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Situational Leadership

department of human resources | situational leadership model


What is Situational Leadership?

Situational Leadership is a model for developing individuals so they can reach their highest level of performance on a specific goal or task. It is a process that supervisors can use to help individuals ultimately become self-motivated and self-directed. In this model, the supervisor learns skills to assess an individual’s development level.

Situational leadership is designed to build partnerships between managers and employees. In this process the frequency and quality of their conversations about performance and development increase.

Situational Leadership Model at Boston College

Since  June 2008, over 175 managers representing a cross section of business units have taken part in the two-day training. They include Dining, Facilities, Police, Residential Life, and University Advancement, among several others. Follow-up sessions are also scheduled to reinforce learning. Pat Touzin and John Bogdan, HR staff members, have received national certification to train others in the Situational Leadership model.


The Situational Leadership Model

  • establishes a common language among supervisors and employees about performance and development
  • provides guidelines and standards for communication about performance and development
  • offers a consistent methodology to assess individuals’ needs for direction and support

Learning Outcomes

Supervisors and managers trained in this model learn to

  • establish clear goals for performance (S.M.A.R.T. goals)
  • diagnose an employee’s level of competence and commitment for a designated task
  • agree on a performance plan with employee on assigned work
  • give performance feedback in way that are appropriate to the employee’s development level

Here is what participants had to say about Situational Leadership:

“After taking this course, I feel I have better tools to use to enhance the way I lead.”

"I plan to share the model with my team. I will focus on creating smart goals and diagnosing my staff so that I can match and utilize an appropriate leadership style."

"This workshop really gave me the tools to lead more productive conversations with my team, my co-workers and my supervisors."

"I look at my co-workers in a new light thanks to this program. It really helped outline and define the roles of people working in a matrix and how best to help those working for you by using the appropriate response."


Support and Resources

The Department of Human Resources is committed to ongoing support and training by offering the tools and training to support the model in individual departments coaching managers and supervisors in the model after their initial training.


The Situational Leadership Model

Created by the Ken Blanchard Companies, a global company in leadership and organizational development programs. Boston College currently uses the Situational Leadership II training and Situational Frontline Leadership training.