Situational Leadership : How to implement this approach in your team ? via @davidmerzel’s BLOG

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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ONE MINUTE MANAGER: How to inspire your team with this approach ?, via @davidmerzel’s BLOG

I’ve explained the concept of ONE MINUTE MANAGER to my team and suggested them to read the book of Ken Blanchard on this.

Feedback from my team was very positive

I really like this book as it is so simple and that you can read if fast and then you can write next pages during your life ! 

So,  we are implemeting  this approach within my TEAM and I think this works. The One Minute Manager reveals three fundamental concepts:

  • One Minute Goal Setting—Understand the importance of clear goals
  • One Minute Praisings—Learn how to help people reach their potential
  • One Minute Reprimanding—Learn how to correct poor performance and keep people on track

Take a look at this Video of Ken Blanchard explaining shortly this concept.

Here-below, more details but to know more, read the book …

One Minute Goal Setting

  1. “Agree on your goals;
  2. See what good behavior looks like;
  3. Write out each of your goals on a single sheet of paper using less than 250 words;
  4. Read and re-read each goal, which requires only a minute or so each time you do it;
  5. Take a minute every once in a while out of your day to look at your performance, and
  6. See whether or not your behavior matches your goal.” [ref01]

One Minute Praisings

  1. “Tell pople up front that you are going to let them know how they are doing;
  2. Praise people immediately;
  3. Tell prople what they did right, be specific;
  4. Tell people how good you feel about what they did right, and how it helps the organization and the other people who work there;
  5. Stop for a moment of silence to let them “feel” how good you feel;
  6. Encourage them to do more of the same;
  7. Shake hands or touch people in a way that makes it clear that you support their succes in the organization.” [ref01

One Minute Reprimands

  1. Tell people beforehand that you are going to let them know how they are doing and in no uncertain terms;
  2. Reprimand people immediately;
  3. Tell people what hey did wrong, be specific;
  4. Tell people how you feel about what they did wrong, and in no uncertain terms;
  5. Stop for a few seconds of uncomfortable silence to let them feel how you feel;
  6. Shake hands, or touch them in a way that lets them know you are honestly on their side;
  7. Remind them how much you value them;
  8. Reaffirm that you think well of them but not of their performance in this situation;
  9. Realize that when the reprimand is over, it’s over.

We are also implementing the Situational Leadership, within my Team.

5 things to do to improve your leadership, @davidmerzel’s BLOG

Interesting article in Harvard Business Review regarding Leadership.

My take-out is a list of 5 things you can do to achieve self-awareness and personal mastery in leadership.

Monitor your performance. Note areas in which you excel and need improvement. Communicate these to your team.

Realize that failures and mistakes are just one step on the road to success.

•Recognize that being aware of the impact that your behavior has on other people is a critical leadership skill.

•Remember that when criticism is difficult to accept, there is probably some truth to it.

•And, finally, learn to give yourself and others credit for improving.

Check out also this Video of Ken Blanchard