Can Your Leadership Style Beat Out the Situation?
Why Being Able to Adjust Your Leadership Style to the Situation Can Make You a More Effective Leader
While many can agree that a leader’s specific style can affect the performance of their team, after all I know I’m less inclined to go above and beyond for a leader who never takes my suggestions or concerns under consideration (Autocratic Leadership), there is an even stronger correlation between adjusting those styles to fit the situation (situational leadership) and leadership effectiveness.
Situational leadership is a leadership style developed by Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hersey and is based on the 3-D Management Style Theory. The Situational approach focuses on the situation and the follower, as well as the leader themselves. Situational leadership is when a leader adjusts his style, becoming more or less directive or supportive, in order to fit the demands of the situation and the development level of the followers he or she is trying to influence.
The Situational approach is considered to be the most effective because it doesn’t focus on just one style of leadership. Because it takes into account the leader, follower, and situation as a whole, it is always adjusting, focusing on leader flexibility. The Situational Leadership approach gives leaders a simple and clear process for determining which leadership style to implement based on the employee and situation, reminding leaders to treat each subordinate differently based on the task at hand. Because employees receive individualized attention, support, and direction, they tend to feel empowered and respected as a result, ideally becoming more loyal and engaged workers.
While truthfully there is no one best style of leadership, the leader who can adapt their leadership style to the individual or group they are attempting to lead or influence and the task or situation at hand, will be more effective.
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