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Performance,  Transformed

...The content you are pushing out is really impressive. This is really admirable. There are people like me, years behind you, that you are inspiring whether you know it or not.
— - Organization Development Consultant

Situational Leadership II® and Partnering for Performance

The topic of performance management comes up quite frequently in conversations and articles in the Human Resources and Learning and Development industries. Some organizations have decided scrap performance reviews and their performance process all together, while other organizations have refined or simplified the way performance is managed.

I think that a process that allows leaders and their direct reports to get feedback and know how they're doing is very important! One model that I have been teaching for over 10 years is the Partnering for Performance steps in Situational Leadership II®.

Partnering for Performance is a process of "reaching agreements with people about their development level and the leadership style needed to help them achieve individual and organizational goals." (Ken Blanchard Company, 2011)

This process has a few steps.

The prerequisite to applying this process includes: teaching the direct report the Situational Leadership II® model and identifying the overall business outcomes.

Steps to follow include:

The Five agreements: Get agreement on

1. Goals

2. Development Level

3. Leadership Style (current and future)

4. Leadership behaviors

5. Follow up

According to the Situational Leadership II® model, there are 4 Levels of Development.  

SLII development levels.JPG

To start, a few goals are identified. The next step is to determine the diagnosis Level of each of the goals. Are they at Level 1 where they are brand new and excited about the task or skill,  but lack competence? Maybe they are at Level 2 where they now know what they don't know, are frustrated, and still have low to no skills. Maybe they’re at Level 3, where you have  been working with them to develop their skills, and they been successful; however they don't feel very confident in their own ability. Or perhaps they're at Level 4, where they have both competence in the skill, as well as confidence and motivation.

There are also Four Styles of Leadership to support the employee in their development.  Therefore, the next step is to identify the Leader’s current Leadership Style. Is the leader using Leadership Style 1, where they are teaching, giving a lot of direction, but not a lot of emotional support? Is the leader using Style 2, where they work to support both skill building, as well as the emotional needs of the employee? Maybe they're using Style 3 and are no longer teaching, but support the attitude and confidence of their direct report. Maybe they're using Leadership Style 4 where they set expectations and give feedback, but don't have to spend any time with skill building or supporting confidence and motivation.

Leadership Styles of Situational Leadership II®

SLII leadership styles.JPG

After the employee and the manager confirm the Diagnosis Level and the Leadership Style, they can determine if it's actually a match and it's working. Sometimes a leader may think their employee has the skill or competence at Level 4, when they may in fact be at a Level 2 or Level 3. It's important for leaders to match the Level of the employee’s development with their Leadership Style. If the employee is at Development Level 3, the leader should use Leadership Style 3 because it is a match for what the employee needs in terms of their Level of Competence and Commitment.


These performance conversations should take place every other week and be about 30 minutes in length. The employee should set the agenda for the meeting based on topics and goals that are important to them. Using the Partner in Performance model by the Ken Blanchard Company, is an effective way to consistently have communication between the employee and their leader so that the employee can continue their development.

What questions do you have on the Partner in Performance or the Situational Leadership II® model? Leave in comments below.

My other blogs on Situational Leadership II:

Questions? Let’s connect. I would love to hear your success stories. Please send them to: or visit

*As an approved Channel Partner within the Blanchard Partner Network, Sarah A. Scala Consulting is licensed to market, sell, and train Situational Leadership® II and Situational Leadership® II Experience.

*As an approved Channel Partner within the Blanchard Partner Network, Sarah A. Scala Consulting is licensed to market, sell, and train Situational Leadership® II and Situational Leadership® II Experience.

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