We’ve implemented the Situational Leadership within my Team at Microsoft.
The principle is that managers must use different leadership styles depending on the situation.
The model allows you to analyze the needs of the situation you’re in, and then use the most appropriate leadership style. Depending on employees’ competences in their task areas and commitment to their tasks, your leadership style should vary from one person to another. You may even lead the same person one way sometimes, and another way at other times
Take a look at the Video of Ken Blanchard (One Minute Manager)
Here-below more details but just read the book of Ken Blanchard
Behavior of the Leader
S1 – Telling / Directing – High task focus, low relationship focus – leaders define the roles and tasks of the ‘follower’, and supervise them closely. Decisions are made by the leader and announced, so communication is largely one-way. For people who lack competence but are enthusiastic and committed. They need direction and supervision to get them started.
S2 – Selling / Coaching</b> – High task focus, high relationship focus – leaders still define roles and tasks, but seeks ideas and suggestions from the follower. Decisions remain the leader’s prerogative, but communication is much more two-way. For people who have some competence but lack commitment. They need direction and supervision because they are still relatively inexperienced. They also need support and praise to build their self-esteem, and involvement in decision-making to restore their commitment.
S3 – Participating / Supporting – Low task focus, high relationship focus – leaders pass day-to-day decisions, such as task allocation and processes, to the follower. The leader facilitates and takes part in decisions, but control is with the follower. For people who have competence, but lack confidence or motivation. They do not need much direction because of their skills, but support is necessary to bolster their confidence and motivation.
S4 – Delegating – Low task focus, low relationship focus – leaders are still involved in decisions and problem-solving, but control is with the follower. The follower decides when and how the leader will be involved. For people who have both competence and commitment. They are able and willing to work on a project by themselves with little supervision or support.
Effective leaders are versatile in being able to move around the matrix according to the situation, so there is no style that is always right. However, we tend to have a preferred style, and in applying Situational Leadership you need to know which one that is for you.
Likewise, the competence and commitment of the follower can also be distinguished in 4 quadrants.
Development Level of the Follower
D4 – High Competence, High Commitment – Experienced at the job, and comfortable with their own ability to do it well. May even be more skilled than the leader.
D3 – High Competence, Variable Commitment – Experienced and capable, but may lack the confidence to go it alone, or the motivation to do it well quickly.
D2 – Some Competence, Low Commitment – May have some relevant skills, but won’t be able to do the job without help. The task or the situation may be new to them.
D1 – Low Competence, High Commitment – Generally lacking the specific skills required for the job in hand, but has the confidence and / or motivation to tackle it.
Similar to the leadership styles, the development levels are also situational.
A person could be skilled, confident and motivated for one part of his/her job, but could be less competent for another part of the job.
Blanchard and Hersey said that the Leadership Style (S1 – S4) of the leader must correspond to the Development level (D1 – D4) of the follower – and it’s the leader who adapts. By adopting the right style to suit the follower’s development level, work gets done, relationships are built up, and most importantly,
the follower’s development level will rise to D4, to everyone’s benefit.
Steps in Situational Leadership. Process
Make an overview per employee of his/her tasks
Assess the employee on each task (D1…D4)
Decide on the leadership (management) style per task (S1…S4)
Discuss the situation with the employee
Make a joint plan.
Follow-up, check and correct.
Strengths of the Situational Leadership model. Benefits
Easy to understand
Easy to use
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