4 Reasons Good Leadership Requires Friendliness

Leadership requires a lot of different skills. In addition to expertise in a specific field, it requires the ability to manage resources, budgets, projects and most importantly, employees. One of the best ways to invest in the people who make up your team is to make friendliness a key component of your relationship with them.

Friendliness isn’t the same thing as friendship. It’s possible, even beneficial, to craft a friendly management style and still maintain professional boundaries with your team members.

Why does good leadership require friendliness, now more than ever? Here are 4 good reasons to use a friendly approach with your team in order to boost morale and reap the rewards of success together.

1. People respond more openly and positively to friendliness.

Getting results through friendliness can take a lot less energy than getting results through direction. Task-oriented managers find it more difficult to motivating people.

Think about it this way: if you use a positive, friendly approach when communicating with your team, they’ll be far more likely to leave a meeting feeling valued and energized.

When team members feel like their boss is pushy or demanding, they may work more in the short term. In the long run, though, they’ll be less inclined to be fully engaged. They may also move on to a new job or boss more quickly than an employee who feels appreciated by a leader who understands them and shows that they care.

2. Friendliness increases the chance that others will buy in to the objectives.

Friendly leaders believe that the way they address people is a key part of what creates a happy team environment. It cultivates the feeling that you’re all in this together and shows an investment in them.

Friendliness also contributes to creating a safe environment for your team to ask questions. Employees are more likely to invest in objectives that they understand and believe in.

3. Friendliness in leadership sets the tone for your team.

Whether leaders realize it or not, the people they lead carefully watch their words and actions. People model their leaders, too, so adopting a friendly style and using that approach with your team sets the tone for how they deal with each other.

A warm tone and a positive approach reassure your team, especially in challenging circumstances. Bring out the best in people by showing them that you are not disproportionately results-oriented. As always, balance is key!

4. A friendly leader actually has greater impact on the team.

A leader who approaches his team with intense emotions—displaying anger, stress or frustration openly—might hurt the team over-reacting. Venting might feel gratifying in the moment, but it can also reduce the trust between a leader and his team. It creates a leader-versus-team dynamic rather than a sense of facing a challenging situation together.

Friendliness on the other hand, helps craft that sense of community and team spirit. A friendly approach shows the team that the leader views himself as part of the team. This tells the team that the obstacle or challenge is something to be faced together. It gives the team members permission to take ownership of the issue. It makes the team a safe place to offer ideas or put forth one’s own thoughts on possible solutions.

How to Become a More Effective Leader

Boosting your leadership with friendliness may take some time to yield results, especially if it’s a departure from the usual approach. Give the team some time to build trust and adjust to new ways of doing things. In the meantime, if you’re looking for other ways to target leadership growth based on your leadership style, I recommend the DISC (What’s Your Color?) Leadership Report.

This test takes about ten minutes and identifies your leadership strengths. It helps you discover unleveraged potential and opportunities for growth. The step-by-step results show leaders exactly what to do—and stop doing—to unleash their team’s potential and maximize personal effectiveness.


Ingrid Kelada

Owner of KCC Positive Business Psychology & Happiness Expert