What is Situational Leadership?
Situational leadership simply means “choosing the right leadership style for the right people”. It also depends on the level of competence and maturity that the followers exhibit. It is a time in when leaders will look less like bosses and look more like partners. Situational leadership is when a leader or head of an organization adjusts his or her style of leadership in order to blend with the followers’ level of development that he or she is trying to influence. Situational leadership is a style of leadership that is developed and closely studied by Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hersey. Situational leadership is leader oriented not follower oriented, it is up to the leader to change his or her style of leadership, not the followers to adapt to the leader’s style. Also when implementing situational leadership, the style might continuously change in order to meet the needs of others in the organization depending on the situation at hand. The maturity level of the followers can be considered as their readiness to perform the task preferred by the leader. As we all know that Leadership is the process of influencing the activities of an individual or a group of people in effort toward achieving a specific goal, there are 4 different types of leadership style.
Telling and Directing
This style of leadership is also known as micro-management leadership style, and this is a situation whereby the leader closely supervises the followers during the process of performing a specific task. With this type of leadership style the employees basically do exactly what they are ordered.
Selling and Coaching
This style typically works well with the series of followers who are inexpert and still learners. With this style of leadership, employees will be supervised in the process of performing the task but it will be in a coaching manner rather than just a management manner. It also involves direct approval in order to increase their self-esteem and confidence.
Participating and Supporting
This style of leadership passes more responsibility to the followers. The leader is there to provide feedback and in order to increase their confidence. Those who work well under this style of leadership have all the necessary skills needed but they lack the motivation or confidence needed to achieve them.
Delegating to Employees
Delegating is a style of leadership whereby the employees or followers are responsible for choosing the type of tasks they will perform and the approach they will make use of. Although the leader might still be involved in terms of direction or feedback reasons but minimally. The employees know the task to be carried out and how perform it with little or no supervision required.
Considering Development Level
The followers’ development level determines the type of leadership style to be used by the leader. For the followers with high needs and little experience, the directing style will best fit, and for the followers with low needs and high competence, the delegating style of leadership will be perfect. In order to determine the leadership style to use, the leader needs to understand the ability of the team and readiness to perform tasks. As the abilities and motivations of the team changes, the leadership style used will also change over time as well.