As I mentioned briefly on my previous blog entry, situational leadership is one of common leadership theories in literature. Basically, depending on followers’ readiness level in terms of psychological and knowledge-based, a leader is able to put forth different leading style.
This figure provides what actually situational leadership looks like. Let’s assume that one of our subordinates is not capable of doing a task alone, because of the lack of competence and confidence. So his readiness level can be seen as D1, so the appropriate style of leadership would be “Directing” (Telling what to do, how to do), which is very task-oriented and less relation-based, because he/she firstly needs to learn how to cope with. On the other hand, let’s assume that even though one of our other subordinates is capable enough to deal with the case alone, he/she does not have sufficient confidence level, so the readiness level of this person is D3. He/she only needs some supporting, and the leader should encourage shifting these peoples’ readiness level one more step forward which is D4.
The methodology of Situational Leadership can be seen as deploying the right way of leadership to the right type of the followers. To sum up, the leadership style is not totally fixed in the situational leadership model; however, it is flexible enough to adapt to different styles over time depending on the self-development of people.