Within the practicum environment, what is one leadership style you have observed? How does the leader utilize the characteristics of this style to facilitate action within the group to develop or make changes in healthcare policy?
I have witnessed several different leadership styles at my practicum site. There are several leaders who appear to be democratic leaders. I’ve witnessed these individuals involve others om decision making. For example, one team meeting involved sharing ideas about possible tools that the association could offer to members to help make their lives easier. Each team member was given an opportunity to provide ideas on what they think nurse members want. Following this, each team member is able to weigh in on the ideas shared to help select the best tool idea. One of the down sides to democratic leadership style is that these individuals can lack focus (Fowler, 2016). I have experienced situations where these leaders allow the team to go off topic and fail to bring the team back to the focus on the original topic.
I was surprised to see the examples in this week’s lesson did not include information on the transformational leadership style. Transformational leadership means empowering other regarding the organization’s mission and vision and creating a bond centered around shared vision (Mennella & Balderrama, 2018). I’ve been fortunate to work for individuals who lead using the transformation leadership style. It creates a milieu where employees work together towards the shared vision though the guidance of leaders. I’d say this leadership style creates the most favorable environment, at least in healthcare.
Fowler, J. (2016). From staff nurse to nurse consultant Clinical leadership part 2: leadership styles. British Journal Of Nursing, 25(9), 522. Retrieved from: https://chamberlainuniversity.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edb&AN=115318389&site=eds-live&scope=site
Mennella, H. A., & Balderrama, D. M. (2018). Transformational Leadership in Nursing. CINAHL Nursing Guide. Retrieved from: https://chamberlainuniversity.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nup&AN=T903558&site=eds-live&scope=site
In a healthcare environment the main goal of the leader should be to facilitate getting the tasks done and moving healthcare providers to the highest level of maturity and then delegating to them (Henker, Sonnentag, & Unger, 2015). During my practicum I have observed transformational style of leadership. Transformational leaders develop people through delegation and empowerment. In order to achieve success, a transformational leader should employ the following skills: a clear vision and knowledge of staff, and confident, direct and clear communication (including good listening skills).
Our leader used communication skills effectively to introduce group members to each other and to what we were going to try to accomplish, made us responsible and accountable for the established goals, and then allowed us to work on our own. I have identified several elements of transformational leadership which are present during our work together as a team.
Honesty & Integrity: “these are crucial when you have to sell someone to believe you and buy into the journey you are taking them on” (Understanding The Difference, 2016).
Vision: know where you are, where you want to go and “enroll your team in charting a path for the future” (Understanding the Difference, 2016) .
Inspiration: Inspire your team to be all they can be by making sure they understand their role in the bigger picture (e.g., a policy that benefits all).
Ability to change: do not be afraid to challenge the status quo, do things differently and have courage to think outside the box.
Communication skills: keep your team informed: where you are, where you are heading and share any roadblocks you may encounter along the way.
These are important since they are moving followers toward the realization of the vision that the leader has formulated to fulfil the mission. During our IDT meetings all team members understand the responsibility to ensure that weekly objectives are achieved in a manner that is consistent with organizational ideals and serve their own welfare as well as the larger interests of the organization. Once teamwork was established, the leader fostered a collaborative atmosphere where people’s ideas and opinions were valued. We know that sharing power and delegating responsibilities is especially important in nursing: studies demonstrated that positive relationship exists “between transformational leadership style and job satisfaction” of healthcare providers (Malloy, & Penprase, 2010, p. 715).
Henker, N., Sonnentag, S., & Unger, D. (2015). Transformational leadership and employee creativity: The mediating role of promotion focus and creative process engagement. Journal of Business & Psychology, 30(2), 235-247.
Malloy, T., & Penprase, B. (2010). Nursing leadership style and psychosocial work environment Journal of Nursing Management, 18, 715–725.
In my practicum environment, the leadership style that I have mostly observed is democratic leadership because the leaders always involve interdisciplinary teams in the decision-making process. The democratic leadership style allows everyone including subordinates to rake a participative role in the organization’s decision-making processes. Although the leaders may at times have the final say, they seek information, ideas, and expert input from the healthcare staff before making decisions that have a far-reaching impact on the organization. According Mitchell (2013), to democratic leadership style works well in healthcare organizations as the mixture of skill levels and educational backgrounds of the employees ensures that the decisions are well informed. The leadership style not only works well for the organization but also for the staff members as everyone feels that their input is appreciated and that they are part of the organization.
Leaders in my healthcare setting have always employed democratic leadership when making changed in healthcare policy. One of the worst barriers to policy change is resistance to change. In order to overcome staff resistance to change, it has been found that leaders need to engage healthcare professionals among other stakeholders in order to obtain their buy-in (Yaro, Arshad, & Salleh, 2017). For leaders to obtain organization-wide support for their policy change initiatives, it is crucial for them to employ characteristics of democratic leadership which include consultation, involvement of staff members at all levels of the organization, and creating synergy among players. Stakeholder involvement helps people to feel that they are part of the change while synergistic efforts to change policy enhance adoption of the change (Yaro, Arshad, & Salleh, 2017). Therefore, democracy seems to be a viable leadership style to adopt when introducing a new policy or when suggesting changes to an existing policy.
Mitchell, G. (2013). Selecting the best theory to implement planned change. Nursing Management (through 2013), 20(1), 32.
Yaro, I., Arshad, R., & Salleh, D. (2017). Relevance of stakeholders in policy implementation. Journal of Public Management Research, 3(1), 1-16.