Situational leadership refers to providing direction in accordance with a given set of circumstances. This often requires a good degree of flexibility on the part of the leader but can be very effective in handling business issues and moving the organization forward. Following are four things that situational leaders do:
- Diagnose – When practicing situational leadership it is necessary to quickly and effectively gain an understanding of the situation at hand. This can be achieved through communication with subordinates or direct experience of the circumstances.
- Adapt – When a situational leader gains an understanding of the situation to be influenced they will adjust their behavior as needed to deal with the circumstances as effectively as possible.
- Communicate – Interaction with subordinates is critical to effective situational leadership. And it must be open in both directions. And the leader must effectively communicate the direction chosen so that all will understand and support it.
- Advance – Once the situation has been understood and a course of action chosen the situational leader will move the organization forward in the appropriate direction.