People are often faced with the decision of what role to play in their lives. Should you be strict and demanding, or encouraging and forgiving? While some people think that being tough is the way to go, others try to explore other alternatives. Positive leadership is one of them.

Being a leader is not easy, as it can make or break your team. You need to keep your temper under control and know when to soothe or criticise someone. In a complicated situation, the leader is the one everyone relies upon and looks up to. So, what kind of leader is effective at work?

In this article, you will learn about positive leadership and the effects it has on employees and colleagues in the workspace. For more insights from experienced entrepreneurs, sign up for our EWOR Platform and gain access to over 17 courses and a plethora of resources.

What Does Positive Leadership Mean?

Positive leadership is an area within positive psychology. It recognises the importance of a positive attitude, harmony, and integration among groups to boost cooperation and productivity. This leadership style is marked by encouragement and ensuring confidence to create a healthy environment. It can be applied in a professional field or a domestic environment.

Why is Positive Leadership Useful?

Leading positions in the company require more than just ordering around. Knowing how to find the best approach to someone and creating a friendly atmosphere that promotes healthy productivity is an essential skill for a leader.

Positive vs. Negative Leadership

Many think the tougher the boss is, the greater the results. But in reality, this is far from the truth. A study has shown that strict employers often undermine their employees, which leads to worse outcomes.

Others still believe in the “carrot and stick” method, when you use both encouragement and punishment to get the desired results. However, research has shown that it also doesn’t work. People become more interested in the reward and try to finish the task as quickly as possible, which leads to poor performance.

The author of the book “The Power of Positive Leadership”, Jon Gordon, says: 

“Leading a team is really a lot like parenting. If you yell at your kids, they miss the message. Instead, you have to use love and accountability to help them perform their best at all times.”

– Jon Gordon

Gordon believes in the power of positivity and the effect it can have on everyone around. He thinks it is vital to encourage and support your team, even if things don’t go as planned.

According to the research conducted by Forbes on the Benefits of Positive Leadership, twice as many people preferred positive leadership to a negative one. It made a difference in their productivity, work satisfaction, and overall happiness. Moreover, with a positive leader, it is easier to be open and build trust because a friendly and warm environment is created.

What Does Positive Leadership Look Like in a Workspace?

Sometimes it can be unclear how exactly positive leadership looks like at work. Here are some hypothetical examples of how a positive and negative leader will react, based on the book “The Power of Positive Leadership,” by Jon Gordon.

  • An employee missed a deadline

A negative leader will scold and focus on the past, while a positive leader will address the problem and focus on the future.

  • An employee didn’t finish their part of a task on time.

A negative leader will attack and blame an employee, while a positive leader will see an opportunity for improvement and solve the problem.

  • A company has experienced or is experiencing hard times

A negative leader will blame the employees for all the problems the company faces. A positive leader will believe that hard times are going to end soon and will keep motivating employees to do their best. 

Essential Positive Leadership Skills

Having learned about the effectiveness of positive leadership, you might be wondering how to become one yourself.  Let’s discuss the crucial skills a positive leader should have.

There are four P’s of positive leadership that can help you ensure leadership success. These are psychological safety, purpose, path, and progress.

Psychological Safety 

Feeling safe in a workspace is a life changer for both employees and employers. The workers are not embarrassed to suggest new ideas and don’t have a fear of being humiliated. At the same time, employers know they can rely on their employees. It creates a safe atmosphere, which everyone benefits from. A fear of making mistakes is also not that strong, as you know others will have your back. Psychological safety encourages cooperation, increased confidence, trust among the team, and the contribution of unique ideas. 


Instead of just ticking the task off the list and being done with it, doing the task with a purpose can bring positive results. When everyone sees a common goal they are working towards, they are more likely to be engaged in the tasks.


Not only knowing the purpose but also seeing a clear path on how to get there, boosts the team’s productivity. When employees and employers know the strategies and the roles they have to play, they tend to achieve the desired outcome quicker.


Tracking progress is a great way to evaluate performance and motivate the team to move forward. Celebrating any win, no matter how big or small it is, can create a positive and friendly environment. It also creates a bond between the team members that can lead to better support and encouragement.

Mastering these skills can bring your teamwork to another level. You can learn more about how to become a positive leader in this article.


Anyone can use positive leadership, regardless of their previous lifestyle, personality type, or background. Knowing how to encourage and support your team is an essential skill. However, it doesn’t mean that a positive leader is less effective or responsible. A positive leader brings out the best in people and encourages them to show up as their best selves every day to work. It promotes productivity, cooperation, and great performance.

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