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Situational leadership as the key to effectively managing people.

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For over 25 years, major corporations and organizations throughout the world have used the concepts of Situational Leadership to improve the effectiveness of their managers. One of the most outstanding leadership models was developed by Dr. Hersey and Dr. Blanshard at Ohio State University to provide managers with a practical and simple approach to achieve the best results from their people.

There are many ways you can be an effective leader – there is no single “school solution” to the management process.

Leadership is defined as any attempt to influence the behavior of an individual or the group. Accomplishing a task or reaching a goal through the efforts of other people means a person is engaged in leadership. Real leadership means managing people fairly for mutually rewarding and productive purposes and has nothing to do with manipulation – taking unfair advantage of or influencing others for self-interest, or making people feel uncomfortable.

Motivating and controlling people toward accomplishment of planned objectives requires 3 important skills: understanding past behavior – predicting future behavior – directing, changing and controlling behavior.

Research studies indicate that effective leaders can be engaged in different types of behavior: task behavior and relationship behavior.

Task behavior provides guidance and direction – the leader clearly spells out duties and responsibilities to an individual or group about everything.

Relationship behavior emphasizes two-way communication with followers and to be more nonverbal than task behavior. Synonyms for relationship behavior are supporting, facilitating, and encouraging.

Some good leaders manage to combine both types of behavior in their work, though all of them have different leadership styles.

Leadership style is defined as the leader’s patterns of behavior – including both words and actions as perceived by others.

There are 4 leadership styles:

ü High task, low relationship behavior (The leader provides specific instructions and supervises followers closely, sometimes it’s called “telling”);

ü High task, high relationship behavior (The leader explains decisions and provides followers with opportunities for clarification – “selling”);

ü High relationship, low task behavior (The leader shares ideas with followers and facilitates decision making – “participating”);

ü Low relationship, high task behavior (The leader turns over responsibility for decision and implementation to followers – “delegating”).

Read the words and word-combinations for better comprehension:


accomplish –выполнять, заканчивать, завершать, доводить до конца fairly –справедливо
approach –подход follower –последователь
attempt –попытка guidance –руководство
be engaged –быть занятым indicate –указывать
clarification –очищение, объяснение, выяснение leadership –руководство, руководители
concept –понятие, идея, общее представление, концепция mutual –совместный, общий
emphasize –подчеркивать combine –соединять, совмещать outstanding –выдающийся tend –иметь тенденцию, склоняться к чему-либо
predict –предрекать, предвещать, предвидеть perceive –понимать, осознавать, различать, чувствовать
facilitate –облегчать, помогать, способствовать reward –вознаграждать
define –определять self-interest –личная заинтересованность



Managers in international firms, or on management courses, often need to participate in meetings. The formulas and tactics which follow will give you the confidence to use our English in this situation.


Controlling the subject
Saying what you hope to achieve. ü I’d like us to reach a decision today. ü I’d like us to think about this after the meeting. ü This is for information only.
Introducing the subject. ü Our subject today, / the issue is…. ü Let’s look at the background to this…. ü What is the situation at present? ü Let’s look at possible courses of action.
Keeping to the subject. ü Let’s keep to the immediate subject which is…. ü Can we come back to our subject …
Don’t look back! ü We’ve already discussed that. ü Let’s not go over it again.
Don’t jump ahead! ü Let’s not jump too far ahead at this stage.
Getting things clear. ü There seems to be some confusion… .
Summarizing frequently. ü Let’s summarize what we’ve said so far….



How to be good at meetings.
Asking to speak. ü Could I just say something?
If you have to interrupt. ü Sorry to interrupt, but …. ü Can I come in here ….
Giving your opinion. ü My own feeling / view is ….
Disagreeing or disapproving ü I’m not too sure …. ü I’m unhappy about ….


These notes are mainly for the chairman or chairwoman (who chairs the meeting and is in the chair), but may also be useful for all people present especially if there is no chairperson.


Controlling the people.
Stopping people who talk too much. ü “Essential”? Edward, do you think it’s essential? ü Sorry to interrupt you, Charles, but I’d like to know if the others agree. ü Can we put this on paper for later discussion?
Encouraging people to talk. ü Would you like to comment, Nora? ü What do you think about this, Paul? ü Could you let Paul finish? I’d like to have his point of view on this. ü That’s an interesting point, Mrs Orr. Thank you.
When personal disputes occur. ü Let’s just concentrate on the arguments / issues. Jim, you have experience of this; I’d like to ask you a question.



ChairmanI’d like us to reach a decision today about item 1.The issue is

falling sales in the Italian market. Henry will explain the

background to this, and the present situation.

HenryThanks. Well, as you know, in Italy we’ve always … So that’s

how things are at the moment.

ChairmanThank you, Henry. Now, let’s look at possible courses of



BobCould I just say something? The Italian market isn’t as

important to us as the Russian orders. I was in Moscow last

week, and learnt some pretty interesting things about the way

things are moving out there.

ChairmanLet’s keep to the immediate subject, which is the Italian market.

ArnoldSorry to interrupt, but if we launch a new advertising campaign

in Italy it would cost a fortune! You said yourself that we

haven’t enough money to advertise on every television in


ChairmanLet’s not jump too far ahead at this stage.

BobMy own feeling is this: in years of experience, in many different

markets throughout the world, I’ve often found that, when …

and you know, if I could pass on my experience to the younger

people here, I’d say that the only way to sell in Italy is to go

there and see the market for yourself, instead of asking your

agents to do it.

ChairmanSorry to interrupt you, Bob, but I’d like to know if the others

agree. What do you think about this, Walter?

WalterI’m not too sure about this. My own feeling is that if ….

BobI don’t know why you don’t ask me. I’ve been to Italy so many

times recently.

ChairmanCould you let Walter finish? I’d like to have his view on this.

WalterWell, I’d like to say that for the last two years we haven’t had a

stand at the Milan Trade Fair. I understand that the Fair has

produced lots of contacts in the past.

ChairmanThat’s an interesting point, Walter. Let’s summarize what we’ve

said so far. Bob thinks we depend on the agents too much,

and Walter suggests that the Trade Fair is important.


How to say nothing: I’m afraid I can’t comment at the moment. A statement will be issued shortly. I’m sorry, but I can’t comment at this stage. Yes, I’m pleased to be in your country. Thank you for your interest but I can’t tell you anything before the statement is issued.

Difficult questions: I didn’t say that at all. I would rather not answer that question at present. Do you have any other question?
Giving information in a press statement:
PRESS STATEMENT As a result of this meeting, agreement has been reached on the following points. First, _______________________ Secondly, ____________________ Finally, _____________________ Thank you. PRESS STATEMENT This has been a useful meeting. Both parties have expressed their views clearly, and the meeting has taken place in a spirit of cooperation. Further details cannot be given at present, but it is hoped that the increased understanding resulting from this meeting will be of assistance in resolving the present situation. I am afraid that we cannot answer questions at this stage. Thank you.

You are a Public Relations Specialist at a big firm. Today you have a conference with journalist of the most important newspapers in the country. Your task is to represent your firm, its goals, its structure, and the staff. Prepare a report for the conference using the information provided by this unit.



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