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Course Overview

Situational Leadership is an adaptive leadership style that is in use around the world. This strategy encourages leaders to gain an understanding of their subordinates or team members and assess their abilities as they relate to the job-at-hand. At times, the leader must weigh many variables within the workplace and choose the leadership style that best fits the current goals and circumstances. Yes, this means that the leader, not the subordinate or team member, must adapt in order to increase the possibility of success. This in no means supports preferential treatment, it is simply a tool to bring out the best in worker.

In this course, you will learn what Situational Leadership is and how to develop yourself to be able to adapt to meet the ever-changing needs of subordinates. By the end of this course you will have a greater understanding of how to adapt your leadership skills to meet a wide range of situations. The key result of this process is to develop a thorough understanding of what it takes to be flexible enough to support your subordinates and teams. By the end of this training you will be able to identify and understand what developmental phase your workers are in and how best to lead them during that phase of their development.

Key Concept

The Situational Leadership Model is base on the theory that there are two key elements or concepts that need to be considered by leaders: 1) Leadership itself and the various approaches that can be taken; and 2) taking into consideration the developmental level of team members/subordinates. Situational Leadership uses a set structure or matrix to help leaders to know what type of leadership needs to be applied in certain situations. Situation Leadership is therefore individualized based on subordinates rather that the leader themselves. The main difference between situational leadership and other leadership styles is that situational leadership adapts its techniques based on quantifiable assessments; while other leadership styles focus on the skills and experience of the leader and force the subordinates to adapt to the leader.

Key Terminology

Situational Leadership:

Situational Leadership is a flexible and adaptive approach to leadership which takes into account the current (or real) state of the existing work environment as well as the skills of the resources already in place in regards to the task at hand. Situational Leadership does not focus on the skills and experience of the leader, it more focuses on meeting the needs of the individual or team – provide the level of support needed according to established factors.

Directing Leaders (or telling Leaders who provide guidance or close supervision):

Directing Leaders make decisions and pass them on to subordinates. They create roles and objectives and expect others to accept them and follow them precisely. Communication tends to be unidirectional and is not questioned and is best suited for low-skilled, low-confident or new employees. This leadership style can also be characterized within the Authoritarian or Coercive Leadership styles which has a clear vision of the desired results and how to reach it and is a little more authoritarian oriented. In the Situational Leadership Model, this leadership style applies to the lower-right quadrant known as the S1 quadrant.

Coaching Leaders (or selling, explaining, persuading Leaders):

Coaching leaders work on the individuals personal or team’s development as well as improving job-related skills. This style of leadership is best applied to people who have experience, know their limitations, and are open to improvement. These leaders create roles and objectives for others, but don’t unilaterally enforce them – they are open to suggestions and opinions – they “sell” their ideas and seek “buy-in.” In the Situational Leadership Model, this leadership style applies the upper-right quadrant known as the S2 quadrant.

Supporting Leaders (or participating, sharing, facilitating, democratic Leaders):

Supporting Leaders tend to leave the most decisions up to their subordinates – there’s an element of trust that usually comes from the subordinate being more experienced with skills appropriate for the job. While these leaders may participate in the decision-making process, they ultimately leave the final decision up to the subordinate. Subordinates that are afforded this level of trust are generally well experience, competent and somewhat committed to their position or project. In the Situational Leadership Model, this leadership style applies to the upper-left quadrant known as the S3 quadrant.

Delegating Leaders (or affiliative, pacesetting Leaders):

Delegating Leaders are responsible (or accountable) for their teams, but provide minimum guidance when it comes to solving problems or performing the tasks required to achieve success in project or process. They are available to help with the decision-making process, but tend to only offer options or suggestions and allow the responsible subordinates to make the final decisions. Subordinates that are allotted this level of freedom by leadership tend to be highly competent and very highly committed. In the Situational Leadership Model, this leadership style applies to the lower-left quadrant known as the S4 quadrant.

Learning Objective

  1. Be able to define the Situational Leadership Model.
  2. Identify the key elements to consider as a leader in the workplace.
  3. Understand the various types of Leadership types and when to apply them.
  4. Understand the importance of flexibility and adaptability in your leadership style.
  5. Understand the Situational Leadership Model Matrix and how to use it.
  6. Learn how to improve your overall business by adapting the Situational Leadership Model.
  7. Understand the benefits of situational leadership in coaching and mentoring your subordinates.

Course Outline

  1. Introduction to Leadership
    1. What is Leadership?
    2. What are the various Leadership styles that are dominant around the world?
  • What does Leadership mean to me and what examples do I have of it in my life?
  1. What does Leadership mean in my work life; in my superiors; and in my subordinates?
  2. What does it mean to be Adaptive?
  3. What does it mean to be Flexible?
  1. Introduction to the Situational Leadership Model
    1. What is a Leadership Style?
    2. What is Productivity and how does current Leadership Styles achieve it?
  • What is Situational Leadership?
  1. What is a Model or Framework?
  2. What is the Situational Leadership Model?
  3. What are the primary barriers to implementing Situational Leadership?
  1. Understanding the Situational Leadership Model
    1. What is Matrix and why does the Situational Leadership Model use one?
    2. What are the four quadrants of the Matrix?
  • Understanding the Matrix and how to read it.
  1. What does the sliding scale Developing à Developed represent?
  2. How does the scale relate to the Matrix?
  3. How to read and understand the Model.
  1. Applying the Situational Leadership Model
    1. Why should I adapt my leadership style and adapt the Situational Leadership Model?
    2. What are the factors involved in assessing skills in the workplace?
  • How to use the Situational Leadership Matrix to evaluate subordinates.
  1. How to identify which quadrant subordinates/team members fit into.
  2. Understand that we are all unique in our own styles and behaviors and learn to identify what factors drive subordinates and how to leverage them to get their buy-in.
  3. What is a Directing Leader and when is it appropriate to adapt that style?
  • What is a Coaching Leader and when is it appropriate to adapt that style?
  • What is a Supporting Leader and when is it appropriate to adapt that style?
  1. What is a Delegating Leader and when is it appropriate to adapt that style?
  2. Is Delegating an effective way achieve buy-in?
  3. In the Situational Leadership Model, is Delegating a way to avoid taking responsibility?
  1. Going Beyond
    1. Is there actually a ROI on implementing the Situational Leadership Model?
    2. Use team-building skills assessments to analyse your team’s performance and motivate them by adapting your leadership style to meet their needs.
  • Can I increase productivity and effectiveness by implementing the Situational Leadership strategy?
  1. Concept Evaluations
    1. Quizzes.
    2. Competency Reviews and Evaluation.
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