Situational Leadership Theory

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3. Concept- Situational leadership style
Leadership has always been hotly debated with countless traditional and contemporary models postulated by countless discussions and research.

The situational theory draws its main view from contingency thinking as developed by Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hersey states that successful leaders rather than using one leadership style should adapt their styles in relation to the maturity of the people being led and the details of the task. In using this theory, leaders place more or less emphasis on the task and the people being led depending on what will get the task at hand successfully done. The style may continually change to meet the needs of others based on the prevalent situation in the organization.
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It involves the level of proficiency, skill and understanding demonstrated in a task. An assessment of the ability levels of group members determine to a large extent the activities that will be assigned to them.
The outcome if the project been assigned must be visualized clearly and then tasks should be assigned to the most suitable individuals by knowledge, skills, expertise and experience to accomplish the task. As a nurse, the level of knowledge and skill a nurse brings to the table based on the level of experience and expertise determines to a large extent what tasks will be assigned to them for example, a trauma nurse will not be assigned to carry out as assessment on an obstetric patient as he is not skilled to do such but when the individual with expertise is not available, the trauma nurse might have to step in and tend to the patient by under close supervision.
The kind of task I will assign to a nursing assistant will be less technical compared to tasks assigned to the registered nurse because the latter has a higher knowledge and skills base as well as clinical
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Although the concept of leadership has considerably remained consistent, the context, complexity and diversity of leadership have each evolved over time. The fact that this theory is flexible and directive in nature, guiding the leader based on the situation at hand is a strength. It is based on an individual’s adaptation to change due to pressure, internal and/or external. This theory is clearly defined, very logical and easily applied. For example, the newest member on a team is likely to be very enthusiastic about the project but may be deficient in terms of skills needed for the task therefore, he would require more of direction than motivation but as he develops skills and expertise, he would require more of motivation than direction.
The situational leadership theory is flexibly prescriptive in balancing level of direction and support level a follower requires depending on the level of their willingness and ability.
This theory recognizes and values the difference among team members, adapts to the individuals strength and works to develop their areas of weaknesses. The team or group leader is required of this model to be involved and knowledgeable with every aspect of the process for effective behavioural adaptation as well as the intellectual development of the led.
A strong leader that utilizes this model must be vast in psychosocial and cognitive development theory, alert to variance

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