People evolve throughout their careers in predictable ways. Managers who are skilled in the practices of situational leadership are adept at identifying each phase of a team member’s career development. They use these skills to put together a team of individuals who are effective in dealing with a certain task or process.
A situational leadership course will teach you the four phases of behavior styles that an individual goes through during their career and point out ways to manage and lead work colleagues in each of the styles. This type of leadership concept relies as much on understanding the psychological makeup of the individuals as it does on mastering the different management and communication techniques.
To be an effective leader under this leadership model, a manager has to have a high level of compassion and awareness of the individual and comprehensive knowledge of the skills needed to address the task or process. They must balance the individual’s strengths and weaknesses against the needs of the task or job to find a productive equilibrium that meets the needs of the company.
Four Phases of Behavior Styles
Being able to sort the team members into the four behavior styles is the first skill in situational leadership. These behavior styles are further defined by assigning maturity levels to the individual. A manager would normally look for a maturity level within a person who has a certain number of years of work experience, but this is not always the case. So, these maturity levels offer another aspect of the individual’s capability.
The behavior styles are named according to their management methods. These styles are called Telling, Selling, Participating, and Delegating. The maturity levels are:
⦁ Very Capable (High)
⦁ Capable but Unwilling (Medium)
⦁ Unable but Confident (Medium)
⦁ Unable and Insecure (Low)
By assigning a behavior style and a maturity level to each team member, managers can get an idea of how to manage everyone to get the most out of their capabilities.
A manager treats the individuals differently according to their maturity levels and their behavior styles. For instance, a team member who is both ‘Very Capable’ and has a ‘Delegating’ behavior style, is one who would require the least amount of hands-on managing. Whereas the individual who is ‘Unable and Insecure’ and classified with a ‘Telling’ behavior style would require a lot of management to get the most out of their abilities.
A course in situational leadership gives managers these well-proven tools to increase the capabilities of their teams through solid management techniques. The concept recognizes that individuals may have certain other qualities that make them valuable to the team, as well as the company.
By addressing each behavior style and maturity level with different types of management and leadership, situational leadership seeks to minimize the supervision over experienced and capable team members and give the most leadership attention to those who can use it to grow and improve their performances.