Understanding Leadership

Topics: Leadership, Situational leadership theory, Management Pages: 8 (2188 words) Published: February 22, 2014

The factors that will influence the choice of Leadership styles or behaviours in workplace situations

There are a number of different factors that will determine your choice of Leadership style. To choose the most effective approach for you, you must consider: Your natural style or preferred style (This is determined by your own personality) Your level of responsibility (You may face different types of decisions) The Task at hand (Is it a routine task or something new and creative) Assessment of situation

Timescales (When should the task be completed)
The skill levels and experience of your team
The personality of the team/individual members
The organisational environment (Is the organisation stable or changing) The Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Theory identifies four different leadership styles. These different styles can be drawn upon depending on the situation. The theory states that instead of using just one style, successful leaders should change their leadership styles based on the task, situation and readiness of the group.

Situational Leadership - Google Images

Hersey and Blanchard four main Leadership Styles

Telling/Directing (S1) – Leaders tell their people what to do and how to do it. Positives: Precise Instructions and deadlines, closely monitors progress Negatives: Staff may feel their opinions are not valued, Motivational problems Selling/Coaching (S2) – Leaders provide information and direction, but there's more communication with followers. Leaders "sell" their message to get people on board. Positives: Improve staff performance, builds confidence

Negatives: Time investment listening and advising,
Participating/Supporting (S3) – Leaders focus more on the relationship and less on direction. The leader works with the team, and shares decision-making responsibilities. Positives: Staff encouraged to take ownership of the task

Delegating (S4) – Leaders pass most of the responsibility onto the follower or group. The leaders still monitor progress, but they're less involved in decisions. Positives: Empowering staff to act and make decisions,

Negatives: Potential to be viewed as favouritism,

As you can see, styles S1 and S2 are focused on getting the task done. Styles S3 and S4 are more concerned with developing team members' abilities to work independently. According to Hersey and Blanchard, knowing when to use each style is largely dependent on the readiness of the person or group you're leading. They also break readiness down into four different levels. (See Appendix 1) Using this theory, leaders can place more or less emphasis on the task, and more or less emphasis on the relationships with the people they are leading, depending on what's needed to get the job done successfully. (http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_44.htm) 02/02/14

Leadership styles or behaviours are likely to have a positive or negative effect on individual and group behaviour

In my role I manage a team of 11 people there are a number of strong personalities within the team. They all have varying degrees of knowledge and experience in their respective roles which affects their individual skill levels. No one style of management is good or bad, a management style can be a good or poor fit depending on the situation. This is why I find the Situational Leadership approach the most effective and try to change instinctively between the four styles according to the people and type of work I am dealing with at the time. It is essential to be adaptable as there are positives and negatives to the different styles if used in the wrong situation. However I think my natural style is a mixture of Selling and Supporting . Examples of when I have used these different styles are below: Selling: My team have a number of targets that have to be met. Some of the staff are consistently below their targets for various reasons such as heavy workload,...
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