A great leader knows that there are a lot of variables to working with a team. Each individual in a team has their own background, learning style, personality, experience, etc. Thinking about how a leader adjusts their styles in response to these variables is defined as situational leadership.
In other words, situational leadership is how you adapt your management style to each unique situation at your workplace to meet your team or team members’ requirements.
Situational Leadership Theory was studied and developed by Ken Blanchard and Paul Hersey in 1969. Both leaders believed there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach in leadership. Rather, this theory provides a framework for leaders to analyze the development level of an employee or a team. Once this level is determined, leaders can develop their leadership style accordingly. It is known as Situational Leadership.
Telling, also known as directing, is used when a team member or the entire team needs close supervision or regular guidance.
Selling or persuading is used when a team or team member is unmotivated or has some kind of competence. The leader is open to feedback or collaboration to boost the team or team members’ participation.
Participating, also known as sharing, is used when a team or team member has some competence needed to participate in planning or decision-making. In this style, the leaders adopt a more democratic approach, allowing their team members to take the decision in their area of expertise.
Delegating is useful when a team member is self-motivated or has a high level of competence. Leaders using this style will set a goal, outline desired outcomes, and grant clear authority. After this, the leader will get out of the way and let the team member take the charge.
Also, See: Leadership Development
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