Situational Leadership theory

Contrary to the Fielder model, the situational leadership model suggests that the best option for leaders is to adapt their leadership styles to fit their team members and their individual abilities. This model believes that leaders should first consider the variables that affect their workplace and then decide the best tactic for how to proceed.

Situational leadership also called the “Hersey-Blanchard model”, is primarily concerned with the maturity level of a team’s members. High maturity team members are experienced and able to make decisions independently. Moderate maturity employees are capable, but lack confidence, or have confidence but are not willing to complete the tasks they are assigned. Low maturity employees are enthusiastic and willing but do not have the skills or experience to complete tasks.

The situational leadership model identifies four leadership styles, each of which suits different levels of employee maturity. These styles include:

Delegating style: This style allows other team members to be responsible for certain tasks or to lead subgroups. This style best suits a team of high maturity employees because it requires team members to be both confident and capable.

Participating style: This style focuses on sharing ideas and decisions. Leaders who use the participating style might apply it to moderately mature team members who are capable but lack confidence and need one-on-one mentoring.

Selling style: This term refers to a style that involves the leader attempting to sell his ideas to the group by persuasively giving task instructions. This also suits moderate team members, but

unlike the previous style, it is best used with employees who are confident but unwilling to complete tasks.

Telling style: This style is used by leaders who frequently give explicit directions and who supervise all tasks closely. This style best suits low maturity followers who are willing but unable to act independently.


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