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Situational Leadership

Updated on August 11, 2019
Tiffany Dian Payne Bph profile image

Leadership skills can encourage you to grow within you company. Many are unaware of the difference in leadership styles.

Women of Success

Situational Leadership

Situational Leadership

Working as a cardiovascular (CVOR) surgical technologist (ST), having leadership skills are critical. Being the one the surgeon depends on for surgical supplies and instrumentation, I cannot be intimidated by taking charge. The situation approach equips me on how to handle the difference situations, therefore adapt to the flexibility leadership requires (Northouse, 2018). In this article, I will describe my experience with the questionnaire. I will then apply this to my career as a CVOR ST to show how one does not need to be a manager to use these skills.

The situation leadership exercise was difficult for me to complete. I say this because I was confused on which leadership style to place with the follower. Here are my results:

1. S3: Supporting/ D4: high Competence/ high commitment / Action: Assign and provide support as needed

• S4: Delegation, the follower style was correct. Action: assign and allow her to determine how to accomplish the goal.

2. S2: Coaching/ D1: low competence/ high commitment/ Action: define the steps and monitor often.

• S1 Direction/ the follower and action was correct.

3. S1 Direction/ D2 low competence/ low commitment/ Action: Continue to direct and closely supervise.

• S2 Coaching/ Follower is correct/ Action: continue to define group activities but involve the group members more in decision making and incorporate their ideas.

4. S4: Delegation/ D3 moderate to high competence/ variable commitment/ Action: Set goals and objections for the new assignment consider his input.

• S3 Supporting/ Follower correct/ Action: Listen to his concerns and assure him he can do the job. (Northouse, 2018)

As you can see, I was able to get the followers correct in this exercise but found trouble on the proper leadership style to use. This is something I expected because I am not in a traditional leadership role. Learning my style of leadership is Diplomat, the situational approach is very critical for me because of the flexibility it requires (Northouse, 2018). This assessment proves my answers are not wrong but show how different personalities handle situations. In the workforce if my first options did not work then I would apply the next set of options.

Being a Diplomat, considered rare I am passionate about helping others and this explains why I am in the medical field (Khan, 2015). I thought I wanted to become a nurse, but as I continued my career as a surgical technologist, I fell in love with patient advocating, infection and risk management. The impact of situational leadership for me is positive, already a caring person this can only strengthen my skills in a leadership or advocate role (Khan, 2015). Applying this approach in a surgery would look something like this:

1. One of your team members is busy with another project and is not available for a few days

In the operating room, this very common because people are in school, so they can grow within the company. This is the category I would fall in as an employee. If I was a leader, I would have to provide a substitute for this employee.

2. Two of your team members want a project task that they can do together.

This is very common practice with the operating room as well, on the heart team we are limited to only the people on our team and therefore this is rarely an issue

3. team member has a reputation of being a little lazy and needs regular motivation

Yes, the surgeons are the main people that are late, and many are now starting to get lazy and lack the motivation. The way I handle this as a tech is to make sure everything is ready to go so there is minimal interference.

4. The fifth team member is ready and anxious to start today

The funny thing about this is anesthesia members are like this. They are always in a rush to get nowhere. Handling this is easy, just make sure the surgery goes well is the key and the key I am responsible for. (Northouse, 2018)

CVOR ST and Diplomat is one for me. This assessment has opened my eyes to why I do the things I do and how I view situations. One example is when patients code, most of my coworkers are over stressed and excited whereas; I am as calm as I can be. I been asked how can I be so calm? I never been able to answer the question until now. I am looking every detail that is happening and making my assessments (Khan, 2015). I can see communication non-verbally and act accordingly. This is a blessing and a curse for me, because many of my coworkers perceive me not engaged when in fact, I am more engaged than most.

The actuality of cardiovascular surgical technologist is critical to quality patient care. Although not in a formal leadership role, I must effective provide leadership during the surgical phase for the safety of the patient ("A Guide To Best Practice," 2013). This means the team must:

• Clearly understand their role

• Use right style of leadership for each situation during the procedure

• Give clear direction if team member get side tracked

• Always collaborate with team

Even when surgery is difficult, being an effective leader means one can be open and flexible when necessary. Being a diplomat leader, I can shift smoothly with leadership styles.

Leadership is an essential element of effective teamwork especially in the medical field("A Guide To Best Practice," 2013). Holding the title of a CVOR surgical technologist, I provide the flow of the surgery and advocate for the patient. This means I am in a non-traditional leadership role. It is my responsibility to communicate and make assessment of how the procedure is going. I am also there to make critical decision for the safety of the patient.


Khan, M. S. (2015). The Style of Leadership: A Critical Review . Public Policy and Adminstration Research , 5, 87-92. Retrieved from

Northouse, P. (2018). Leadership: Theory and Practice (8th ed.). California : Sage Publications .

Surgical Leadership . (2013). The Royal College of Surgeons of England , 1-20. Retrieved from


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