What is good leadership? That depends on the situation!

The ability to adapt to needs and competences

ITsPeople is an organization that is in full growth. For ITsPeople it is important to get the best out of themselves and also to provide this opportunity to the people. To be able to keep growing as an organization and as people, it is important to identify needs, so it is possible to anticipate on these needs and help where desired. In this way, we can grow together. To get proper guidance in this process, ITsPeople uses the framework “Situational Leadership”.

What is Situational Leadership?

There is no best leadership style. Effective leaders are able to adapt their style to the situation and the people they work with. For some guidance in this process ITsPeople uses the leadership framework “Situational Leadership” from Hershey and Blanchard that focuses on adapting leadership styles to specific needs and competences of employees in different situations.

This includes the following four leadership styles:

  1. S1 – Lead: the leader takes full control and makes decisions without input from the
    employees. Suitable for employees with little experience.
  2. S2 – Coach: the leader gives direction and support to the employees, but there is still a high
    degree of control. Suitable for employees with some experience, but who still need guidance.
  3. S3 – Support: the leader encourages the employees to take on more responsibility and
    provides support and guidance when needed. Suitable for employees with some skill and
  4. S4 – Delegate: the leader trusts the skills and experience of the employees and lets them
    make most of the decisions. Suitable for highly skilled and experienced employees.

How does ITsPeople use the framework?
No employee, team or situation is the same. Effective leadership is about understanding needs, competences and circumstances from the people you work with and adapting the leadership style to meet those specific demands. In one situation for example someone has the need for S2 guidance where in another situation, the same person prefers S4 guidance. Within ITsPeople we notice that by mentioning this, the right tools can be offered in every situation. This also gives people the opportunity to direct and motivate themselves, depending on their knowledge and experience in a particular situation.

For S1, for example, specific instructions are given, clear goals are set, and the employee is guided step by step, while mutual expectations are clear. For S4, (complete) freedom is given, relying on the expertise of the employee. Goals and priorities are discussed where necessary, but in general the space is given to make your own decisions.

Experiencing benefits
Differentiating leadership styles based on the individual needs of team members increases the
likelihood of success and growth for both the team and the individual. The Situational Leadership framework helps to find the right balance between direction and autonomy, depending on the situation and the people you work with.

The benefits ITsPeople experiences:

  • Maximizing performance: By adapting leadership style to individual needs and competences of team members, performance can be maximized. A one-size-fits-all approach can lead to underutilization of talent or demotivation.
  • Promote engagement: Employees feel more engaged and motivated when they feel their leaders listen to them and understand their needs.
  • Employee development: Leaders who can apply different leadership styles can promote the development of their team members. Sometimes guidance and support is needed to help employees grow, while other times delegation and autonomy allow them to learn and grow.
  • Flexibility: Leaders who are flexible and can adapt to changing circumstances are more likely to be successful.
  • Better decision-making: Some situations require rapid, autonomous decision-making, while others require a more deliberative approach.
  • Team dynamics: Understanding and anticipating the unique characteristics of each team can help create a positive and productive work environment.

Take Away 
In essence, Situational Leadership is about adaptability and recognizing what is most effective at what time. The Situational Leadership framework helps organizations tailor their leadership approaches to the specific needs of their employees and teams, which can lead to more effective collaboration and performance.

Curious how you can apply Situational Leadership in your organization and how ITsPeople can help with this? Contact us via info@itspeople.nl or +31 (0) 30 22 70 954! ITsPeople has developed various tools within a People Program in which competences and ambitions are made transparent and the desired development of the individual and the organization can be managed through Situational Leadership.

“The best thing I learned regarding Situational Leadership was the awareness of the use of various styles in order to be more effective in collaboration and agreement discussions. In such a conversation, goals and motivations are discussed, looking at what is needed for development. In this way, agreements can be made, and agreement is reached with regard to organizational goals, development goals and personal goals.”

Rico van Leeuwen – Project Manager