The Situational Leadership Model and Performance Readiness works together very well. While the S1 leadership style consists of telling followers what they need to do, where to do it, and how to do it, the R1 category goes hand-in-hand when this approach is needed. When a team is unwilling, insecure, or unable to complete tasks, leaders using the S1 approach will succeed more often than not. I have found its worth in times of need, and is most effective when work is needed to be done quickly before things get even worse than they currently are. It is not meant for being a good long-term solution, although I have worked for people who like to use it as their primary style, but it actually works best when short-term results are needed to be seen.
The S2 leadership style applies to the R2 level of Performance Readiness. This level indicates that an individual or group is still unable, but they are willing or confident. This is a great place for a team to be if you are the leader of a group. You can always teach information, but if a team is not willing to put the work in, then all hope is lost. Also, if a team is in the R2 level, you as a leader can teach them and mold them into what you want and need them to become. This level gives the opportunity for leaders to support and encourage others along the way. It is in this stage that leaders sell, explain, persuade, and clarify. Leaders can display the S2 style in this stage by seeking “buy-in”, checking understanding, encouraging questions, discussing details, and exploring related skills.
The S3 leadership style matches up nicely with the R3 level of Performance Readiness. The R3 level includes a person or group who is able and willing, but is slipping in terms of motivation. They could be upset, angry at their boss, or just plain tired, but whatever the case may be, they are becoming unwilling. This R3 level allows for one of the most important parts of leadership, which is communication. Not only does this stage need normal levels of communication from the leader to the team to be involved, but it needs high amounts of communication from all parties involved. Lower levels of guidance are involved, because in this case, the team has already shown that they are capable of performing the tasks at hand. Encouraging, collaborating, facilitating, and committing would all be important roles for the leader to take when dealing with this type of team or individual.
Displaying the S4 leadership style is perfect when a leader is dealing with a group or individual who possess the R4 level of Performance Readiness. R4 is where a person or team is completely competent and confident. It is only through experience, experimentation, and practice that one arrives to this stage. This stage involves the most trust needed to be given to others from leaders, because it is here where people are delegated to, and then capable to run with ideas and make them better through the process. Monitoring and observing are still good practices for leaders to perform during this stage, but there is definitely less that is needed here.
Victor Vroom’s expectancy theory of motivation looks at what additional factors affect the strength of needs. Within this theory he shows that a person’s needs help dictate their behavior. When we as leaders do not see this truth and supply what is needed, all motivation, willingness, and confidence will decline. When we create relationships, we are only then able to understand what makes them tick. And by staying away, and doing the opposite of creating close relationships, we disregard the needs of those who need us most. When we do not focus on building relationships we instill apathy, rather than empathy.
When people feel cared for, company culture thrives. When they feel neglected, employees talk bad about the company that they work for, the work being produced by employees suffers, and the environment becomes negative. It is almost impossible to help people who desire to remain in negativity, let alone a company who wants to harbor that environment. Of course, this mentality starts with management and flows from the top to the bottom. This is why we as leaders have to remain positive in a negative world. We can be the standard, but it takes work and dedication to doing what is right. As Mia Hamm said, “Success breeds success”.