- Analysis of Leadership Strengths and Weaknesses
- Leadership Characteristics and Managing Change
- Leadership Characteristics that Build and Maintain Interprofessional Collaboration
- Implementing Ethical Leadership
- Diversity and Inclusion in Healthcare
- Managing a Diverse Team to Serve a Diverse Community
- Research Skills and Healthcare Leadership
Leadership demands that the nurse balances between altruistic care provision and change management. An effective leader is able to motivate and inspire a group of individuals towards achieving a common goal while remaining accountable. As such, an ethical leader should be able to exhibit knowledge and experience in the related practice to facilitate effective communication and collaboration.
Analysis of Leadership Strengths and Weaknesses
According to Crews (2015), an ethical leader is an effective communicator, accountable, honest, fair, compassionate, and capable of motivating and inspiring others. I consider myself a transformative leader and equally ethical as I am capable of setting clear guidelines on workplace conduct to the team; priding myself in fairness and modeling ethical characters.
Impacting change on self and others at the organization requires accountability in duties. Being accountable is one of my strength according to my colleagues. Accountability ensures safe and quality patient care (Bifarin & Stonehouse, 2017). Bifarin and Stonehouse (2017) assert that leaders who are accountable are able to minimize organizational stress, improve patient care and enhance development. Crews (2015) emphasizes that leaders who are accountable are typically confident of their decisions, and communicate effectively with honesty and openness.
Accountability and fairness complement each other to provide opportunities to the team regardless of the individual differences (Crews, 2015). As a transformational leader, I consider myself to be fair. Fairness and justice improve employee morale and enhances the quality of patient care (Deschamps, Rinfret, Lagacé, & Privé, 2016). Although transparency and honesty are valued by employees, fairness may often be misunderstood as it is subject to personal perception. As such, a transformative leader may not be popular among team members. Nonetheless, courage has been difficult to amass as a relatively new nurse leader. Yet courage is an important element of leadership as it depicts both emotional and mental strengths (Crews, 2015).
The strengths and weaknesses described above may be subject to limitations and biases because they represent my personal opinion and feedback from close relatives, friends, colleagues and workmates. Therefore the information may lack objectivity.
Leadership Characteristics and Managing Change
Leadership in nursing influences the workplace environment and employee satisfaction amidst nurse shortages and increased turnover due to work-related stress and nurse dissatisfaction (Roberts -Turner et al., 2014). As a nurse leader, open communication is a key resource in decision-making to ensure fairness and employee satisfaction (Deschamps et al., 2017). Consequently, I recently developed a spreadsheet to communicate division of labor transparently with the aim of minimizing anxiety, improving satisfaction and patient outcomes. At the same time, I encourage the nursing team to remain accountable to achieve better patient safety and patient satisfaction during care provision (Bifarin & Stonehouse, 2017).
Nurse leadership may feel overwhelming; therefore, self-awareness is necessary to manage work-related stress and physical well-being which are typical causes of absenteeism (van Zyl, Nel, & Mokuoane, 2017). By self-managing I would improve team collaboration and impact self-management techniques among team members to mitigate work-related stress. Transformational leaders are rational even during hard times to empower oneself in guiding, educating, informing, and influencing others in managing change while maintaining positive working relationships (Crews, 2015).
Leadership Characteristics that Build and Maintain Interprofessional Collaboration
According to Penny (2017), the emotional and physiological stability of both the patients and caregivers are essential in providing altruistic care. Empathy and kindness are important personal attributes to my style of leadership. Compassion is vital in building and maintaining a safe working environment that is open to learning and development (deZulueta, 2015). I have a strong conviction that servant leadership and compassion are crucial in mentoring and developing collaboration among team members with the aim of achieving organizational objectives.
As a nurse leader, I understand the need for effective communication in fostering collaboration. I, therefore, recommend regular educational sessions where interprofessional team members meet to discuss work-related issues with the aim of developing solutions to complex matters. As such, I have been able to encourage team members to come up with comprehensive discharge instructions for patients to improve post-medication management of patient conditions outside the healthcare facility. It is expected that the discharge instructions will improve patient outcomes and reduce the number of readmissions.
Implementing Ethical Leadership
Ethical leadership in nursing requires strength, self-motivation, and team building within the healthcare facility. Applying these principles requires openness, trust, and honesty among team members. As a leader, understanding others and their needs are crucial in developing competency and empowering staff. According to Ackley (2016), helping others requires the leader to possess emotional intelligence (EI) abilities. EI enables leaders to communicate expectations effectively since one is able to know and understand emotions of self and those of others and manage them efficiently. Transformational leaders should be able to inspire others to work towards achieving organizational objectives. The benefits of EI competency are fostering understanding and preventing work-related stress and employee burnout. Even though I identify myself as a transformational leader, developing ethical characteristics would be vital in feeling the gaps in my leadership ability. Ackley (2016) indicates that ethical leaders are able to communicate and relate with others effectively. Applying the principles of ethical leadership in transformational leadership raises a sense of purpose and self-motivation among individuals with a shared goal (Malloch, 2014).
Diversity and Inclusion in Healthcare
Achieving better patient outcomes requires patients, like nurses, to understand medication management and instruction compliance; cultural competency and staff diversity are critical attributes of a healthcare facility seeking to provide healthcare services to patients from diverse communities (Ohana & Mash, 2015). Flores and Combs (2013), report that having a diverse healthcare team that represents the cultural diversity of the community being served improves patient compliance and satisfaction. Ortiz and Casey (2017), emphasize that healthcare leaders must hire and retain culturally competent professionals to provide culturally competent services. Employing minority leaders in an organization reduce minority employee turnover. As such, it is important for organizations to provide training in cultural competency to improve care delivery and patient satisfaction while hiring and retaining employees from minority communities (Flores & Combs, 2013).
Managing a Diverse Team to Serve a Diverse Community
Due to the globalization, the United States is largely made up of highly diverse communities. According to Flores and Combs (2013), disparities are evident between healthcare workforce and many patients with diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Through firsthand experience, I understand that cultural disparity can ignite conflict in healthcare settings simply because of misunderstandings during communication. For instance, Eastern Europeans are often direct and honest, while Americans are known to be polite and politically correct: a trait that Eastern Europeans may misinterpret as dishonesty. Thus, it is the responsibility of the leader to develop policies for equal treatment of staff and patients from diverse backgrounds both ethnically, culturally, religiously, and sexually (Green, 2015). As a transformational leader, my experience has taught me to accommodate employees from different backgrounds regardless of their tribe, religion or gender without prejudice. For instance, I would reschedule a Muslims faithful’s shift during Ramadan to accommodate his or her needs as dictated by Islamic beliefs.
Research Skills and Healthcare Leadership
Effective healthcare service delivery requires the use of evidence-based solutions in providing quality care and training the members of staff. Therefore, a leader should be able to play the role of a scholar-practitioner in obtaining and using information relative to the area of practice. As indicated by Kemerer, and Ćwiekala-Lewis (2016), the use of EI in evidence-based practice helps leaders to manage effective interprofessional collaboration based on trust with the aim of achieving organizational goals in a diverse environment. As a transformational leader, effective communication is at the center of fostering integrity and professional practice (Crews, 2015). Therefore, research skills are essential in gaining new knowledge for progressive healthcare provision and leadership.
Leaders are agents of change and are capable of applying the ethical principles of accountability, fairness, compassion, cultural competency, and inclusivity to inspire evidence-based practice in the provision of safe and quality healthcare services. As a transformational leader, my primary focus is to manage the interdisciplinary team by understanding and serving the needs of the organization and that of the team. Therefore, my primary agenda is to motivate and empower team members to willingly embark on a mission to meet the set objectives of the organization
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