My organization works with the situational leadership model developed by Hersey & Blanchard namely directing, coaching, supporting and delegating. In other times the John Adair’s model is also used. The directive leadership style is commonly used for new graduates who joined the organization.
When joined my organization as a trainee engineer I was under the directive style of leadership because I was not experienced in operating the process plant. As a new recruit I was taken through the rudiments of how the process plant is operated for 6 months. I was thought every step and procedure involved in starting the plant and shutting it down. This afforded me the chance to learn gradually to gain competency in running the 3-phase separator and water treatment plant.
During this time, I constantly asked for direction from my trainer and I was under close supervision. This leadership style offered me the opportunity to gain confidence and boost my technical know-how in order to develop professionally; however, during this time there was no room to explore my ingenuity since I always have to depend on my supervisor for directions. When it comes to health and safety in my organization the directive leadership style is also strictly applied because there is zero tolerance for mistakes and no try and error is entertained.
The working environment is hazardous and a little mistake could result in a disaster. Because of this the leadership gives direct instructions as to how to go about carrying out an assignment. In a crisis situation the leadership engages employees in direct and specific instruction in order to prevent the situation from getting out of hand.
We are told what to do, how to do it and where to go in the event of evacuation in a directive manner. As my traineeship progressed, the supporting style of leadership was engaged. This time I was supported by my trainer in situations that are likely to cause process operation upset. My trainer stepped in and gave the necessary directions as to how to go about an operation. This gave me the opportunity to work on my individual skills.
In my team, the leader delegates assignment to other members thus encouraging us to take up leadership mantle. For example, on one occasion I and another colleague was delegated to resolve a conflict between two parties in our team. This action helped brought peace, cohesion and enthusiasm in the group and work was able to continue. This in effect boosted my confidence level.
The coaching style is used whenever there is a new technology in place or a procedural change at the workplace. An expert is deployed to take us through in order for us to gain competence with regard to the new technology or modification. This helps us to be abreast with modern technology when carrying out our responsibilities in our line of work.