Situational Leadership

Situational leadership is all about is a model that was developed by Dr. Paul Hersey in response to the demands of an increasingly diverse workforce in the global market place. Situational Leadership aims to prepare and train leaders to adapt to all circumstances and challenges that today’s work environment throws at them. Dr Hersey calls his program “organised common sense”. In effect situational managers have the ability to decide which skills that they will use for which situation. They understand that different situations demand different skill sets. If you apply the same skill set for every situation, you either assume that you are always going to be successful or overtime you become less effective.

There are many benefits to being trained in situational leadership. The main benefit being that situational leaders are able to maximise their focus and their influence in specific situations. They are able to do this by learning several different skills. Mangers coached in situational leadership are able to focus conversations effectively ‘choosing their battle’ so to speak, they need to know when a certain style of leadership will work and when it will not. Managers need to know when they need to show total consistency in the way they deal with situations and when they need to show flexibility to some situations and when it is appropriate to be inflexible and with which ‘audience’. If they are working in a high-profile, high –Performance Company they may need to gauge when an employee is ready for developing new skills and abilities that will not just give personal gratification, it will also give the company a boost or when that employee is really not engaged with the dynamics of company performance. A situational manager can effectively change the results of their business by influencing the behaviour of others through common sense and practicality without the use of jargon to cover inefficiency.

Situational Judgement is undoubtedly successful, but how does this compare to other forms of training for managers? For some managers it does not matter how many management courses they attend or study they will never be effective managers and this is down to personality and communication skills. Situational Management courses can show managers what they may be capable of but they themselves have to be open to embracing change and to carry through decisions for progressions to completion. If training in situational management helps managers to pinpoint employees that are ready for additional roles there are still some managers that will not allow the employee to do this because of personality clashes.


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