The situational approach is one of the most renowned leadership approaches proposed by Blanchard and Hersey in the year 1969. It has been majorly used in organizational leadership training and development. Situations are mostly focused on this leadership approach. Different types of situations requiring different types of leadership are the main basis of this approach. Adapting to the demand of the situation and using leadership skills according to it is the main criteria of this leadership approach. The approach of situational leadership requires the leader to comprise of both supportive and directive dimensions.
Supportive and directive dimensions basically refer to supportive and directive behaviors. Helping the members of the group in getting comfortable with the situation, their colleagues, and about themselves is referred to as supportive behavior. Whereas, directive behavior is referred to as the one-way communication between the leader and the followers. Some examples of supportive behaviors are listening and considering the feedback of followers, sharing information with them, encouraging and motivating them. Followers must be evaluated by the situational leader and their commitment towards acquiring the organizational objectives.
In addition to this, changing capabilities must be present within the leader so that he can change according to the followers’ needs and the requirements of the situations. Effective situational leaders are the one who knows well about the needs of his/her followers and can adapt to a style which is best in meeting those needs. Besides this, there are certain styles in the situational leadership approach, i.e., directing style, coaching style.