Situational Leadership Theory Vs. Model

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Situational leadership theory or model comprises a few key elements. These include four styles of leadership, the maturity level of the subordinates and the developmental models.

The four leadership styles

According to Hersey and Blanchard, there are four basic leadership styles association with the situational leadership model. The four are: telling, selling, participating and delegating.


As the name suggest, this leadership styles refers to an almost autocratic leadership role in which the leader tells the subordinates what to do. Furthermore, the leader also explains how to do the tasks.


The second style refers to a slightly more democratic model in which there is some discussion between the leader and the subordinates. The leader is aiming to ‘sell’ the idea and message to subordinates and to get them buy into the process and the tasks.


The third model is largely a democratic leadership approach, as the leader allows more leeway to the subordinates. The amount of direction from the leader remains limited and the subordinates have an active role in making decisions and directing the way the tasks get finished.


Finally, Hersey and Blanchard identified the final leadership style, which is characteristically a hands-off approach to leadership. The style means the leader is less involved in how decisions are done, allowing subordinates to make them and to take most of the responsibility in getting the job done.

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