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Situational Leadership

“Situational leadership” is a leadership style in which a leader adapts their management style to each unique situation or task to meet the needs of the team or team members. This leadership style, also known as the "Situational leadership theory" was developed by Ken Blanchard and Paul Hersey in 1969. 

According to Blanchard and Hersey, a situational leader may use one of the following leadership behavioral styles depending on the situation:

  • Telling: Leaders make and communicates decisions. This style is used when the team requires constant guidance, is at a novice level, or when repetitive results are needed.

  • Selling. Leaders pitch the plan and is open to feedback and collaboration to boost participation. This style is used when the team is unmotivated or has some competence in the domain.

  • Participating: Leaders adopt a democratic leadership style, letting their teams make decisions. This style is used when a team is competent in particular tasks but does not have the willingness or confidence to contribute. 

  • Delegating: Leaders set a vision, define desired outcomes, grant authority to the team, and then let the team take over. This style is used when a team is efficient and effective at their job and require little guidance.

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