Most people have a tendency to define people in the workplace into 2 categories. You are either a leader or you are a follower. However, according to the study by Hersey and Blanchard, this is not the case and I could not agree more! The truth is leaders do not always need to lead and followers do not always need to follow.
Understanding the "situational" leadership concept is actually freeing. It gives people a choice by allowing them to measure up any situation and then choose what role they want to play. It is really a simple question that we can ask ourselves, Do you want to take the lead or would you prefer to rely on others? I love the 2 step approach. Just measure and choose. It's that easy.
Hersey and Blanchard’s premise was that leaders need to adapt their style to fit the performance readiness of their followers. Readiness varies not only by person but also by task. They believed that leaders should stay highly attuned to each situation by acknowledging that situations change constantly. This is “situational leadership.” It dissected the relationship between leaders and their followers into four distinct styles: Directing is for employees requiring specific guidance to complete the task. Coaching is for employees who need more than average guidance to complete the task, but with above-average amounts of two-way dialogue. Coaching is for people who both want and need to learn. Supporting is for employees with the skills to complete the task but who lack the confidence to do it. Delegating is for employees who score high on motivation, ability and confidence.