Thursday, April 18, 2024

How To Build Situational Leadership Qualities?

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When you started your career, was there any team member who took the initiative to train you on the job? Was the colleague able to guide you through the difficulties you faced then? Was your manager able to encourage, educate, and punish your mistakes as per the situation you were facing? After some years, were you able to guide your juniors and take up the mantle of a leader?

The above questions point to one of the important qualities a person has in life – leadership. Taking the initiative to lead people takes a certain amount of vision and confidence.

Finding the right way to lead someone in their tiring moments or guiding them out of a dilemma makes a good leader. It depends on the situation also. Even if you are not a leader you can also be a situational leader for your colleagues or friends.

Situational Leadership

The goal of the situational leadership model is to understand the situation and act accordingly. There are no fixed leadership methods apart from references that say what can be done under various situations.

Leading people is one of the most difficult tasks for each individual has their own background, personality, style, ego, motivation, or thought pattern. Situational leader needs to adapt to the people around them.

The term and the associated nomology were developed by Paul Hersey, a management professor at Ohio State University, in the 1960s. later, he joined author Ken Blanchard to modify the theory based on behavioral psychology and jointly published Management of Organizational Behavior in 1969. The theory considers leadership styles, level of ability, and willingness to complete tasks by the listeners.

The main advantage of situational leadership is:

  • Help managers adapt to the work environment
  • Adopt a leadership style based on organizational conditions
  • Consider employee competence and commitment levels
  • Determine the task’s complexity, direction, and necessary support
  • Develop a flexible mentality to empower team members
  • Helps to bring out the best results

How to Develop a Situational Leader

The Hersey-Blanchard model describes four leadership behavioral styles. They are telling, selling, participating, and delegating. You can attend situational leadership training or workshops to develop this skill. But it all boils down to,

  • Flexibility
  • Be a listener
  • Sense of direction
  • Ability to encourage
  • Coaching

Flexibility

A situational leader needs to pay attention to the changes in the surroundings of the team, task, or organization. Any personal or professional changes can affect the team members or colleagues both positively and negatively. Adjust the leadership styles accordingly to make the best out of such scenarios.

Be a Listener

To understand what’s going on in the team or the organization, a leader needs to be a good listener. By leveraging their active listening skills, the leadership can understand and implement strategies. Be patient and understand the root problems to find solutions.

Sense of Direction

Leaders need a good sense of direction for their team members and the business. By learning about the people under them, they can guide them in the right direction.

Ability to Encourage

Encouragement is one of the fundamental qualities of a leader. This behavior can create trust and psychological safety for the followers. People can share their thoughts, inputs, failure, and experience with the leader. The right amount of encouragement can improve the mental outlook of the person.

Coaching

To be most effective, a situational leader should be a good coach. Develop skills in training people in a multitude of topics as required. It provides backup support to the team members on the spot. It also helps the leader to improve their repertoire significantly.

When you started your career, was there any team member who took the initiative to train you on the job? Was the colleague able to guide you through the difficulties you faced then? Was your manager able to encourage, educate, and punish your mistakes as per the situation you were facing? After some years, were you able to guide your juniors and take up the mantle of a leader?

The above questions point to one of the important qualities a person has in life – leadership. Taking the initiative to lead people takes a certain amount of vision and confidence.

Finding the right way to lead someone in their tiring moments or guiding them out of a dilemma makes a good leader. It depends on the situation also. Even if you are not a leader you can also be a situational leader for your colleagues or friends.

Situational Leadership

The goal of the situational leadership model is to understand the situation and act accordingly. There are no fixed leadership methods apart from references that say what can be done under various situations.

Leading people is one of the most difficult tasks for each individual has their own background, personality, style, ego, motivation, or thought pattern. Situational leader needs to adapt to the people around them.

The term and the associated nomology were developed by Paul Hersey, a management professor at Ohio State University, in the 1960s. later, he joined author Ken Blanchard to modify the theory based on behavioral psychology and jointly published Management of Organizational Behavior in 1969. The theory considers leadership styles, level of ability, and willingness to complete tasks by the listeners.

The main advantage of situational leadership is:

  • Help managers adapt to the work environment
  • Adopt a leadership style based on organizational conditions
  • Consider employee competence and commitment levels
  • Determine the task’s complexity, direction, and necessary support
  • Develop a flexible mentality to empower team members
  • Helps to bring out the best results

How to Develop a Situational Leader

The Hersey-Blanchard model describes four leadership behavioral styles. They are telling, selling, participating, and delegating. You can attend situational leadership training or workshops to develop this skill. But it all boils down to,

  • Flexibility
  • Be a listener
  • Sense of direction
  • Ability to encourage
  • Coaching

Flexibility

A situational leader needs to pay attention to the changes in the surroundings of the team, task, or organization. Any personal or professional changes can affect the team members or colleagues both positively and negatively. Adjust the leadership styles accordingly to make the best out of such scenarios.

Be a Listener

To understand what’s going on in the team or the organization, a leader needs to be a good listener. By leveraging their active listening skills, the leadership can understand and implement strategies. Be patient and understand the root problems to find solutions.

Sense of Direction

Leaders need a good sense of direction for their team members and the business. By learning about the people under them, they can guide them in the right direction.

Ability to Encourage

Encouragement is one of the fundamental qualities of a leader. This behavior can create trust and psychological safety for the followers. People can share their thoughts, inputs, failure, and experience with the leader. The right amount of encouragement can improve the mental outlook of the person.

Coaching

To be most effective, a situational leader should be a good coach. Develop skills in training people in a multitude of topics as required. It provides backup support to the team members on the spot. It also helps the leader to improve their repertoire significantly.

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