Most of you already know about SLII®, our company’s situational approach to leadership and our flagship product. Millions of managers around the world have found it to be the very best way to lead. The SLII® model shows leaders how to give their team members the right kind of leadership style for the person’s development level on each specific task or goal they do. Here’s how it works:
When working toward completing a task or achieving a goal, everyone moves along a continuum made up of four development levels. Managers use this practical framework to assess a person’s competence and commitment on a task and diagnose their development level:
- Enthusiastic Beginner (D1): The person has low competence and high commitment. They don’t know how to do the task but are excited to get started.
- Disillusioned Learner (D2): The person has some competence but low commitment. Still early in the learning process, they are feeling discouraged and insecure about moving forward.
- Capable, but Cautious, Contributor (D3): The person has high competence and variable commitment. They are finally getting the hang of things but still need occasional help.
- Self-Reliant Achiever (D4): The person has high competence and high commitment. They are at the top of their game on this task.
Next, the manager matches the person’s development level on the task with the leadership style that has the right combination of directive and supportive behaviors to help the person succeed: S1—Directing; S2—Coaching; S3—Supporting; and S4—Delegating.
If you have taken SLII® training, you may remember being asked by the facilitator to come up with a situation in your own life where you could apply the SLII® model. This is where everyone learns how many areas SLII® can be applied, not only on their job but also in their day-to-day life. It’s always fun to see participants’ faces light up when they discover how easily they can relate real-life activities to the SLII® process.
One example we’ve used for years in training sessions references a person learning how to ski.
- Starting out, the instructor shows the person how to put on their skis and move forward. The person feels the thrill of starting down their first small hill, envisioning themselves easily mastering this fun sport. (D1)
- After their first lesson—and several falls—they realize skiing isn’t as easy as they had thought it would be. They feel inadequate and a little foolish, and think about quitting. (D2)
- Several more lessons go by, and the person is now having fun skiing and is practicing on more difficult runs. They know there is still much to learn but feel optimistic about their progress. (D3)
- With time and the right amount of direction and support from their instructor along their learning journey, the person has achieved their goal of becoming a confident skier. (D4)
Now think of how the stages of the SLII® model could pertain to almost any task or goal you can think of—areas as diverse as showing someone how to play a musical instrument, bake cookies, or improve their driving skills. It could be used by anyone coaching a team sport involving people of any age, or by a friend helping another friend learn a foreign language. I’ve been told SLII® can be applied to the different stages of marriage, business partnerships, and raising children. Someone even said the basics of SLII® helped them train their dog! How’s that for versatile?
A few years ago, I wrote a book titled Fit at Last: Look and Feel Better Once and For All with my personal coach, Tim Kearin. In the book we describe how Tim used the SLII® model to help me through my fitness journey. He kept track of my development levels on goals such as nutrition and weight control, aerobic exercise, strength training, flexibility, balance, and rest and sleep, and he used all four leadership styles as needed. SLII® played a huge part in my reaching my goals.
SLII® teaches leaders how to build meaningful connections with team members. It creates engaged, high performing individuals and teams, and helps organizations excel. It can also make a difference in your home, your community, and your life. Give SLII® a try and let us know how it works for you!