Leadership Styles and Conflict Resolution in Project Management

Describe a situation where it would be appropriate to use each of the six leadership styles described by Daniel Goleman.

According to Daniel Goleman, the six emotional leadership styles are authoritative, coaching, affiliative, democratic, pacesetting, and coercive (Goleman et al., 2013).


This style is most appropriate when a company needs a new vision or clear direction on the future (Sabaté Gauxachs & Chiva Polvillo, 2021). The role of the leader is to inspire the team towards a common goal; telling them where to go, but not how to get there. Example: A manager intends to help members achieve the targeted goals. He decides to change how members interact with new clients through new techniques and processes. He then informs the team members about the new process and they are all excited to try it and see a real difference.


This style focuses on developing individual team members and shows how to raise their performance by identifying their strengths and weaknesses. Example: An internship situation often has this leadership style. Its success depends on where the apprentice is excited and self-motivated to be on the job.


This leadership style creates organizational harmony by connecting people. It is crucial in increasing morale, communication, and resolving conflicts in the team. Example: A manager of a talented team in baseball builds a sense of harmony among teammates. He is quick to recognize the contributions made by each player and express his gratitude at the end of each game.


This style focuses on team members’ skills. It includes strong teamwork and collaboration to decide on the best direction to take for the organization. For example, Google’s founder developed the internet search engine. He followed the advice of experienced entrepreneurs and immediately started searching for experienced talents to create a democratic team. Today, the company remains much democratic in product development.


This leadership style sets high-performance standards as the leader works better and faster. The focus is to build challenges and targeted goals for the team and expects each member to put in their best effort. Example: A pacesetting leader comes from the business world and may be the most recognizable CEO. If such a leader believes that leaders should spend most of their time inspiring others, then it becomes like the pace for the entire industry or corporate world.


This leadership style is a traditional military style of leadership where the leader gives clear directions to the team members. It is mainly practiced during a crisis or when a turnaround is needed. For example, the coach in a team gives a talk at halftime, to direct the team on how to manage the opponents in the final round of a game and win.

Summarize the different ways that project managers can address conflicts to help them manage project teams. What can they do to manage virtual team members successfully?

Conflicts do not always result in negative outcomes. Conflicts can result in positive outcomes if the manager handles them correctly. Conflict can give an alternative solution to a problem affecting a team or result in coming up with a better solution. It is necessary for such a process, to begin by accepting there is a problem, identifying the root causes of whatever problem is at hand, and understanding each member’s perspective to realize well-informed decisions. Working together to create a solution that is beneficial to the project and ensuring personal objectives are not prioritized over the group objectives. There are many ways a manager can successfully manage a virtual team. These include:

  • Defining the system work
  • Using the communication tools
  • Ensuring regular meetings and events
  • Having detailed deliverables
  • Creating a working environment

A meeting between the affected parties in case of conflict is necessary as it can put everyone’s opinion in front of other parties and understand them effectively. The managers can then provide answers and solutions to problems, with a focus on satisfying both the parties to some degree and ensuring there is an agreement by both parties. The virtual team should have an understanding. Managers should offer multiple communication tools that enable them to work smoothly. Finally, ensure there is consistency in scheduling the meetings.

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Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R. E., & McKee, A. (2013). Primal leadership: Unleashing the power of emotional intelligence. Harvard Business Press.

Sabaté Gauxachs, A., & Chiva Polvillo, A. (2021). Leadership and communication in Spain and Portugal: The Catholic case. JANUS.NET e-journal of International RelationsDT. https://doi.org/10.26619/1647-7251.dt21.12

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