Leadership and Teambuilding Training Courses – Using Situational Leadership

by ltconsulting on September 20, 2012

Our Leadership and Teambuilding training courses are designed to improve leadership skills and allow our delegates to be able to lead successful and high performing teams. Our team building workshops are packed full of useful teamwork training exercises, tips and techniques that new and experienced managers will find essential in showing how to lead effectively and will put them on the steady route of becoming successful managers and team leaders. Delegates who have taken our Leadership and Teambuilding courses have now gone on to lead highly productive teams and improving productivity by becoming better managers, motivators, delegators and leaders.

Leadership and team building is a training course that is both challenging and practical. We aim to teach the fundamental ‘people management skills‘ in a positive and constructive environment. It has been designed to enable delegates to understand the basic fundamentals of strategy and motivation in team building. You will benefit by learning tips and techniques that will increase your competence and confidence when managing, influencing and leading teams and individuals.

Using Situational Leadership

DIRECTIVE STYLE

Follower: D1: Low competence, low commitment / Unable and unwilling or insecure

Leader: High task focus, low relationship focus

When the follower cannot do the job and is unwilling or afraid to try, then the leader takes a highly directive role, telling them what to do but without a great deal of concern for the relationship. The leader may also provide a working structure, both for the job and in terms of how the person is controlled.

The leader may first find out why the person is not motivated and if there are any limitations in ability. These two factors may be linked, for example where a person believes they are less capable than they should be, they may show this in some form of denial or other non-coping behaviours e.g. withdrawal, aggression. The follower may also lack self-confidence as a result.

If the leader focused more on the relationship, the follower may become confused about what must be done and what is optional. The leader thus maintains a clear ‘do this’ position to ensure all required actions are clear.

Another example is when team members have little experience with a given project, the leader may well need to tell them what to do, when, where, how, and who’s to do it. For example, in planning and carrying out a training workshop or conference, the leader may need to provide a specific check list, a sequence of actions, list the responsibilities of committee members and chairpersons in detail, and frequently monitor the progress of the group.

COACHING STYLE

Follower: D2: Some competence, variable commitment / Unable but willing or motivated

Leader: High task focus, high relationship focus

When the follower can do the job, at least to some extent, and perhaps is over-confident about their ability, then ‘telling’ them what to do may demotivate them or lead to resistance. The leader thus needs to ‘sell’ another way of working, explaining and clarifying decisions.

The leader thus spends time listening and advising and, where appropriate, helping the follower to gain necessary skills through coaching methods.

In a project team that’s been together for only a short period of time, the unable but willing followers may not have the necessary knowledge or skill but are committed and eager to learn. They need guidance and direction for accomplishing the tasks. But since they’re making an effort, the leader needs to be supportive of that motivation and provide a lot of coaching and explanation. The leader can suggest several options for doing things and encourage the learners to try them out and select what works best.

SUPPORTIVE STYLE

Follower: D3: High competence, variable commitment / Able but unwilling or insecure

Leader: Low task focus, high relationship focus

When the follower can do the job, but is refusing to do it or otherwise showing insufficient commitment, the leader need not worry about showing them what to do, and instead should be concerned with finding out why the person is refusing and hence persuading them to cooperate.

There is less excuse here for followers to be reticent about their ability, and the key is very much around motivation. If the causes are found then they can be addressed by the leader. The leader thus spends time listening, praising and otherwise making the follower feel good when they show the necessary commitment.

In a team environment the capable followers don’t need a great deal of structure or direction because they have already demonstrated they know how to perform. But they need support and encouragement from the leader in order to build their confidence, as well as dialogue and discussion to work through problems. This style is suitable when the learners have received training and have practiced their new skills in practice sessions and/or in small committees or similar groups. Another situation in which this style is appropriate is when the job itself is much less important than building a team or developing a network.

DELEGATING STYLE

Follower: D4: High competence, high commitment / Able and willing or motivated

Leader: Low task focus, low relationship focus

When the follower can do the job and is motivated to do it, then the leader can basically leave them to it, largely trusting them to get on with the job although they also may need to keep a relatively distant eye on things to ensure everything is going to plan.

Followers at this level have less need for support or frequent praise, although as with anyone, occasional recognition is always welcome. If your team is very competent and willing to perform a task, very little guidance and direction are needed. In fact, there are cases where followers may have more expertise about a specific job than the leader. These followers don’t need a lot of supportive behaviour. This does not mean that relationship behaviour is nonexistent. The leader needs to touch base periodically to make sure the followers stay on track and to provide some feedback to let them know their contribution is noticed and appreciated. Many leaders phase themselves out of active involvement as followers become the leaders themselves. Empowered team members can take on much of the work themselves.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT STYLE

For example, a new person joins your team and you’re asked to help them through the first few days.  You sit them in front of a PC, show them a pile of invoices that need to be processed today, and push off to a meeting.  They’re at level D1, and you’ve adopted a delegative style.  Everyone loses because the new person feels helpless and demotivated, and you don’t get the invoices processed.

On the other hand, you’re handing over to an experienced colleague before you leave for a holiday.  You’ve listed all the tasks that need to be done, and a set of instructions on how to carry out each one.  They’re at level D4, and you’ve adopted a directive style.  The work will probably get done, but not the way you expected, and your colleague despises you for treating him like an idiot.

But swap the situations and things get better.  Leave detailed instructions and a checklist for the new person, and they’ll thank you for it.  Give your colleague a quick chat and a few notes before you go on holiday, and everything will be fine.

By adopting the right style to suit the follower’s development level, work gets done, relationships are built up, and most importantly, the follower’s development level will rise to D4, to everyone’s benefit.

Leadership and Team Building – 1 day course

Who will benefit from the course?

One of your main responsibilities, as a manager or supervisor, is to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of your team in relation to its goals and to provide the motivation and skills to achieve those goals. This course will help you to improve the direction, motivation and goal achievement of your team. The subjects covered will include:

  • analysing your leadership style
  • team development issues
  • are you a leader or a manager?
  • essential management skills
  • setting standards and follow up
  • developing your own leadership development strategy
  • motivation theory and practice
  • managing conflict
  • appraisal/development skills
  • analysing training needs
  • decision making
  • creating a team identity
  • pre-empting conflict

Related information

Podcasts

Listen to our Leadership and Team Building Podcasts

Previous post:

Next post: