There are many different ways to lead people. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. What might work for one person may not work for another. You need to be able to adapt and change your leadership style depending on the situation and the person you are dealing with. In this blog post, we will discuss the two main types of leadership: holding hands and showing the way.
Situational Leadership is about how we balance support by being direct and controlling
Situational leadership is a management style that is based on the situation that is currently happening. A situational leader does not just tell employees what to do but helps them figure out how to accomplish tasks and reach goals. This management style is based on empowering others to succeed. To be a situational leader, one must practice situational leadership. This can be done by listening actively, giving feedback, being flexible, and setting clear expectations. By doing these things, a leader can build a strong team that is successful.
Here are some ways to start doing that today:
- Listen actively – When someone asks a question, listen carefully to understand exactly what they want to hear. Then respond appropriately. If you’re unsure about something, ask questions. Don’t assume you already know the answer.
- Give feedback – People often feel uncomfortable giving honest criticism because they fear hurting another person’s feelings. But being open and candid about what’s working well and where improvement needs to happen helps teams improve.
- Be flexible – Sometimes things change quickly, and you need to adjust your approach accordingly. For example, when a project deadline approaches, you might shift priorities to meet the deadline rather than focusing on quality. Or when a colleague makes a mistake, you might let them fix it without pointing fingers.
- Set clear expectations – Make sure everyone knows what success looks like and what behaviors will earn praise and rewards. This helps people to avoid confusion and frustration.
These are all important skills for any leader to have. If you want to build a strong team, situational leadership is a great place to start.
Understanding that different stages require different approaches and mindset
When starting out, newbies need more hand-holding and guidance whereas those who have been around for a while require less support and more freedom to run with their ideas. The key is to be adaptable and know when to adjust your style.
One way to do this is by using the four different stages:
- Dependent: The person is new to the task and needs help in understanding what to do.
- Independent: The person has a good understanding of the task and can do it on their own.
- Interdependent: The person is able to work with others and contribute to the team’s success.
- Competent: The person has mastered the task and can teach it to others.
As you can see, each stage requires a different leadership style. For example, someone who is Dependent needs more guidance and support than someone who is Competent. The key is to be able to adapt your leadership style to the situation.
One size does not fit all
Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to leadership. What works for one person may not work for another. The key is to be flexible and adjust your style to fit the person and the situation.
Need to know the actual ability and willingness of each employee to do the work
In order to be an effective leader, you need to know the actual ability and willingness of each employee to do the work. This can be done by asking questions and observing their behavior.
For example, you might ask employees how they would handle a difficult customer service call. If they seem unsure or unwilling to take on the challenge, then you know they might need more training in that area. On the other hand, if they seem confident and eager to take on the challenge, then you know they are probably ready to handle it on their own.
You can also observe an employee’s behavior to see how they interact with others.
Do they seem shy and withdrawn? Or are they outgoing and social?
Do they seem to take direction well? Or do they resist authority?
The above factors will help give you a start to determine the best way to lead each employee.
The bottom line is that effective leaders need to be able to adapt their style to fit the person and the situation. As mentioned previously, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to leadership. The key is to be flexible and adjust your style to fit the needs of the situation.
Giving people the freedom to try what they can do
A good leader will give their team the freedom to try what they can do and learn from their mistakes. This is how people grow and develop their skills.
Of course, you need to set clear expectations first so that people know what behaviors are acceptable and which ones are not. But once you’ve done that, it’s important to step back and let people take the lead.
This doesn’t mean that you should never offer guidance or support. But it does mean that you should allow people to find their own way, even if it means making mistakes along the way.
Setting up boundaries and safety nets is important
While it’s important to give people the freedom to try new things, it’s also important to set up boundaries and safety nets. This will help prevent people from making mistakes that could be costly or dangerous.
For example, you might want to set up a rule that employees must get approval from their supervisor before spending any company money. This will help prevent them from making any impulse purchases that could end up costing the company dearly.
Or, you might want to set up a safety net for people who are working on a project that involves some risk. This will help ensure that people don’t take unnecessary risks that could put themselves or the project in jeopardy.
The bottom line is that effective leaders need to be able to set up boundaries and safety nets. This will help prevent people from making mistakes that could be costly or dangerous.
4 situational leadership styles
The four different types of leadership styles are based on how much control leaders want to exert over others.
- Directive leadership: The directive leadership style is about controlling the environment and setting goals for employees. This style works best when there is little ambiguity and people know exactly what needs to happen. Directives give clear instructions, set expectations, and demand compliance.
- Authoritative leadership: The authoritative leadership style is about giving advice and guidance to employees while maintaining some degree of independence. Employees must feel free to challenge authority without fear of reprisal. Leaders who employ this style maintain high status and respect among followers.
- Laissez-faire leadership: The laissez-faire leadership style is about letting things go and trusting people to make good decisions. You don’t micromanage and you trust your team to do their jobs well. Followers enjoy working under Laissez-faire leaders because they aren’t told what to do every second.
- Servant leadership: The servant leadership style is about serving others and helping them succeed. People thrive when they work for someone who cares about them. Servants build relationships and empower others.
Each leadership style has its own advantages and disadvantages
- Directive leadership can be seen as bossy and overbearing.
- Authoritative leadership can be seen as aloof and unapproachable.
- Laissez-faire leadership can be seen as lazy and disorganized.
- Servant leadership can be seen as self-serving and manipulative.
The best leaders can adapt their style to the situation. They know when to be directive and when to step back. They can build relationships and trust with their employees. And they always have the best interests of others at heart.
What leadership style do you think is most effective? Why? Share your thoughts in the comments below!