Affiliative Leadership Style


First described by Daniel Goleman in 2002, the affiliative leader was one of six leadership types documented.  The affiliative leader promotes harmony among followers, and helps to solve conflict.  By making sure followers feel connected to each other, this leader is adept at building teams.

Followers can expect to receive a lot of praise from this style; unfortunately, poor performance may go unchecked.


Goleman believed that certain leadership styles were more effective under certain conditions.  This is known as situational leadership. The affiliative style is thought to be most effective when morale is low due to stress, and teambuilding is needed.  For example, when a department reorganizes itself, this type of leader will help the followers understand how they fit together in the new organization.

Related Terms

emotional intelligence, situational leadership