Relationship-oriented and Task-oriented Leadership

Image by Skybound

Leading a team is difficult, yet crucial task for company executives. There are many different ways to lead the team, but two different types of leadership receive much attention lately: 1) task-oriented leadership, and 2) relationship-oriented leadership.

Task-oriented leadership and relationship-oriented leadership both have their advantages and disadvantages. However, the key to becoming a great leader requires one to find the right balance between both types depending on the situation.

Task-oriented Leadership

A task-oriented leadership values team’s work performance as top priority. Task-oriented leaders show strong, decisive and logical manners as their leadership is performance driven. They set clear goals and have high expectations for themselves and those around them to create challenging circumstances for everyone. This type of leadership often leads to improvements in work efficiency, but it can also lead to poor relationships among team members by overlooking emotional aspects.

Relationship-oriented Leadership

A relationship-oriented leadership values teamwork as top priority. Relationship-oriented leaders are focused on supporting, motivating, and developing individuals and the team through collaboration. They tend to be good listeners and are capable of encouraging employees by providing helpful feedbacks. However, relationship-oriented leadership may sometimes create inefficiency that can slow down the work process.

Image by Insperity

Balance two leadership styles.

Both leadership styles have pros and cons. Therefore, bringing and balancing the strengths of each leadership style can lead to better leadership.

1. Form a recognition-rich corporate culture

To create a better working environment, it is necessary to build good relationships with employees, and this is the basis of relationship-oriented leadership. When leaders show that they put their interests on their employees first, employees’ morale increases.

One of the simplest and most effective strategies to engage with employees is to give compliments. Especially when they are working on difficult tasks and stressed. Employees will appreciate that their efforts are recognized by leaders.

2. Set clear goals that can be executed

Task-oriented leaders set goals and review achievements regularly. However, relationship-oriented leaders often lack these kind of strictness. Achieving goals in any style of leadership is an essential part of a leader’s qualities. Therefore, it is important to set clear goals when starting a project. A leader should communicate and share directly with all team members about expectations for the targeted goals. Setting daily or weekly goals for individual employees can also be very helpful. This allows each employee to be held accountable for an individual’s work.

3. Claim authority

Relationship-oriented leaders tend to lack authority which can lead giving vague directions, whereas performance-oriented leaders can assign too many tasks, leaving employees stressed. However, claiming authority is important in building trust among employees. Assign tasks in a firm tone with confidence, but be respectful and courteous.

4. Encourage feedbacks

The only way to know which leadership style is right for the organization is to ask for genuine feedbacks from employees. It is very important to open a communication channel where employees can freely provide feedback regarding the organization’s operations.

There are various methods to encourage employees to provide feedback. Leaders can request for feedbacks in person or conduct anonymous online surveys. Keeping all channels of communication open with employees can help resolve issues quickly, so that there is no misunderstandings at workplaces.




Colawork helps companies build cultures based on core values by providing tools to incentivize employee recognition and engagement.

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Colawork (COLA)

Colawork (COLA)

Colawork helps companies build cultures based on core values by providing tools to incentivize employee recognition and engagement.

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