Situational Leadership – Leadership Style 2: Training

leadership development consulting

In the latest article of our Situational Leadership series, you were able to get an overview of one of the fields of the matrix and gain insights into the contents of the application fields (Situational Leadership – Leadership Style 1: Steering).

In this and the following articles we will take you into the world of leadership styles.

Leadership style 2: Training

What are the concrete determinants?

  • The employee in question has already developed some knowledge and skills.
  • However, motivation has decreased because the employee has experienced difficulties or initial frustrations.
  • As best as possible, the employee is increasingly led into the independent completion of tasks.
  • More and more a common definition of possible actions and strategies is made.
  • The proportion of interaction increases at the same time as the immediate feedback on the results and the performance behavior shown.

The tasks increase in difficulty. The employee should take on more responsibility. But this can also lead to frustration and disappointment.

How can leadership behavior be used in this case?

  • Disappointments should be taken seriously. Especially when it becomes clear that an employee also has high expectations of himself and develops a high level of loyalty.
  • Systemic and direct communication is required.
  • A high level of support on both the content and the emotional side is desired.
  • It is important to achieve interaction so that an employee himself begins to think about how the goals can be achieved.
  • The superior should give a critical feedback without destroying all energy.
  • The higher the employee’s level of development increases, the more the supervisor has to pay attention to behavior patterns.
  • Despite all the consequences of this leadership style, an understanding side should also be evident.

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

Lack of success (AF 2.1)

A natural effect in a high performance system is when the employee’s expectations are high and, over time, situations arise in which he or she cannot meet the expectations. A disappointed behavior of the superior in this case can have massive consequences in the long run and should therefore not come to light.

When it comes to professionalism in leadership, the manager can help the employee dissolve the patterns. If these patterns are not addressed and made visible again and again when they occur, they can later be the cause of massive conflicts or possibly the termination of an employment relationship.

Examples of these patterns are:

  • An employee shows a strong tendency to think only of himself.
  • There is a lack of sufficient conscientiousness.
  • An employee has problems accepting feedback and fends off any hint with rationalization.
  • An employee cannot center his persuasiveness because all structure is lost in stress.
  • There is a tendency to react perfectionistically to expectations.
  • An employee cannot sell himself to the customer because he immediately withdraws into self-doubt and no longer appears clearly and convincingly.

Basic attitude – building loyalty (AF 2.2)

In cooperation, it soon becomes apparent which values predominantly determine the employee’s behavior – to what extent he develops loyalty to the company, to the division or even to his superior. As a supervisor, you should always be aware of what the employee’s loyalty is like. The bottom line is that loyalty is very important for staying in an organisation.

The same applies to values. Do they conflict with the company’s goals? Employees have a basic attitude to honesty, fairness or to company-relevant questions such as accuracy, support for others, cooperation, willingness to perform and take responsibility, self-responsibility, etc. They are often strongly connected with personal dispositions and motives.

Increased task difficulty (AF 2.3)

  • To demand an increased task difficulty, to increase the density and complexity and to expect an intensification of the employee’s performance already results from the (hopefully) existing learning curve.
  • With the increase of the task difficulty the requirement increases to the complexity processing ability of the coworker.
  • For the increase of the task difficulty and extension of the field of activity a good estimation ability is necessary.
  • Accordingly, the employee needs sufficient interaction with the supervisor to be seen as a natural part of the expected performance development.

Standards (AF 2.4)

On the one hand, high quality standards are accompanied by standards that are often described. On the other hand, supervisors and employees should develop standardized procedures for all recurring processes. More precisely, problems with the standards arise because they are not understood or the sense is not comprehensible. One knows “what” to do, but not “why” and certainly not “how”.

The manager must bring about this clarification process. The superior develops standards together with his employees so that everyone understands the meaning. As a result, they provide documentation of the progress achieved by describing the exact status achieved in each case.

To a certain extent, they are the reflection of progress. Ultimately, they must live, be accepted and influence people’s behavior. Following standards must thus become a value.

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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