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How to apply situational leadership

Situational leadership is flexible. It adapts to the existing work environment and the needs of the organization.

Situational leadership is not based on a specific skill of the leader; rather, he changes the management style to meet the organization’s requirements.

One of the keys to good situational leadership is adaptability.

The leader must be able to move from one leadership style to another to meet the changing needs of the organization and its collaborators.

The leader must have the intuition to understand when to change his driving style and / or management and to choose which leadership strategy fits into each new OKR.

The main factors related to the situation on which the two scholars Hersey and Blanchard worked are …

  • The style of the leader, understood as a balance between two main behaviors:
  • The task-oriented behavior to be performed;
  • Relationship-oriented behavior towards people.
  • The maturity of the collaborators, understood as
  • The ability to set high but achievable goals;
  • The willingness and ability to take responsibility for the assigned task;
  • The education and experience of the individual to carry out the assigned task.

The situational leadership grid advises the leader to adapt the behavior and his style to the working and psychological maturity of the collaborator who is facing.

The result is 4 main styles, suggested to the leader, which match the orientation to the task or the relationship of the leader with the maturity of the collaborator:

Prescriptive Style / Steering

It is the style to use if the collaborator has low competence and low commitment or he is incapable and reluctant or insecure.

If the collaborator does not know how to perform the job, does not want to or does not want to try, then the leader takes a managerial and task-oriented role, indicating to the collaborator what he must do without taking an interest in the relationship.

If the leader focuses more on the relationship, then the collaborator can become confused about what needs to be done and what is superfluous.

Eventually the leader can try to understand why the person is not motivated and if there are real impediments in carrying out the work.

Persuasive Style / Trainer

It is the style to use if the collaborator has medium competence and high commitment or when capable and willing or motivated.

If the collaborator knows how to perform the work, at least in the essential aspects, and is sure of succeeding, then if the leader tells him what to do he can demotivate himself or oppose resistance. Then the leader must persuade him to do the work in another way by training and explaining the reasons.

The leader will spend time listening and consulting, helping the collaborator to acquire the necessary skills.

Participatory Style / Supporting

It is the style to use if the collaborator has high competence and variable commitment or he is capable but reluctant or insecure.

If the collaborator knows how to do the work, but refuses to do it or shows no commitment or dedication, the leader does not have to worry about showing him what to do, but he must concentrate on finding why the person refuses, trying to persuade her to cooperate.

The leader will spend time listening, supporting and praising the employee when he shows the necessary commitment.

Delegating Style / Supervisor

It is the style to use if the collaborator has high competence and high commitment or he is capable and willing or motivated.

If the employee knows how to do the work and is motivated to do so, then the leader, trusting can delegate the work, overseeing remotely to make sure everything is going as planned.

Employees at this level have less need for support or praise, but it is always important to give the right recognition even occasionally.

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