Situational Leadership – Leadership Style 1: Steering

leadership development consulting

In this articles we will go into more detail on the leadership style 1: Steering.

The essential determinants for the application of this leadership style are:

  • Still little knowledge and experience in the relevant field.
  • Above-average motivation for the task.
  • Ability to perform carefully structured tasks.
  • Limited knowledge and skills in the field.
  • Development of the potential through the change to this leadership style.

This style of leadership is often mistaken for an authoritarian approach. Authoritarian leadership, however, is a clearly deficient leadership behavior. This is because it is only a matter of creating obedience through a personal demonstration of power.

It is often the case that many ideas are not implemented in companies because employees do not really know what to do. Or that they could not be sufficiently convinced that what they are supposed to do actually makes sense.

What’s this all about?

Specifically, it is about defining the scope and priorities. In addition, the solution process for the individual tasks is to be discussed and the procedure for this is to be thoroughly reviewed.

The structure of the support is important, i.e. it must be determined at what intervals the progress in the tasks is discussed. The better the task accomplishment, the stronger the manager should convey precisely conscious and honest appreciation. At the same time, the feedback process on the “what” and “how” of completing the tasks begins.

The concrete fields of application (AF) for this management style are:

Knowledge and Knowledge (AF 1.1)

This is probably still the simplest area of application.

First, the necessary knowledge is determined and then compared with the existing knowledge. The current knowledge requirements of the employee are then derived from this. Finally, the planning and implementation of the knowledge transfer follows.

The following points in particular should be checked with the employee: First the readiness to learn, as well as in addition the ability to take up the knowledge and to convert for the own application.

Difficulties that may arise in this phase of leadership are:

  • Lack of congruence between the need for knowledge and the existing knowledge.
  • Unsystematic and discontinuous transfer of knowledge.
  • Too little motivation for knowledge transfer.

This phase of leadership is often underestimated, but it represents the actual basis for later success. If there are omissions at the beginning, this can impair the continuing success of the employee. And ultimately cause failure.

The procedure in all fields of application is ideal:

  1. Analysis of the requirements
  2. Deedback to the employee
  3. Survey of the employee’s point of view
  4. Producing target congruence
  5. Solution activities

Special skills required by the supervisor are:

  • Clearly structure tasks
  • know for yourself which success concepts lead to the solution
  • Communicating appreciation emotionally
  • diagnose the reason for poor quality of execution
  • Uncover patterns of behavior for success or failure.

Skills (AF 1.2)

The conversion of knowledge and knowledge into skills follows directly on from field of application 1.1. Here, too, it is the systematic process that ultimately ensures sustained success.

In our industry, for example, it is important for new consultants to know all concepts purely cognitively. In a comprehensive process of observation, they first try out the implementation of the knowledge and are then gradually introduced to the increasing inner difficulty of the concepts. This is where the exercise finally makes the master. At the same time, constant feedback helps to improve one’s own performance development.

Methodological approach (AF 1.3)

In addition to knowledge and skills, methodological skills also play an important role in the work process. In detail, the following topics are particularly important:

Ability to analyse problem situations

Especially when it comes to deviations, a systematic approach is needed to find the decisive cause for these deviations. It is about what we do when the TARGET deviates from the ACTUAL.

Creating new creative solutions

Also in the area of creativity there are many methods that help to come to new ideas and connections of ideas. With systematic application both quality and quantity of ideas can be increased.

Preparation and making of decisions

The systematic preparation of decisions is as follows:

  • By which criteria do we want to measure the decision?
  • Which of the criteria are absolutely necessary?
  • How can the criteria be weighted afterwards?
  • Which alternatives are currently available?
  • Which alternative best meets the criteria?

The processing of these questions then brings transparency into the decision-making process.

This means that people no longer talk endlessly about alternatives without having clarity about the criteria.

Structure and safeguarding of plans

We are now also taking the temporal dimension into account here. It is now a question of structuring projects for the future. This requires the ability to estimate the necessary resources for the individual sections of the plan.

It also requires the ability to fully understand and map the necessary steps. Finally, potential problems must be identified and weighed against their potential negative impact.

Management of one’s own work

The following critical skills affect every working person: Firstly, the organisation of one’s own workplace in order to give the tasks a structure. Then the organisation of the resubmission, i.e. the systematic recording of all tasks.

Moderation of groups

Another field of application is the moderation of groups to solve problems. All questions from the previously presented methodical analyses can also be used here for the design of problem-solving workshops.

In addition, it is about the consideration of advantages and disadvantages or the transparency of settings for planned projects. In addition, there are the personal skills as a moderator, which are of course required for moderation.

Leadership (AF 1.4)

For new managers, it often makes sense to draw on the experience of experienced managers, even in leadership topics. They can adopt proven leadership concepts. Especially if the new executive does not yet have sufficient ideas on how the task can be mastered or the entire process is to be accelerated, leadership at this level is the order of the day.

So it is important here to structure the first phase of leadership exactly. It should be agreed which actions are to be completed in which order. All in all, it is important to ensure that the desired goals are achieved as efficiently as possible and that no unnecessary time is lost at the beginning.

Published by Dave John

Decade of work experience in leadership consulting with strong focus on talent acquisition & assessment across different industries and geographies.

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