Leadership Development

Developing Situational Leadership Skills

By Amy Dano

Developing situational leadership skills with help from Learn2

Developing situational leadership skills is one of the most important things an organization can do for its in-house managers. Situational leadership allows for flexibility, which makes the workplace more efficient no matter the challenges or changing scenarios. Take a closer look at situational leadership and its importance. 

Situational Leadership: What Is It, and Why Is It Important?

Situational leadership is a type of leadership style that involves the leader adjusting and adapting their management styles to suit the situation. Instead of the leader’s style being specific or solely reliant on their skills, the style is built around the understanding that different situations require different approaches. For example, the leader may adjust their management style to better cater to team members’ personality traits or habits. 

Situational leadership is important in leadership development because this gives the individual the ability to use several methodologies to achieve ultimate goals. Often touted as a transitional style of leading others, a situational leader rarely encounters stumbling blocks that hinder their efficacy in leading. They adjust, re-examine, and make changes quickly to handle responsibilities. Situational leadership is valuable because it:

  • Increases productivity
  • Encourages collaboration 
  • Offers flexibility 
  • Boosts motivation among the team 
  • Counteracts challenges 
  • Encourages confidence within the team 

Different Situational Leadership Styles 

There are several situational leadership styles that a leader may use depending on the situation. Here is a closer look at the four most recognized styles. 


Directing or telling styles involve the team leader offering close supervision and offering consistent guidance. Normally, leaders using the directing style will be making the decisions and then simply communicating clear directions to team members. This style of often used when the team members have little experience or when repetitive outcomes are necessary. 


Coaching styles are used when team members struggle to complete a certain duty, are unmotivated, or need encouragement to achieve a certain task. The leader adjusts their style to sell members on why they should or how they can improve or get to a certain level. 


Supporting situational leadership involves the leader actively participating with a competent team. They may offer guidance, instruction, or direction, but will also leave final decisions about making adjustments up to the team members. 


Delegating in situational leadership means assigning tasks to other competent members of the team. The leader is still open when the team needs instruction, but the leader also allows them to work independently. 

The Qualities of a Situational Leader 

The best situational leaders possess specific traits that make them effective at adaptability. Some of the most important qualities of a situational leader include: 

  • Flexible enough to adapt to changing needs and circumstances 
  • Highly effective at giving direction to others 
  • Encourages active participation of team members 
  • Successful at delegating tasks to others 
  • Capable of offering coaching to encourage independence and growth 
  • Transparent and honest about situations with communication 

Grow the Leaders in Your Organization with Leadership Training from Learn2  

Having effective situational leadership in your organization means you have a team that is better capable of handling shifts and changes. Leadership development training from Learn2 delivers the tools for developing situational leadership skills in your organization. Contact Learn2 today to find out how we can support and develop your leaders.

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Each person has a natural communication style. Understanding yours can and will impact how effective you are when dealing with friends, co-workers and clients.

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