Affiliative Leadership – Concept, Characteristics, Influence, and Its Application

The bonding between a particular team or group members is the most crucial prospect that directs the ultimate success. Leaders in the contemporary business industry try to initiate the affiliative leadership style to formulate such fruitful bonding. This leadership style is mainly based on the people and people-relationship.

Moreover, the strategies within the style emphasize the formulation of social and emotional relationships among each group member or team member. In this regard, most affiliative leaders stress adopting the people-first approach to create harmony and maintain a peaceful workplace environment simultaneously.

This article tries to illuminate some of the characteristics of this leadership style and its influence and practical application in contemporary society.

Characteristics of Affective Leadership –

Most affiliative leaders value continuous positive feedback. The days of small formal and informal exchanges between employees and managers are over, with employees receiving feedback as part of their annual assessment interviews. The definition of affiliate leadership reflects the concept of taking responsibility and always letting employees know how important and valuable the factors are for the whole team or group (Harappa, 2022).

The following characteristics reflect the effective as well as efficient measures that the affiliative leaders initiate, and they are as follows:

Prioritizing People –

The affiliative leaders prioritize the employees or fellow members. They always try to value individuals and teams and provide respect and importance to their emotions and opinions. Strong loyalty and bonding among the team members guarantee impeccable performance opportunities.

Moral Value –

This type of leader has a great sense of morality, and they do not entertain any unethical behavior on the part of the employees. The leadership style shows the importance of ethics and ethical behavior (Wachira et al., 2018). In this regard, the affiliative leaders empathize with the team members who often lack other leadership styles.

Fruitful Communication Builder –

The leaders often use communication tools to encourage the morale of the team members or among the employees. This particular use of tools allows the leaders to boost the strategies initiated to achieve the ultimate goals.

Flexibility –

Through formulating a productive workplace environment for the employees, the leaders of affiliative style are flexible enough to embrace the employees’ opinions. Moreover, they also try to build trust and avoid rigid regulations and policies that can hinder the progression.

Optimistic Behaviour –

The focus of affiliative leaders is to develop sustainable relationships among the employees of a particular group or team. In this regard, they always try to focus on the positive side of any outcome and provide positive feedback to the employees simultaneously.

Positive Encouragement –

The encouragement of the leaders plays a pivotal role in the overall growth of the employees. In this regard, affiliative leaders motivate and encourage the employees to be creative. Increasing the creativity power among the employees allows the employees’ ultimate performance to be improved simultaneously.

Strong Resilience –

A leader is the pioneer figure for the employees. The leaders provide directions to achieve the goal. Moreover, the strategies initiated by the leaders provide the pathway to deal with the business competition in the contemporary market (Wachira et al. 2018). In this regard, the affiliative leaders reflect their resilience power which is beneficial to overcoming stressful situations or crises simultaneously.

Impacts of Affiliative Leadership – Its Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits and drawbacks of affiliative Leadership Style
Benefits and drawbacks of affiliative Leadership Style

Affiliative Leadership – Benefits

The affiliative leaders give freedom to share their opinions and feelings, prepare them for success, and increase their self-confidence and productivity. And when employees show emotions or hint at real feelings, they are not afraid of the consequences. In addition, employees feel that managers care about their well-being and happiness and are committed to success. This style of leadership promotes a flexible work environment and shows teams that they are given importance and that their needs are valued outside of work.

On the other hand, when employees know that their leaders care about their feelings and want them to express them, a relationship of trust is built. This relationship is based on their leaders and the entire team. This transparency is essential for building a solid team that can work together and depends on each other while addressing problems, concerns, or unconventional ideas.

Apart from this, the leaders are also optimistic. Based on this nature, the leaders offer constructive feedback instead of dwelling on the issues the employees make during any project. Moreover, the leaders stress the formation of harmonious workplace culture to promote the employees’ work performance.

Affiliative Leadership – Drawbacks

One of the significant drawbacks of initiating this leadership style is that the leaders overlook poor performance. Encourage the employees to make this type of situation, which can ultimately hamper the overall productivity simultaneously.

On the other hand, excessive emphasis on the reinforcement of well-being within the workplace can negatively affect the company or the organization in terms of goal achievement. Moreover, showing extreme empathy towards employees can make them dependent on the leaders, leading to poor productivity and a low rate of revenue generation at the same time.

Affiliative Leadership – Example

Dalai Lama as the Affiliative Leader
Dalai Lama as the Affiliative Leader
(Source: Goalcast, 2022)

By following and maintaining the footsteps of the affiliate leaders, the employees can maintain a strong harmony and fruitful workplace culture. The Dalai Lama is the best example of an affiliative leader who possesses all the characteristics at the same time. On the other hand, Warren Buffet is also a globally recognized affiliative leader who emphasizes maintaining well-being within the workplace culture. The fellow employees and disciples of the two leaders mentioned above achieve their long and short-term goals despite adverse situations.

Conclusion –

Unlike other leadership forms, the affiliative leadership style is fruitful and effective in managing the employees or fellow members. In this regard, the leaders need to analyze their short and long-term goals. They must also examine their knowledge and experience to formulate better strategies to succeed.


Goalcast, 2022, Dalai Lama, an Affiliative leader, Available at: [Accessed on: 12th June 2022]

Harappa, 2022, Affiliative leadership style, Available at: [Accessed on: 12th June 2022]

Semantic Scholar, 2022, Effective Communication impacts, Available at: [Accessed on: 12th June 2022]

Wachira, J.G., Karanja, K. and Iravo, M., 2018. Influence of Affiliative Leadership Style on Organizational Performance of Commercial State Corporations in Kenya. European Journal of Business and Strategic Management, 3(3), pp.17-28.

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