Leadership styles in nursing
Leadership can be described as the way in which an individual solicits the cooperation of other people within their setting to ensure they achieve a common goal .there are also other definitions for this word like the one by Alan Keith who defines it as the way in which people ensure that they can accomplish something that is deemed so hard to achieve. its is the way the person placed in charge of group can mobilize the internal and external factors to ensure that all that was to be achieved is met. While on the hand leadership style is used to describe the individual behavioral attributes of the ones placed in leadership. It is mainly due the time the individual has had in leadership and also the individuals personal attributes. There are several leadership styles that can be employed in the running of an organization. In this paper we are going to deal mainly with two styles. We will describe the two leadership style i.e. Democratic and Transformational. We shall also use professional nursing literature to describe how these two leadership styles are implemented in nursing process. In addition w shall describe one practice example and explain how one of these leadership styles could enhance or diminish professional nursing practice (Horton-Deutsch S and Mohr, W.K, 2001).
This style is also called the participative style of leadership. In this type of leadership the leader leads in consultation with the subjects. The decisions are made by the group after intensive consultation. Through this leadership style, the leaders have the support and cooperation of the people they are leading as they belief they have been part of the decision making process. No decision can be made by the leader himself without prior consultation from the subjects. As much as the leaders using this style have to make the last decision, they must seek the contribution of the other people in the decision. This will in turn improve the satisfaction of the juniors. In this style the other people in the team feel they own the process and thus they dont just work for the monetary gain but what pleasure they derive from it. This process is time consuming but yields better results. This method is only applicable when speed is not of essence in decision making but the quality of the work (Kotlyar I. & Karakowsky L, 2006).
Transformational leadership style
This style can be defined as a style in which they aim and ensuring the systems and the individuals change in a desire way. It aims at ensuring that the subjects are meant to change in a particular way that will make them the leaders in the coming days. It ensures that the morale of the subjects is boosted and also makes the subjects perform better. They mainly do this by ensuring that the subject identifies with the mission of the organization. Additionally they act as role models to the subjects and ensure that the subjects own the process of leadership. The leaders also have to understand what the subjects can do better and what they cant. This will ensure that the work assigned to the subjects is done optimally. This style ensures that the leaders and followers are united towards a common goal. It ensures that the leaders allow the subjects to practice their leadership capabilities to their best (Kotlyar I. & Karakowsky L, 2006).
How the transformational leadership can be applied in nursing setting.
This leadership style entails the following aspects of leadership. First, there is the aspect of individualized consideration. In this the leader within the nursing is institution looks into the subjects needs in a manner as to be offering mentorship especially the new nurses. This is ensuring smooth communication and being empathetic. The leaders can also stimulate the intellectual capacity of hr staff by encouraging the nurses in the different units to be creative in their endeavors. The new nurses are presented with opportunities to learn in their area. They are also inspired by the leaders by always talking to them positively. Lastly, the leader will act as the role model; to the new nurses and earn respect and trust from the new members. (Benefield E , Clifford J, Hagenow N.R., Hastings C, et al. ,2000).
On the other hand democratic style is also very important in the nursing fraternity. The democratic model ensures that every nurse is allowed to have a say in the process of making a decision .this will ensure that the nurses have a feeling of importance and authority as they own the decisions made in the organization. This method also fosters the sense if accountability in that the nurses will be held responsible for the decisions they were party to in making. They will; work so hard to ensure that whatever they wanted to be done does not fail. This will also foster success in the work done in the different departments. The nurses can utilize this method in coming up with the best solution to the problem at hand .this might be the best form of treatment to admister to a patient in the units. The practice of using many people will ensure that the best solution is arrived at. Because of the varying contributions, the members are allowed to come up with comprehensive solutions to the problems at hand. It also fosters people to really think hard in solving problems at hand as all the people are involved. This ensures that the people in the unit go past what they think is their role to ensure that their role and objectives are met. With this creativity everything will be done to the best in the units and the whole organization. another big advantage of this approach is that all the people in the organization have high respect for peoples vies in the organization regardless whether he is a leader or not. Because of this equal opportunity in decision making, the implementation of the policies is smooth as there is no resistance among the staff (Benefield E, Clifford J, Hagenow N.R., Hastings C, et al. 2000).
Leadership is one crucial element in the nursing fraternity. Transformational leadership can be mainly be used in the cases of the nurses that are new to the institution .according to Sofarelli & Brown (1998),this type of leadership will enhance the change of the nurses from the less empowered to empowered workers. This aspect of transformation is the one that makes this style the most ideal for the nursing field. In their case the new entrant nurses are in the position to evaluate and gauge the existing and the upcoming policies of the organization. By utilizing this method, the administrators of the hospitals can encourage the nurses to report on the state of implementation of the policies in their small workstations the main aim in using this method is to ensure that the new nurses are given autonomy to work while boosting their morale. This will encourage them to take up leadership challenges in their stations. The leaders only give suggestions while leaving the entire decision making to the people in charge of the units who in this case are the nurses. In this system the nurses are allowed to be a part of meetings that can up withy the policies in the hospital. They are also allowed democratic rights where they are allowed to vote on most of the crucial issues in the department. This ensures that the new nurse is actively involved in the formulation of policies but this is only done within the allowed space and power of the new nurses (Antrobus S. & Kitson A, 1999).
The type of leadership an individual nurse opts to use should reflect the ideals he/she stands for. No one method can be ranked to be the best. It all depends with the goal of the leadership. Another factor to be considered is the time for the decision to be made and executed. The leadership within the nursing fraternity should be from all levels. The nurses should now start thinking of how best they can enhance the training in their field to maker them better leaders (Antrobus S. & Kitson A, 1999).
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