Whether you are a ‘people manager’, project/program manager or simply a manager of your own destiny, you probably demonstrate one of the following four “Situational Management” styles:
- “Directing” – This hands-on style is appropriate for leading novice employees, who need specific directions and constant oversight.
- “Coaching” – A team coach is useful for the advanced beginner, who has learned a few basics, but who may feel “disillusioned” about real opportunities for making personal progress. The coach provides firm direction and grants the employee a limited amount of autonomy in low-stake scenarios.
- “Supporting” – The seasoned, but cautious, an employee is a capable performer who lacks confidence. In this scenario, the manager is a cheerleader who provides feedback and encouragement. This role is also effective in dealing with burnt-out, disengaged or “de-committed” workers.
- “Delegating” – Office superstars, like employees who are good rainmakers, are “self-reliant” and confident in their excellence. Delegate authority to them and encourage their independence.
The highest performing managers recognize their own styles and are able to adapt their approach when working with others who might respond and perform best under a different leadership style. This can be termed ‘situational leadership’. By applying a ‘Situational Leadership’ approach, they drive successful business outcomes through a flexible approach that is custom-fit for each situation and for individual employees. This leads to higher level employee motivation and organizational results.