Many managers find themselves in situations where they have to work overtime, but at the same time they do not achieve significant results. Even vast experience, skills and knowledge does not help. Why does this happen? The answer lies in the manager's obsession with a certain style of leadership, which is often ineffective and destructive. Situational leadership can be the solution.
The concept of situational leadership
Situational leadership, or, as it is often called, situational leadership, is a set of tactical methods for managing subordinates, in which the manager selects a leadership style depending on the specific situation. In this case, "situation" means the need to solve the task with optimal labor costs.
Situational leadership allows you to answer the main questions that every leader faces.How to manage personnel? How to motivate employees?
Goals and Objectives of Situational Leadership
The main goal of situational leadership is to select the optimal leadership style for each employee. Any person has a character, a certain mindset, experience and set of skills. To quickly solve emerging problems, it is necessary not only to involve the right employee in the solution, but also to competently manage them.
Tasks of case management:
- carrying out an analysis of the situation depending on the requirements of the organization in the current situation;
- choosing the optimal management approach that best suits the requirements of the firm in the given situation;
- creating an agile style of leadership in the organization appropriate to the situation;
- making the necessary changes to manage people and situations effectively.
Leadership styles and their effectiveness
Situational leadership style involves effective mastery of the 4 main management styles that the manager uses to manage personnel, combining or separating them in relation to different employees.
- Directive (authoritarian). This style of leadership, characterized by a high level of control over subordinates, a clear statement of orders, a high level of punishmentemployee for a mistake. This style is effective in solving crisis problems that require quick and unambiguous actions, and is well applicable to quarrelsome employees.
- Mentoring style involves giving employees the opportunity to take the initiative and express their thoughts. The manager holds constant meetings with employees, helps and instructs in solving complex problems. The level of control is high. The style is good for enterprising young employees who are ready to develop in the profession.
- Friendly (supportive) leadership style is aimed at helping the employee, the degree of control is minimal. Effective as a situational approach to leadership in combination with other styles. "Carrot and stick method" - a combination of friendly and authoritarian styles.
- Delegating (reference) style implies complete freedom in solving tasks for the employee, all responsibility for the implementation also lies with the subordinate. This leadership style is only applicable to highly motivated and highly qualified personnel.
Competent combination of styles is situational leadership, which provides a high level of efficiency in personnel management.
Models of situational leadership
The success of an enterprise cannot be determined only by the personality of the leader and his leadership style. At the moment, leading economic theorists and top managers have developed several models of situational leadership, following which the manager will be able to better understand the working situation and selectthe most appropriate management style.
There are 3 main models:
- Blancher-Hersey life cycle concept;
- Fidler's leader behavior model;
- Tannenbaum-Schmidt leadership behavior continuum.
Blancher-Hersey Life Cycle Concept
The main idea of the concept is the mutual interaction of employees and the manager. The employee must desire professional growth, and the leader must correctly use situational approaches to effective leadership.
In their concept, Blancher and Hersey believe that the choice of one of the 4 leadership styles (authoritarian, mentoring, friendly and delegating) directly depends on the level of development of the subordinate.
In their theory, Blancher and Hersey use two criteria to determine the level of an employee - enthusiasm (motivation) and professionalism. The levels of employee development were first presented in Ken Blancher's book The One Minute Manager and Situational Leadership.
Employee development levels:
- Motivated but not professional. As a rule, this category includes young employees who have recently started work. Their level of enthusiasm is great, but they lack some knowledge and experience. For such an employee, a directive management style should be used.
- Lack of motivation and professionalism. Most often, this is the second stage of novice workers, which begins after several unsuccessful attempts or mistakes in work. In this case, you need to use the stylementoring, helping the employee and taking into account his opinion.
- Lack of motivation with sufficient skills. Employees experiencing professional burnout or problems outside of work fall into a state of a certain apathy in relation to work. In this case, a friendly leadership style, support and attention to the employee, an opportunity for him to feel his need at work will do.
- High motivation and professionalism. Such employees are a godsend for any manager, as they can not only do their job efficiently, but are also able to help other lagging behind colleagues. In this case, the delegation style will do.
Fidler's Behavior Model
Fiedler suggested that situational leadership is the relationship between leadership style and the characteristics of the situation. He was the first to suggest presenting situational variables as a scoring system, of which there are only three:
- relationships manager - subordinate (the level of trust of employees in the boss);
- task structure (the degree of clarity of work tasks set by the manager);
- official authority of the manager (reflects the degree of formal power granted to the manager).
The maximum score is 8, the minimum score is 1. Depending on the scores given, according to the schedule, it is possible to determine the appropriate leader to complete the task.
Tannenbaum-Schmidt Leadership Behavior Continuum
In their concept, Tannenbaum and Schmidt propose to use a criteria scale to determine the required leadership style:
- The leader gives subordinates the opportunity to act independently within their authority.
- The leader delegates the decision to the group to some extent.
- The leader designates the range of issues, proposes to submit solutions for consideration and makes the final decision based on them.
- The leader independently puts forward solutions and suggests that subordinates improve them.
- Leader submits ideas and proposes them for discussion.
- The leader convinces subordinates of the correctness of his decisions.
- The leader himself makes decisions and communicates them to employees.
Depending on the degree of influence of the criterion, the style of leadership should be chosen.