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A Nurse Leader’s Style Analysis Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: Jul 7th, 2021

Introduction

Effective leadership is instrumental in achieving organizational goals, which is often associated with various challenges in the healthcare setting. Nursing practice is characterized by such issues as the shortage of nursing professionals, challenging working environment, low prestige of the profession, and insufficient reimbursement (Sullivan, 2012). Therefore, nurse leaders have to address all these issues and make sure that their followers are motivated and committed to their organizations’ goals. This paper includes a brief analysis of a nurse leader’s leadership style and its effectiveness.

Credentials and Responsibilities

The interviewed nursing practitioner is Taiwo Ajiboye, BSN. The nurse has been in nursing practice for seven years, and she started occupying the leading position three years ago. Some of the assigned responsibilities include patient care planning, personnel performance management, the development of training programs, budgeting, scheduling, and the revision and establishment of procedures and standards. Smith (2015) states that one of the primary roles leaders play is inspiring followers and creating the most favorable working environment for the staff. Ms. Ajiboye acknowledges these responsibilities and goals and tries to address them effectively. The interviewee notes that some of these responsibilities are challenging due to the need to address various issues at a time. The nurse leader also reports that communication and conflict management are two areas that require specific attention and additional effort.

Interviewee’s Leadership Style

Based on the interviewee’s account, it is possible to assume that she employs the transactional leadership style. This approach is characterized by the focus on collaboration, as well as rewards and punishment (Sullivan, 2012). The interaction and exchange between the nurse leader and employees are economic. The parties’ behavior is shaped by their interests and goals, and communication plays a central role in this process. Ms. Ajiboye utilizes the primary principles of transactional leadership in her practice.

For instance, when managing conflicts, the interviewee considers the interests of all the involved stakeholders and tries to reach a compromise. Saeed et al. (2014) note that leaders tend to use different conflict management tools depending on their leadership styles. Transactional leaders often resort to compromising, which is closely related to the principle of collaboration. This approach is rather effective as it enables the leader to resolve conflicts and ensure employees’ proper performance and the attainment of organizational goals. However, the major limitation of this method is a high risk of the stakeholders’ dissatisfaction with certain points, which may later cause new conflicts and tensions as well as high turnover. In order to mitigate potential negative outcomes, it is important to monitor the situation and interfere in case a new conflict arises.

Another example of the use of transactional leadership is the way the interviewee handles scheduling. The nurse leader claims that it is quite difficult to develop schedules that could satisfy all nurses. Effective collaboration is key to the successful management of this responsibility. The leader reports that she offers certain benefits that could be valuable for nurses. Sullivan (2012) stresses that the focus on people’s needs is essential as it can motivate followers to remain committed to organizational goals. This is an effective strategy as nursing professionals’ engagement enhances due to their improved job satisfaction.

Furthermore, budgeting can serve as an illustration of the use of the transactional style. The interviewee notes that collaboration is the primary principle guiding the budgeting process. The leader tries to receive feedback in order to allocate resources wisely. This method is quite effective as the employees feel empowered, which contributes to their engagement. Moreover, their needs are met, which motivates them to perform well and collaborate effectively with the leader. Manning (2016) also stresses that transactional leadership methods have a positive impact on employees’ engagement. Followers acknowledge the leader’s focus on their needs, and they try to perform well as this kind of behavior translates into additional benefits.

It is also possible to pay attention to the use of leadership skills to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the utilized leadership style. Motivating is one of the skills effective leaders should develop. Motivation includes such activities as the focus on people’s needs and interests, the provision of rewards, as well as the establishment of clear and attainable goals (Sullivan, 2012). The interviewee manages to motivate followers with the help of the practices mentioned above. The nurse leader also states that she often receives feedback suggesting that the personnel is properly motivated.

Delegating is another important skill leaders should develop, and it is also the skill associated with the most concern of the interviewee. The nurse leader often finds it difficult to delegate effectively feeling that she lacks certain skills and knowledge. Effective delegation involves asking for and accepting the staff’s feedback, matching the tasks to the right people, prioritizing and trusting employees (Sullivan, 2012). The nurse leader assumes that she has to develop trust in employees and give them more freedom.

Communication

Effective communication is another pillar of successful leadership, so it is critical to pay attention to this aspect as well. The interviewee states that she manages to use efficient methods that ensure proper collaboration. As for formal communication, the leader notes that the existing information system is employed to deliver the most important messages. At that, the interviewee notes that some issues still exist since nurses may access the necessary data in an untimely manner. A possible recommendation to improve the situation can be the development of a specific procedure related to the dissemination of the most important information. It can be beneficial to address IT professionals to develop a more effective way to inform the staff.

Informal communication is another matter of certain concern as the leader feels that there is quite a considerable distance between her and the staff. This distance can result in a lack of trust in the leader in the long run (Manning, 2016). It can be necessary to develop some team-building activities aimed at creating a trustful atmosphere. Finally, the leader mentions that oral communication is an important but challenging aspect of the development of proper relationships with the personnel. The interviewee emphasizes that the lack of time makes people less concentrated during this type of communication, which leads to ineffective delegating and low performance. It can be advisable to combine verbal and written communication as the latter can ensure meeting the set goals.

Summary

To sum up, it is necessary to note that the interviewee employs transactional leadership that has proved to be effective. Although the transactional approach enables the leader to develop an effective working environment, the nursing practitioner has certain concerns. The nurse leader should improve her delegating skills with the focus on such concepts as trust and empowerment. Verbal communication is another area for improvement since the leader states that nurses are not attentive and responsive enough, which leads to low performance and other issues. This situation can be improved with the help of the development of certain channels used for the delivery of different types of information.

References

Manning, J. (2016). The influence of nurse manager leadership style on staff nurse work engagement. JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration, 46(9), 438-443. Web.

Saeed, T., Almas, S., Anis-ul-Haq, M., & Niazi, G. S. K. (2014). Leadership styles: Relationship with conflict management styles. International Journal of Conflict Management, 25(3), 214-225. Web.

Smith, C. (2015). Exemplary leadership: How style and culture predict organizational outcomes. Nursing Management (Springhouse), 46(3), 47-51. Web.

Sullivan, E. (2012). Effective leadership and management in nursing (8th ed.). New Jersey, NJ: Pearson Prentice-Hall.

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