You are currently viewing 3 Skills of a Situational Leader

3 Skills of a Situational Leader

To become an effective situational leader, you need to master three skills:

  1. Diagnosis
  2. Flexibility
  3. Partnering for Performance


To be an effective situational leader, you must determine the development level of your direct report.  The key to diagnosing is focusing on two factors – skills and motivation.


Skills are the sum of knowledge and experience that an individual brings to a goal or task.  The best way to determine skill level is to look at a person’s performance.  How well does your direct report plan, organize, problem solve and communicate about doing a particular task?  Can they accomplish the stated goal accurately and on time?


The second factor to look for when diagnosing development level is motivation – including a person’s confidence about a goal or task.  How interested and enthusiastic is your direct report about doing a particular job?  Are they self-assured? Do they trust their own ability to accomplish the goal or task? If their interest, enthusiasm and confidence are high, your direct reports are motivated.


When you can comfortably use a variety of leadership styles, you have mastered the second skill of situational leadership – flexibility. As your direct reports move from one development level to another, so should your leadership style.

Partnering for Performance

The third skill for the situational leader is partnering for performance. Partnering opens communication between you and your direct reports and improves the quantity and quality of your conversations. This skill is about gaining your direct reports’ permission to use the appropriate leadership style to match their development level. It should also allow your direct report to ask for the style they need.

American Water College provides online and onsite technical and management training for water and wastewater professionals. Click on the link for more information about our Effective Utility Management training program.  Or check out our Classroom Training Schedule for dates and locations of our upcoming events.  We also have a complete training library available to your organization.  Click here  or call us at (661) 874-1655 to find out how you can gain access to this industry specific training for your utility.