Situational leadership is a leadership style developed by Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard in the 1970s. According to Hersey and Blanchard, the most effective leaders are those who can adapt their leadership style to fit the needs and development level of their followers. The theory suggests that there are four different leadership styles, each of which is most effective in certain situations: directing, coaching, supporting, and delegating.
The directing style is most effective when followers are new to a task and need clear guidance. This style involves giving specific instructions and closely supervising the work being done. The coaching style is most effective when followers have some experience with a task but need additional support and guidance. This style involves providing feedback and support as followers work to improve their skills. The supporting style is most effective when followers are competent at a task but need motivation and encouragement. This style involves providing emotional support and recognition for a job well done. The delegating style is most effective when followers are highly competent and can work independently. This style involves trusting followers to complete tasks on their own and providing support as needed.
One of the key strengths of situational leadership is its emphasis on adapting leadership style to fit the needs of the situation. By being able to shift between different leadership styles, leaders can effectively meet the needs of their followers and create a more productive and positive work environment.
Another strength of situational leadership is its focus on the development of followers. By providing support and guidance to followers as they develop their skills, leaders can help them become more confident and competent in their work. This not only benefits the individual followers, but also the organization as a whole, as it helps to build a more capable and effective team.
There are also some limitations to the situational leadership model. One limitation is that it can be difficult to determine the most appropriate leadership style for a given situation. Leaders may need to rely on their own judgment and experience to determine the best approach, which can be subjective and may not always be accurate. In addition, the model may not be applicable in all situations, such as in cultures that place a strong emphasis on hierarchy or where leadership styles are more fixed and inflexible.
Overall, situational leadership is a useful tool for leaders looking to adapt their style to fit the needs of their followers and the demands of the situation. By being able to shift between different leadership styles, leaders can create a more productive and positive work environment and help followers develop their skills and confidence.
What is Situational Leadership?
Patton was by all accounts a volatile and authoritative leader but he was also well aware of how to use supportive dimensions to raise troop morale and instill loyalty and motivation in his soldiers. That is, he would assign them work and sometimes listen for their input. Eisenhower as your example for a person who greatly utilized and nearly perfected the art of situational leadership. The military often utilizes situational leadership because the environment is constantly changing which means the situation is changing. In his first eight years, he won three Pacific Coast championships.
Every person is different and needs different leading styles according to the situation they find themselves in. Situational Leadership® According to Blanchard and Hersey The second model is based on the work done by Blanchard and Hersey. In chronological order, the leadership styles rank from least ready requiring the most amount of direction and support to most ready requiring the least amount of direction and support. Situational Leadership Examples The following people serve as great examples of what the situational model looks like in practice. A Selling Style would be a good approach in an internship situation, provided the young person was excited and happy to be on the job. General Patton had a very effective situational style of leadership. The leader is there to provide feedback and to increase their confidence and motivation with praise and feedback for the tasks completed.
What is Situational Leadership? Flexibility Leads to Success
Based on my strengths and weaknesses, it is easy to see that my leadership style is directing. It also depends on the competence and maturity of the followers. This Situational Leadership style is used when providing motivation, growing buy-in, and building trust. Training workshops and curriculum are also offered and may be worth your consideration if you decide this approach compliments your philosophy of leadership. Leadership: Theory and practice 6th ed. Like you stated in your post, Eisenhower used the situational leadership approach during his time in the war because when at war circumstances are unpredictable. The strength of each member is the team.
Other important characteristic of situational leadership is that is prescriptive, the situation determines which style of leadership is needed. . He was also the Allied Commander during the war. Those on the project team with less experience, such as the project engineers and interns, received other types of leadership styles from the project manager, most notably the coaching and directing styles. This leader does not recognize the fact that followers, depending on their developmental levels, need to be led with a different style of leadership.
During that time he had team members graduate and new members start on the team. It adapts to the existing work environment and the needs of the organization. When working with members on the project team with years of experience, such as the superintendents, assistant project managers, and quality control manager, my project manager was able to apply a supporting or delegating leadership type. Their theory is based on two concepts: leadership itself, and the developmental level of the follower. He was known for his diplomacy and his ability to get the allied leaders to work together to defeat the Nazi war machine. In doing this, leaders must evaluate and assess how competent and committed their followers are to complete a given goal Northouse, 2021, p.
Many of them only lasted 6 months in the job because they were not able to do the job well enough. Situational Leadership is a leadership style that has been developed and studied by Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hersey Northouse, 2013. I believe that one of the greatest strengths of this approach is that it emphasizes the differences of individuals. A leader that uses one approach to leadership is every situation, with every follower, will not be as successful as a leader. Every few years, she was faced with building a whole new basketball team. Eisenhower had a talent for strategic planning with enabled him to tackle leadership using the situational approach Pach, 2020.
Situational Leadership® is not based on a specific skill of the leader; instead, he or she modifies the style of management to suit the requirements of the organization. I agree with that statement in the way he was able to adapt as a leader to whatever issues he had to face. Blanchard and Hersey developed a matrix so that leaders can easily determine the leadership style needed by the employee based on their development level Northouse, 2013. Overall, he was able to trust that these members of the project team would be able to accomplish the assigned tasks in a timely matter while being able to make their own decisions. The situational approach to leadership does not come naturally to me.
I have personally experienced the application of situational leadership. Once this step is complete, the leader can adapt his or her behavior and focus on accomplishing the goal. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications. Delegating S4 This Situational Leadership style is practiced when dealing with experienced, competent, and motivated team members. Northouse, 2021 The skills approach dives into what the leader can accomplish. Using this style, will still allow the leader to maintain a directive approach because coaching simply adds more emphasis on the relationship behavior.