understanding through feedback can ensure that everyone is on the same page. Additionally, offering language support, such as training or translation tools, can help bridge this gap.

Varying Communication Styles: Different cultures have different norms regarding communication styles, which can affect how team members express themselves and interpret others’ communications. For example, some team members might prefer indirect communication and may not feel comfortable speaking up in group settings, while others might openly share their thoughts. To address this, I can adopt a more democratic leadership style that encourages participation from all team members. Creating smaller group discussions or one-on-one check-ins can also provide quieter team members with a comfortable space to voice their thoughts.

Diverse Work Ethic and Practices: Team members from various parts of the world may have different approaches to deadlines, work hours, and responsibility sharing. These differences can lead to frustration and inefficiency if not managed well. As a leader, setting clear expectations and aligning them with the team’s goals can help mitigate these issues. It’s also beneficial to be flexible and considerate of personal and cultural needs, such as varying holidays, work-life balance preferences, and local working hours.

Integration of New Team Members: Integrating new members into an already diverse team can be challenging, as they need to quickly adapt to the team’s culture and dynamics while bringing their own unique background into the mix. A coaching leadership style can be particularly effective here, helping new members understand their role, the team’s practices, and how their work fits into the larger picture. Regular team-building activities that celebrate diversity can also promote bonding and a sense of belonging among all members.

Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Leadership

Emotional intelligence is crucial for effective leadership, particularly when managing a team that includes members from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Understanding and managing one’s own emotions, as well as recognizing and influencing the emotions of others, can greatly enhance a leader’s ability to guide their team successfully.

Leaders with high emotional intelligence are adept at sensing the emotional atmosphere of their team. They can tell when team members are stressed, frustrated, or disengaged, which is particularly important in an international setting where traditional cues might be misinterpreted due to cultural differences. For instance, a leader might notice a team member’s reluctance to speak up during meetings, which could be a sign of uncertainty or discomfort rather than disinterest.

Emotional intelligence requires an awareness that emotions are expressed differently across cultures. What might be considered a mild disagreement in one culture could be seen as a serious conflict in another. Leaders who are emotionally intelligent can navigate these delicate situations by adapting their responses to fit the cultural context of each team member, thereby avoiding potential conflicts and misunderstandings.

A key component of emotional intelligence is the ability to communicate clearly and empathetically. This involves more than just speaking and listening; it requires interpreting non-verbal signals and adapting messages for clarity and impact. In international teams, where language barriers exist, the ability to convey information effectively becomes even more crucial. Leaders must ensure that all team members understand goals and tasks regardless of their native language or cultural background.

Emotional intelligence helps leaders build deeper relationships with team members, fostering an environment of trust and loyalty. By showing empathy and understanding, leaders can create a supportive atmosphere that encourages team members to express their ideas and concerns without fear of judgment. This is particularly valuable in diverse teams where trust is key to collaborative success and innovation.

In any team, conflicts are inevitable, but in a culturally diverse team, these conflicts can be exacerbated by differences in communication styles and professional expectations. Leaders with high emotional intelligence are better equipped to handle these conflicts. They can identify the underlying causes of disagreements and work towards resolutions that respect everyone’s perspectives. This skill prevents conflicts from escalating and helps maintain harmony within the team.

Finally, emotional intelligence enables leaders to motivate their team effectively. Understanding what makes each team member tick allows a leader to tailor their motivational techniques to individual needs, which can vary widely in a multicultural team. Some team members may be motivated by public recognition, while others may prefer quiet, personal praise. An emotionally intelligent leader recognizes these differences and uses them to encourage high performance and commitment from all team members.


The book “Leadership That Gets Results” by Daniel Goleman teaches about different ways to lead a team. Each leadership style has its own time and place, especially when managing teams from different countries.

Emotional intelligence, which is the ability to understand and manage emotions, plays a big role in using these styles effectively. Leaders who are good at reading people’s feelings can better decide which style to use at a certain time.

In conclusion, understanding and using different leadership styles helps leaders manage better, especially in teams where people come from many places. Knowing when and how to use these styles makes a big difference in how well a team performs.




Goleman, D. (2000). Leadership that gets results. Harvard Business Review , 78(2), 78-90


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