There are various types of leadership styles in practice and an example is the situational leadership style which refers to the type of leadership where the leader tunes his style to fit the development level of his followers or team members. This type of leadership style was developed by Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hersey. Four distinct styles of leadership are used under situational leadership thusly, delegating, supporting, coaching and directing. The situation at hand calls for which type particular style to apply.
Delegating leadership style is used when team members or subordinates are highly competent and highly committed in what they do. In this case the leader does not interfere but allows the members to solely make their decision. Greater responsibility is placed on subordinates and this challenges them to grow and develop professionally. When subordinates are given the opportunity to carry out a task to completion without interference from superiors, it gives them a sense of satisfaction and belongingness. This is good for people who do not want to be constantly monitored and instructed. On the other hand employees or subordinates who need more direction can be at a loss and this will cause productivity to suffer.
The coaching leadership style, can be described as the “let me teach you how it is done” type. It is used when commitment level is high but with some level of competency. The leader is involved in the day-to-day activities of members. Decision making lies within the powers of the leader, however, contributions are taken from employees or subordinates before the decision is effected. This style of leadership is good for creating successors in an organization. This style, however discourages independent work among members because members tend to largely depend on the leader
Supporting is used when the commitment level of the team or member is inconsistence but the competency level is high. In this case, the leader supports the members in order to take care of the inconsistencies in their commitment level. The leader provides some direction but the decision is taken by the individual. This style enable employees to have creative freedom when carrying out a task, however, they need a high sense of self-motivation in order to work under this style of leadership.
Directing style is also used when a team or an individual has low competency level but with high commitment for instance new recruits who need close supervision. This style of leadership constantly gives directions and instructions to keep members on their toes. The directing style is best used for crisis situations for example when there is an explosion at work or fire outbreak and people have to be evacuated at once. Even though this style of leadership is good, it suppresses creativity and may also restrict the creation of future leaders in a team. It can also raise fear among members instead of respect.