The situational leadership theory is a model for leadership developed by Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard.
Situational leadership theory talks about four different leadership styles and how it relates to subordinate’s confidence or ability to carry out a task.
The first leadership style is what they call telling. It is best used when subordinates either lack the ability or lack the maturity to handle a task well. This is when the leader needs to tell and direct the subordinates with specific instructions and expectations.
The next leadership style is called selling. Instead of telling them exactly what to do, the leader sells them the idea and gives them some level of independence and autonomy to perform the task. The success of this style will be dependent on how much the subordinates are ‘sold’ on.
After that, participating style where the leader talks to everyone about his ideas and hears the opinion of everyone. There is more shared responsibility in this style because the final decision on a task would be a collective decision of the whole team.
Finally the delegating style is when the leader fully delegates a task to a subordinate without specific instructions. He tells the subordinates about what needs to be achieved and he trusts the subordinate to find out how to achieve it.
This model assumes that the leader is able to change his behaviour to adapt to the changing needs and readiness of his subordinates.
Nevertheless, it’s a useful tool for you to assess your own subordinates and adapt to them accordingly.
The ContingencyThe contingency theories of leadership basically state that there is no best style of leadership. Rather, it is the situation that will decide what kind of style would be the most effective in achieving the organizational objectives.
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