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Features of Situational Leadership


Discuss about the Influence of Authentic Leadership and Empowerment.

The leadership experience during my clinical practice presents itself in a form similar to situational leadership. Therefore, in this paper, I intend to elaborate on situational leadership and how it relates to the clinical placement. According to scientists, situation leadership entails relationship between leader’s supportive, directive behavior and between the levels of development of the followers. In this approach, supportive behavior entails personal relationship that a leader has with his or her followers.  Leaders maintain a relationship with their followers through communication and emotional support. In addition to that, the leaders offer direction to their subjects by elaborating on the roles of members.

On the other hand, the development level of the members is a product of their readiness, experiences and their potential to perform the task at hand. It is a crucial aspect that motivates followers to carry on with their responsibility (Blumenthal et al., 2012, p.517). Since the form of leadership involves directive behavior, followers who are enthusiastic are more likely to respond to directives than those that are not enthusiastic. Thus, it can be used in diverse organizations, and more importantly, among nurses. It is the best leadership that fits in my clinical placement experience, and one can find evidence to prove the same.

Directing, it is recommended that this approach can used when the subjects are not so much willing and have a low potential to complete a task at hand. It compels a leader to move in and assume a directive role. However, in directing the roles, the leader ought to elaborate on the roles of each member. In addition to that, the leader has the responsibility to supervise how they are being carried out (Mosadeghrad, 2014, p.77). Moreover, directing must only be applicable when the issue is so serious and may lead to drastic effect if left unattended.

Coaching is another feature in this form of leadership. It is used when the followers are very much willing to carry on with their responsibility but lacks the ability. Although it also involves directing the followers, the leader, in this case, consults followers on suggestions and ideas. Moreover, in coaching, communication is important but in a two-way. It is also important that followers are properly supervised since they do not possess the ability and the self-esteem to perform the task (Giltinane, 2013, p.37). However, they must be praised and motivated to build self-esteem. Lastly, the leader has to listen and advise his followers while coaching to ensure that they gain the necessary skills to perform the task on their own, should it arise again in future.

Demonstration of Situational Leadership in Clinical Placement

Supporting is also a feature of this model of leadership. It is applicable when followers demonstrate a high level of ability to perform the task at hand but lack the willingness to perform the same task.  Thus, the leaders must try to find out the reasons behind the followers not willing to carry on the duty at hand. The key thing to do here is to motivate followers by either praising them or listening to them for whatever concerns they may have (Grajales et al., 2014, p.14). In effect, it will make them feel good to carry on with the responsibility.

Lastly, is delegating. This approach is suitable when the follower is willing and can perform the task at hand. The purpose of leaders in this category is to make decisions and act as a problem solver. Another feature is that followers often communicate back to the leaders on the progress of the task or completion (Hauck, Winsett, and Kuric, 2013, p.670). Lastly, occasional recognition is helpful for this model.


Conditions on followers


Willing and able


Unwilling and unable


Willing but unable


Unwilling but able

There are various ways that these features come out clearly in my experience during clinical placement. Firstly, is the feature of delegating which comes out clearly by nurse Priscilla allocating duties to all the nurses. This is an act on the assumption that the nurses are able and willing to do the task at hand (Krasikova, Green, & LeBreton, 2013, p.1330). The leaders then proceed to do her business. This is a situational leadership feature where a leader and the followers have the ability and are willing to do the task but only need a leader to delegate duties.

In addition to that, a supportive feature is demonstrated by the leader, Nurse Priscilla, when she makes sure of introducing herself to all nurses and check whether they have any issues regarding medication, repositioning the patient or checking any changes in the patient. This is a way of building a relationship that is important where the nurses are unwilling to perform the task at hand (Laschinger, & Smith, 2013, p.27). It is another incident that demonstrates supportive feature as an element of situational leadership.

Moreover, the leader communicates to the nurses that she is willing and ready to offer assistance to them should they face any difficulties in performing the tasks allocated to them. This is a feature of directing duties where Priscilla acknowledges that nurses may not have the ability or willingness to perform duties but need to attend to patients. However, she advises them to report for any difficulty that they may experience. Lastly, the leader, Nurse Priscilla offer help in reading ABG report when called upon to offer her help. By demonstrating how the report is read, and listening keenly before accepting to offer her assistance, she demonstrates an aspect of coaching as both Mandy and I are willing to learn but cannot do so (Lynch, McCormack,& McCance, 2011, p.26). Thus, it is another way that the incident in my clinical placement demonstrates coaching feature of situational leadership.

Assumptions and Principles of Person-Centered Care

Situations approach takes various assumptions in regards to the patient and professional. The approach is both people-centered and in line with the principles of person-centered care. However, it does not appear to be organization-centered.

Person-centered care is one that embraces listening, thinking as a group, sharing concepts, coaching and seeking feedback. In situational leadership approach, these are elements that form the tenets of this style. The leaders and followers listen to each other in trying to solve the problem that exists. In addition to that, the approach also entails seeking feedback, especially, from followers to their leader. Lastly, as a process of disseminating skills and knowledge, it takes the assumption of the need for sharing ideas as essential to this approach (MacPhee et al., 2012, p.161).  About the patient, the approach seeks to offer equitable access to health care present which is of high quality. This is accomplished by the leader seeking to intervene anytime there is any problem that bothers junior staffs.  Situational leadership on patients helps in listening to their feelings, demonstrating respect for them and showing some form of empathy which is a professional code of conduct among health practitioners.

On the other hand, situational style of leadership takes the assumption that it is the role of professionals to maintain constant communication, to demonstrate mutual collaboration and health promotion. Another assumption that the approach takes is that a professional has a role to work in a team or collaboration (Martin et al., 2012, p.78). Additionally, it assumes that professional ought to be committed to the safety of patients and be responsive all of the time.

Person-centered principles can be classified into two broad categories, that is, the principle of self-direction and the principle of mutuality. To start with the first one, self-direction involves a person being autonomy and self-responsibility. This is an important quality that makes a person feels worth of being a human being (McCleskey, 2014, p.117). About the situation style of leadership, it tries to bring autonomy by delegating, directing and coaching inexperienced nurses so that they can develop skills of working on their own as they progress with learning under supervision.

On the other hand, mutuality as a person-centered principle encourages decisions to be made in an open atmosphere, where there are equality and consensus irrespective of status. These approaches suggest that it is the majority or rather; the decision must be approved by a group rather than a single person. Therefore, the principle advocates for a process that will see a group coming together to make decisions where each opinion counts (Olsson et al., 2013, p.160). In situational leadership style, the leaders can consult his or her followers in trying to make a decision. Although there are cases where the leader possesses absolute right to make a decision or take a step, there are cases where he or she has to consult followers to reach an agreement. Thus, this type of leadership conforms well to the principle of patient-centered care.

Contribution of Situational Leadership to Quality Care

There are many ways that the leadership style contributes to quality care. To start with personal accountability, the style involves delegations of duties. Thus, every person is accountable to his or her duties. It compels health care professional to be responsible for whatever task they are allocated. This in effect aid in promoting or rather ensuring that there is quality care among patients (Reuben, & Tinetti, 2012, p.778). It is in this way that the approach fulfills the test of being an approach that promotes accountability.

In addition to that, situation leadership ensures quality care by cooperation. This form of leadership involves a leader and follower who work together for a particular purpose to accomplish a particular task. It becomes helpful especially for novice nurses who lack the working experience to nurse patients. In so doing, the cooperation between leaders and followers improves quality care to patients as those with inadequate knowledge or skill will still be able to treat patients well through the help of others (Ross, Tod, & Clarke, 2015, p.1229).

One of the aims of situational leadership is to enhance autonomy. The leader is in charge of educating, either by coaching or directing followers to perform certain duties. It is through the process that followers start gaining skills through experience and can perform duties on their own. As far as promoting quality care is involved, autonomy is important as a person who works independently can be reliable in any situation unlike one who is either dependent on a senior person for consultation or further direction (Ross, Tod, & Clarke, 2015, p.1227). Therefore, this is another way that situational leadership is important in creating autonomy, and in effect, contributes to the practice of quality care among patients.

Another aspect that situational form of leadership develops is communication, trust, knowledge and risk management among colleagues and patients. Communication is important for leaders and their subjects to work properly. In this form of leadership, it encourages communication for various reasons. Some of the reasons include but are not limited to coaching, for delegating, directing and offering support. Also, communication skills can develop from the relationship of the leader and his followers are essential in health care for many reasons least of which is informing nurses about the conditions of patients. This in return promotes the practice of quality care. Furthermore, leaders and followers who build trust between them work in cooperation effectively than those who mistrust each other (Ross, Tod, & Clarke, 2015, p.1230). Trust is another benefit that comes as a result of situational leadership, and it is important in promoting the provision of health care services among different professionals in the hospital. Therefore, it is evident that trust building through situational leadership can help improve the practice of quality of care. Lastly, there is risk management which is essential in health care. Situational leadership involves devising a mechanism in dealing with risk and emergency cases. Therefore, this makes it an efficient approach in the practice of quality care as every situation, however urgent they may be, can be dealt with a suitable manner.

Situational leadership entails coaching, delegating, directing and supporting. The four components are designed to cater for inexperienced followers or members. As far as new nurse’s graduates are concerned, this is the best approach for them to develop leadership skills. This is because the approach trains them by coaching which will see them gain skills necessary to be independent and work as leaders, not followers. In addition to that, there is also the element of delegating (Wong, Cummings, & Ducharme, 2013, p.715). This gives undergraduate nurses temporarily leadership roles which they can develop and inculcate as they continue to gain experience. Directing and supporting provides them with the motivation and spirit to pursue tasks in difficult circumstances and effect developing them with leadership skills.  Basing on these arguments, it becomes clear that situational leadership offers graduate nurses a good opportunity for developing leadership skills.


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