Situational Leadership II Partnering for Performance


Situational Leadership is based on a relationship between the individual’s level of competence and commitment (development level) on a specific goal or task and the amount of direction and support (leadership style) the leader provides.

The three skills that need to be developed to apply situational leadership are the following:

  • Diagnosis – Assessing an individual’s need for direction and support (development level)
  • Flexibility – Using a variety of leadership styles comfortably
  • Partnering for Performance – Reaching agreements with people about their development level and the leadership style needed to help them achieve individual and organization goals

Today, I will be writing today about how to third of three skills: Partnering for Performance.   I will have two additional entries to describe the other two skills Diagnosis and Flexibility.

Partnering for Performance

The third step in applying Situational Leadership II is Partnering for Performance.  This step is done with the leader setting up a meeting with the individual.  One of the keys is to the meeting is to make sure that the relationship between the leader and the individual is a positive and growing relationship. 

The five steps to Partnering for Performance are the following:

  • Get agreement on SMART goals – Create goals that are Specific and measurable, Motivating, Attainable and aligned, Relevant, and Trackable
  • Get agreement on diagnosis of development level – this is done by understanding the level of Competence and Commitment of the individual.  The four levels of development are the following:
    • D1 – Enthusiastic Beginner
    • D2 – Disillusioned Learner
    • D3 Capable but Cautious Performer
    • D4 – Self-reliant Achiever
      What is the person’s demonstrated Competence and Commitment on each SMART goal and task? Identify performance trend(s) (up, down, level).
  • Get agreement on current and future leadership style – There is no best leadership style and you can use one of four leadership styles on a task:
    • S1 – Directing
    • S2 – Coaching
    • S3 – Supporting
    • S4 – Delegating
  • Get agreement on appropriate leadership behaviors for each goal – Situational Leadership is not something you do to people but rather it is something you do with people.
  • Get agreement on how and how often you will stay in touch – upon subsequent meetings make sure that you are monitoring the status of the tasks and adjusting your leadership style as the individuals grows in Competence and Commitment.

To reinforce the five steps I have created some common scenarios that you can review to provide some examples of how to apply the Situational Leadership Model.


I hope that this blog entry will provide you with the third and final skill needed to apply Situational Leadership.  I have written blog entries for the other two skills:  Diagnosis and Flexibility that you need to utilize Situational Leadership.

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