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Leadership question

Paul Naybour Paul Naybour

Published: 30th October 2014

Hi Paul,

I wasn’t entirely sure where was best to post so do let me know for next time. Dec 5th is my resit (5th Edition) The comments across the board from my last paper on my failed questions were ‘insufficient explanation’.

Here is my answer to: With reference to a known theory, describe a situational leadership model and how a project manager might use it to better manage a project. (From the workbook)

I look forward to your feedback.

The Hersey-Blanchard situational leadership model was created based on the idea that there is no single leadership style appropriate to every situation but rather each situation should be assessed based on the maturity level of the follower(s) and the correct balance of supportive and directive behaviour provided by the leader to maximise chances of positive results.

Usually depicted in the following diagram: [*When I hand wrote this I drew the 4 squared diagram. Would it be worth marks or not worth my time?*] 

The maturity levels and supportive behaviour are each broken down into the following four categories; 

M1 – Followers lack specific skills to perform job required and therefore will not take responsibility for its completion. S1 ‘Telling’ would be an appropriate leadership style for this situation: The leader will tell the follower(s) what must be done, giving clear, specific direction with little explanation as to why.

M2 – Followers still unable to take responsibility but now are more will to try. The leader could then adopt S2 ‘Selling’ style, still with a high directive approach but now a high supportive approach to, explaining the reasoning behind directive as the follower is more receptive to it.

M3 – The follower has the skill and experience to carry out the task but lacks confidence to fully take on responsibility. The leader can now shift into S3 ‘Participating style where follower and leader have more of a sharing of ideas on how to perform task better/faster etc. The level of support remains high to support the lack of confidence in the follower but the directive level can drop as the follower has the skills to complete the task.

M4 – The follower is experienced, possesses the required skills and the confidence to take full responsibility for the task. The leader could therefore use S4 – Delegating style why a low directive and low supportive behaviour as it is unnecessary with the follower fully able and willing to take responsibility for the task.

By taking this flexible approach and using the Hersey-Blanchard situational leadership model, the PM should be able to get the most out of their team (followers). By understanding their specific requirements and providing the optimum level of support and direction with the ultimate goal of ensuring they have the skills required and confidence to take on full responsibility for the task.

  1. Paul says:

    Mia, it is ok I would just add an example of style to each paragraph. For example telling someone to wear a safety hat on a constructions site.

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