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Situational Leadership Theory (STL)

SituationalLeadership Theory (STL)

SituationalLeadership Theory (STL)

Inthe current business world, stronger leaders are required to motivateand guide the organization and its employees. Earnestly, a competentleader embraces practice, capability, endurance, and even ready forhard work amongst other characteristics. Particularly, variousleadership theories have been developed to assist in providing somenecessary guidelines on how leaders should conduct professionalmatters within an organization level (Thompsonetal.,2015).Consequently, Situational Leadership Theory, which posits that theeffective leaders do not make all decisions evenly, but variousfactors determine the leaders’ styles, have been developed. Thepaper focuses on leadership styles and behaviors, subordinatesdevelopment levels and their applications with respect to theSituational Leadership Theory.

FourLeader Styles,

Accordingto Thompson(2015),in determining leadership styles, it is very significant to evaluatethe employees based on perceived level of commitment and enthusiasmabout the work they are allocated to do together with theleader-employee relationship. Additionally, the leaders’ moods orthe pressure level might also play a role. Therefore, SLT givesemphasis that leaders’ styles should be changed to match theemployees’ development or maturity level, taking into considerationemployees’ motivations and task competency. Based on the factorsoutlined above, the four leadership styles, which are discussedbelow:


Intelling, leaders should inform their employees what jobs to take andhow to handle them. Similarly, the level of maturity of an individualor a team of employees has the highest impact as most of the workersdo not have adequate knowledge of many tasks (Thompsonetal.,2015).Also, the employees are yet to learn the appropriate skills requiredto be proficient thus, they need clear instructions and plans on howto do particular tasks.


Second,Thompsonetal.(2015) asserted that thecase of selling involves leaders providing information and guidelineswith a frequent explanation of ideas, while persuading employees tomake them perform. Similarly, leaders create the roles and objectivesfor the staffs, and they are open to suggestions and opinions to gaincooperation. The approach helps every individual or a team to developthe needed skills and reasoning.


Besides,the scenario of participating entails leaders’ endeavors to adjusttheir styles to reflect a more democratic stand, and furtherconcentrates on relationships besides task direction (Thompsonetal.,2015). Also, they allow employees to create their objectives and assistthem in accomplishing them. The main purpose of the style is todevelop the team further, and to think more freely, thus providingthem with higher scopes for self-leadership.


Lastly,in delegating, the team is now competent their levels of developmenthave highly increased with the available tasks. Therefore, leadersassign goal creation besides decision making to the team leaving themto get on with the duties of goal settings, creating plans, andexecution. However, leaders might help with decision making from timeto time through continuous updates (Luoetal.,2014).

FourDevelopment Levels of Subordinates

Accordingto Luo(2014), thedevelopment levels of subordinate rely on their degree of competenceconcerning the tasks assigned to them, and how committed andconfident they are with the job. Therefore, every development levelconsists of high or low confidence, commitment, and the capabilityfor a worker to performance. There are four levels namely D1, D2, D3,AND D4. First, D1 is typically characterized by low level ofcompetence besides the high level of commitment i.e. it always beginwith new employees on a new task, eager to please and do whateverduties allocated to them (Thompsonetal.,2015). Similarly, they are normally ready to learn everything concerningthe new position or tasks allocated, but they do not have therequired skills to do the job well.

RegardingD2, after a given period at work, the employee has some competence orknowledge however, his/her commitment goes down i.e. low commitment,specifically, if the job requirement does not add up to theirexpectations. Similarly, they start asking themselves severalquestions while doing the minimums on the tasks delegated to them,thus bringing disappointments or negative behaviors (Luoetal.,2014).Thirdly, D3 features employees with a high level of competence asthey know how to handle tasks delegated to them, though with avariable commitment to the job they might have a good or bad day. Inaddition, the workers might have ruined expectations based on theircareers, thus starts concealing unresolved issues/ tasks with others.Similarly, Luo (2015) further added that the employees have barriersthat hinder them from having a steady high level of commitment to thejob. Therefore, leaders need intervention to these employees withoutwhich it will quickly become enduring behavior. Lastly, D4 ischaracterized by a high level of both commitment and competence asthe employees are normally prepared to handle new challenges and workindependently besides being promoted. However, after promotion, somenormally end up back to D1, and the cycle starts all over again(Thompsonetal.,2015).

TwoAppropriate Leader Behaviors

SituationalLeadership Theory similarly recommends that an effective leadershiprelies on two major leadership practices i.e. supporting anddirecting. Directing behavior consists of various traits, forinstance, giving appropriate guidelines, instructions, and making aneffort to control the behavior of group members. Besides, supportingbehavior consist of actions, for example, inspiring the subordinates,paying attention to them and offering recognition besides feedback(Thompsonetal.,2015).

Applicationof SLT Theory in a Work Environment

First,I would identify the various teams of employees I manage and puttheir names down on a piece of paper. Next to each and every name ofthe employee, I would mark the level I think each of them is at,i.e., D1, D2, D3, and D4 employees. After that, I will work todetermine the best level of managerial skill that would worksuccessfully for each and every employee to achieve a target.Similarly, being innovative will assist me to tackle the workplacechallenges as I will have supervisory skill sets, with a mind full ofrapid decision-making besides problem handling talents.

SLTUsefulness in Subordinates’ Performance

SLThas various clear strengths because it is easy to understand andimplement to different leadership set up. It is typically lessdescriptive and more prescriptive in nature thus, it offersinterpersonal interactions while considering universal leadershipstyles that suit every challenge (Thompsonetal.,2015). Additionally, it emphasizes the significance of defining thesubordinates’ various willingness levels for a greaterresponsibility while developing their individual skill sets.Therefore, managers will handle every employee based on theircompetence leading to a high subordinate career performance (Luoetal.,2014).


Fora better leadership style and behavior implementation, managers needto clearly understand the subordinates’ development phases from thelowest level of maturity and lack of knowledge and skills, up to thehigh-level instant when they can work alone. Thus, leaders willdetermine the best supervisory skill to implement for a betterperformance among the employees, and that culminates in expanding theprofitability of the institution.


Luo,H., &amp Liu, S. (2014). Effect of situational leadership andemployee readiness match on organizational citizenship behavior inChina.&nbspSocialBehavior and Personality: an international journal,&nbsp42(10),1725-1732.

Thompson,G., &amp Glasø, L. (2015). Situational leadership theory: a testfrom three perspectives.&nbspLeadership&amp Organization Development Journal,&nbsp36(5),527-544.