To achieve Step 15, individuals will show that they are aware of their leadership style and also that they can adapt their approach depending on the situation.
In the previous two steps, the idea of leadership styles was introduced, and different styles explored. The strengths and weaknesses of each approach were then explored. This step builds on this further by exploring how different styles work well in different settings and how an excellent leader can adapt their approach to the situation.
The building blocks of this step are learning:
To teach this step:
This step can be reinforced whenever learners have a leadership opportunity or when they are working in small groups. The teacher should ask learners to reflect before they begin the task on which leadership style or styles they think would be most effective here, and then they should adapt their approach to that.
This step is best assessed through setting and observing one or two leadership tasks. Learners should reflect beforehand on what approach they are going to take, and then reflect afterwards on whether it worked as they expected. The teacher is looking to understand that learners can connect the right style to the right situation, and actually behave accordingly.
This step is relevant to individuals who want to develop themselves so that they can get the best out of others.
To build this step in the work environment, managers could:
There are plenty of opportunities for building this skill in the workplace:
For those already employed, this step is best assessed through collecting feedback and observing an individual over time. For instance:
During the recruitment process, this step could be assessed for by:
We work with a wide range of organisations, who use the Skills Builder approach in lots of different settings – from youth clubs, to STEM organisations, to careers and employability providers.
We have a lot of materials available to support you to use the Skills Builder Universal Framework with the individuals you work with, including:
We also do a lot of work with organisations who join the Skills Builder Partnership to build the Universal Framework into their work and impact measurement systems. You can find out a lot more using the links below.
When leading a team at school or college, there are likely to be circumstances when your natural style is not appropriate for the situation. The person leading the development of a school production in a democratic style may need to be more autocratic and make quick decisions when the main lead is sick or when the scenery falls down mid play. In the same way a more naturally laissez-faire leader, may need to be more transactional when a team presentation deadline is looming and most of the individuals have not provided the information which is needed for the presentation.
The most successful business leaders in the world do not all have the same leadership style, but one thing they will have in common is that they will recognise situations where their own style may not be appropriate for the circumstances and will adapt to a more effective style. This need to adapt is true at every level of leadership in the workplace, where circumstances dictate the need for a different approach. At a time of crisis or when a quick decision is essential, perhaps in an emergency, the laissez-faire leader will need to be more autocratic. When a new approach or way of working is being introduced in a department or office, the strategic leader may need to increase their engagement with coaching or recognise the need and delegate to others who can coach more effectively.
Ina social situation, where the leader may have volunteered or even been recommended for the role, it is important to remember that the group or team are doing the activity out of choice. It is not paid employment nor compulsory. The members of the group can ‘vote with their feet’ and if they are not happy about the leadership they may leave the group and establish a separate team or remain and cause disruption. It is important then that the leader acts in a style that it appropriate for the situation, for example, when an enjoyable group holiday is being planned, most people would not appreciate an autocratic leader telling them where and when they are going and for how long. In this situation, a naturally autocratic leader would need to adapt to a more democratic approach.
To best practise this step of Leadership, apply what you have learnt to a real-life situation. Choose one or more of the activities below, remind yourself of the key points and strategies in the step, and have a go!
As a parent or carer, you might be thinking about how best to support your children to build their essential skills. The good news is that there is lots that you can do that will have a big impact, including:
We’ve developed a whole series of tools and resources to help parents to build these skills, including:
There is also content for older children and young people, including short activities and reflections that they can complete alone, or with you.