Task Oriented vs Relationship Oriented Leadership Styles: Which One is Right?

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All leaders need to figure out what leadership style works best for them and their team. While there are many different types of leadership styles, two of the most popular are task oriented and relationship oriented. Each style has its own set of pros and cons, so it’s important to understand the difference before making a decision. In this blog post, we’ll explore the key differences between task oriented vs relationship oriented leadership styles. We’ll also take a look at the pros and cons of each approach so you can make the best decision for your business.

What is task oriented leadership style and what is relationship oriented leadership style?

Task-oriented leaders focus on getting the job done and achieving results. They are often seen as more directive and less concerned with interpersonal relationships.

Relationship-oriented leaders prioritize building strong relationships and maintaining harmony. They tend to be more supportive and participative, and they emphasize communication.

The best leaders usually use a combination of both styles, depending on the situation. For example, they may be more task-oriented when deadlines need to be met, but they may shift to a more relationship-oriented style when team morale needs a boost. Ultimately, the goal is to create a healthy balance between the two approaches.

Key differences between task oriented leadership style and relationship oriented leadership style

There are several key differences between these two leadership styles:

  1. Task-oriented leadership is a style of leadership that is focused on results and achieving goals. Task-oriented leaders focus on the task at hand and ensuring that it is completed efficiently and effectively. Relationship-oriented leadership is a style of leadership that focuses on building strong relationships with followers.
  2. Task-oriented leadership style sets clear expectations and provides adequate resources and support to ensure that tasks are completed efficiently and effectively. Relationship-oriented leadership style creates an environment where people feel valued and respected, and where they can work together collaboratively to achieve common goals.
  3. Task-oriented leaders tend to be more directive, whereas relationship-oriented leaders are more supportive.
  4. Task-oriented leaders may be more likely to use punishment as a way to motivate people, while relationship-oriented leaders are more likely to use positive reinforcement.

Overall, both styles of leadership can be effective in different situations. It is important to choose the style that is best suited for the specific situation and the goals that need to be achieved.

motivating employees
motivating employees

Pros of task oriented leadership style over relationship oriented leadership style

There are a few key advantages that task oriented leadership style has over relationship oriented leadership style:

  1. Task leaders tend to be more effective at getting things done and achieving results. This is because they focus on the task at hand rather than on building relationships with their team members.
  2. Task leaders are typically more efficient than relationship leaders, as they do not spend time on activities that do not directly contribute to the completion of the task.
  3. Task leaders often have better problem-solving skills than relationship leaders, as they are more likely to think logically and analytically about a problem before taking action.

Cons of task oriented leadership style compared to relationship oriented leadership style

There are a few key disadvantages of task-oriented leadership compared to relationship-oriented leadership:

  1. Task-oriented leaders may be more likely to micromanage their team members and not delegate tasks effectively. This can lead to feelings of frustration and resentment among team members who feel they are not being given the opportunity to contribute or hone their skills.
  2. Task-oriented leaders may be less flexible and adaptable to change, which can limit the team’s ability to respond quickly to new challenges or opportunities.
  3. Task-oriented leadership styles can sometimes create an environment where there is little room for creativity or innovation.

Pros of relationship oriented leadership style over task oriented leadership style

1. Can help build strong relationships

The main advantage of a relationship-oriented leadership style is that it can help build strong relationships and trust within a team. This can lead to more effective communication and collaboration, as well as a greater sense of commitment and loyalty from team members. Relationship-oriented leaders are also typically more adept at handling conflict within a team, as they are more likely to focus on finding common ground and compromise.

2. Can motivate team members

Another key advantage of this leadership style is that it can motivate team members to achieve their best. This is because relationship-oriented leaders typically have a strong focus on creating a positive and supportive team environment. This can lead to greater job satisfaction and engagement from team members, which can in turn improve performance.

3. Can help build a stronger sense of community

Relationship-oriented leadership can also help build a stronger sense of community within an organization. This is because this style of leadership encourages teamwork and cooperation, rather than competition. This can create a more positive and cohesive work environment, which can be beneficial for both employees and the organization as a whole.

Task-oriented leadership styles, on the other hand, tend to be more focused on results and achieving goals. While this can be an effective approach in some cases, it can also create an environment where team members feel like they are being micromanaged or that their input is not valued. This can lead to frustration and resentment, which can damage morale and motivation.

Overall, a relationship-oriented leadership style is generally more effective in creating a positive and productive team environment.

assigning tasks
assigning tasks

Cons of relationship oriented leadership style compared to task oriented leadership style

There are a few potential drawbacks to using a relationship-oriented leadership style:

  1. This type of leader may have difficulty making tough decisions that could potentially upset employees or damage relationships.
  2. This approach may be less effective in fast-paced or high-pressure environments where quick decision-making is critical.
  3. Relationship-oriented leaders may be more likely to tolerate poor performance from team members out of fear of damaging working relationships.

Situations when task oriented leadership style is better than relationship oriented leadership style

Task-oriented leadership is often more effective than relationship-oriented leadership in situations:

  1. Where there is a need for quick decision making or when tasks need to be completed in a specific way with little room for error.
  2. Situations where team members are not motivated by relationships and need clear direction and expectations in order to be productive.
  3. Task-oriented leadership may be necessary when there is conflict within the team that needs to be addressed quickly and efficiently.

Situations when relationship oriented leadership style is better than task oriented leadership style

When a leader is more concerned with the relationships between team members than with task completion, they are said to have a relationship-oriented leadership style. This type of leader focuses on creating a positive environment and building trust among team members. They believe that by doing so, the team will be more motivated and productive.

There are several situations when a relationship-oriented leadership style is better than a task-oriented leadership style:

  1. When team morale is low, a relationship-oriented leader can help to improve it. Second, when there is conflict within the team, a relationship-oriented leader can help to resolve it.
  2. When team members need support or encouragement, a relationship-oriented leader can provide it.
  3. When the team is working on a new project or undertaking a new challenge, a relationship-oriented leader can help to build team unity and cohesion.
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Task Oriented vs Relationship Oriented Leadership Styles Summary

We hope this article was helpful in understanding the difference between relationship oriented leadership style and task oriented leadership style. It is important to know when each of these styles are most beneficial for you and your organization. Have any questions? Leave a comment below – we would be happy to answer!

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Hidayat Rizvi
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