The Concept of Follower Readiness As It Relates To Situational Leadership Model Developed by Paul Hersey and Kenneth H. Blanchard, situational leadership is a contingency model that focuses on the followers. The model suggests that successful leadership is accomplished by selecting the right leadership style, based on the level of followers readiness. Emphasis on the followers in leadership effectiveness reflects the reality that it is the followers who accept or reject the leader. Regardless of what the leader does, effectiveness depends on the actions of his or her followers. Fred Fiedler, developed the Leadership Contingency Model; and, I think that situational leadership uses the same two leadership dimensions that Fiedler identified: task and relationship behaviors. However, Hersey and Blanchard delved a step further by considering each as either high or low; and also, combining them into four specific leader behaviors: telling (high task-low relationship). The leader defines roles and tells people what, how, when, and where to do various tasks. It emphasizes directive behavior; selling (high task-high relationship). The leader provides both directive behavior and supportive behavior; participating (high relationship-low task). The leader and follower share in decision making, with the main role of the leader being facilitating and communicating; and also, delegating (low relationship-low task). The leader provides little direction or support. An example of task behavior, for instance, is when I asked my neighbor to show me how to prepare a dish referred to as “arroz con pollo” in her culture. It is a chicken and rice meal that is full of flavor and is truly delicious. She was very precise and descriptive in telling me what and how much ingredients to use. Also, she clearly explained the steps required to properly prepare the meat and rice.
Four Levels of Follower Readiness
The four levels of follower readiness applied to what I’ve read as follows: • Level 1: the follower is unable, unwilling, or insecure; lacks confidence, commitment, and motivation. • Level 2: the follower is unable but willing, motivated, or confident; lacks ability but confident with leader’s guidance. • Level 3: the follower is able but unwilling or insecure about performing task alone. • Level 4: the follower is able and willing or confident. A high school student, in example of a level 2 follower, is hired for his very first job as a crew member at a local fast food restaurant. Although he does not have any prior experience, he is motivated and confident that he is able to learn the task with on-the-job training provided to him by his supervisor. Four Leadership Styles
Style 1, Telling: is characterized by demonstrating, guiding, explaining, and giving feedback on performance. An example, “Just stand by and observe me perform this task. I’ll give you an opportunity to try it as well, so don’t worry. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask me. I’m here to help you in any way you may need.” Style 2, Selling: is characterized by coaching, persuading, instructing, and clarifying. It is very similar [in terms of structure] to Style 1. The difference is found in the higher amount of supportive behavior provided by the leader, whom engages in more listening and advising. If necessary, the leader will help the follower gain necessary skills through coaching methods. Style 3, Participating: is characterized by supporting, collaborating, facilitating, and reinforcing. The leader shares responsibility for decision-making; the leader does not tell or direct the follower. Style 4, Delegating: is characterized by a hands-off approach that gives the follower room to make and implement decisions. Matching Leadership Style to Follower Readiness: Situational Leadership Model R1/S1-Directing low readiness, telling: The follower has low ability, low willingness; lacks motivation and/or insecure. The leader has high task...
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