From my earliest days as a manager, I was fascinated by the topic of management and leadership. I read many insightful articles and books on the topic; there were no internet options in my formative management years! However, I struggled to get clarity on what I should actually be doing and saying differently.
For me, coming across the leadership model known as Situational Leadership II (SLII) was a key milestone in my own personal growth. SLII describes an approach to conversations between leaders and team members that improve the quality and frequency of these conversations by embracing the need for the leader to adapt their style based on the task or goal being undertaken by someone. It provided a clear and practical framework to help me become a more effective manager for my team.
Over the years I’ve shared the SLII framework with countless others and have enjoyed being able to formally train teams in the full content through our channel partner status with The Ken Blanchard Companies, who license the model for use within organisations, big and small.
And I’m not alone in doing so. Over 10,000 organisations across the world have embraced SLII, with over 5 million people being taught the core skills of a situational leader, to make SLII the world’s most widely taught leadership framework.
Managers who embrace SLII learn a new language for leadership which, if intentionally shared with team members and others, can create a new internal language around management that speeds up conversations about goal setting and performance management.
These key skills are at the heart of what makes SLII such an effective and relevant tool. This is especially the case for newly promoted managers or those who never received any formal training when they stepped up into a managerial role (a situation that, I’m disappointed to report, still occurs far too often!)
SLII is for any manager who wants to demonstrably improve their ability to:
- Set goals with team members – aligning on what needs to be done, why and how
- Diagnose the support their team member needs – collaboratively assessing their competence and commitment to a specific task or goal
- Flexing their leadership style – matching the development needs of their team member to the leadership style they adopt. Does the individual need more or less direction to complete a specific activity?
Along with some fantastic learning exercises and tools, I’m impressed how the latest version of the SLII training comes with several post-work session activities to help managers learn and master the framework.
Confident SLII managers and leaders know that there should always be clarity around goal setting, an opportunity for connection, updates and feedback between team members and their line manager. The crucial element in SLII is how much of this is driven by the manager and how much lays at the feet of the team member. There is no one right way. The right answer to the question of what leadership style to use is always the one that matches the development needs of the other person, because leadership is always about the nature of the task at hand and the competence and commitment of the other person to successfully complete it. As we say… all leadership is situational!
Find out more about Situational Leadership (SLII) today!