Situational Leadership

Leadership Approach Jason Remington LDR/531 October 26, 2012 Mike Kraynik Situational Leadership Situational leadership is an adaptive form of management introduced by Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hershey in 1969 (Schlosser, 2012). This specific leadership style requires managers to analyze scenarios and evaluate the skill level and emotional maturity of the followers involved. Based on the outcome of this analysis a leader selects one of the following technics; telling and directing, selling and coaching, participating and supporting or delegating.

The telling and directing technique requires a leader to define the tasks and closely supervise the completion. The technique is beneficial for inexperienced employees. Selling and coaching incorporates additional communication between the leader and follower. While the leader still delegates and make decisions the follower will incorporate feedback; resulting in a more interactive relationship. This behavior is most beneficial for employees with experience that still require some guidance (Dems, 2010).

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A participating and supporting technique requires a leader to allocate tasks and still provide input on decisions. The follower has the flexibility to determine how to complete the tasks and can make some daily decisions. This style is best for experienced followers who require motivation to become capable of completing the job (Schlosser, 2012). The delegating leadership style becomes most effective with experienced and motivated followers. This style allows the follower to allocate tasks and determine the best process for completion.

While a large portion of control is transferred to the follower the leader still maintains the final decision-making power and establishes boundaries (Dems, 2010). Strengths and Weaknesses An advantage of situational leadership is the simplicity and ease of application. This method provides leaders clear guidance regarding techniques to become successful. As a result this method has gained extensive credibility (Sharlow, 2004). . Additionally, research suggests this method builds relationships between leaders and followers (Measom, 2012).

A key weakness of situational leadership is that it lacks the complexity to incorporate followers’ individual traits such as education, gender, and other demographical factors. Based on individual characteristics, a follower may not respond best to the method the model applies. An additional disadvantage of the situational leadership approach is that it is difficult to apply to a group. The style fitting to some members may not be appropriate for others. There has not been additional research to determine how this method should be applied in a group setting (Sharlow, 2004).

Modern Example A new associate is hired in the accounting department. The associate is a recent college graduate and has had limited professional work experience. This individual appears to be highly motivated. The leadership method best suited for this new employee would be telling and directing. This is the best match because the new associate’s lack of real world experience may make him or her less skilled than other members of the accounting department. The associate’s high level of motivation will lead him or her to learn from his or her leader.

At the beginning of this relationship it will be important for the leader to delegate tasks and provide a process for the associate to follow to complete the task successfully. Furthermore, the lack of experience will require close supervision from the leader. As the associates skill level progresses, a new form of leadership, selling and coaching, may become more appropriate. References Dems, Kristina (2010). A Look at the Situational Leadership Model. Retrieved from Bright hub website: http://www. brighthub. com/office/home/articles/83323. spx Measom, Cynthia (2012). Trait vs. Situational Approach for Leadership. Retrieved from Small Business by Demand Media website: http://smallbusiness. chron. com/trait-vs-situational-approach-leadership-38796. html Schlosser, Joe (2012). Situational Leadership. Retrieved from Slide Share website: http://www. slideshare. net/joeschlosser/Situational-Leadership Sharlow, Bill (2004). Situational Leadership. Retrieved from Money-Zine website: http://www. money-zine. com/Career-Development/Leadership-Skill/Situational-Leadership/

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