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I consider myself a democratic leader because I am relationship- and people-oriented. I believe that policies and decisions made in a group setting are best for all involved. Democratic leaders emphasize theme work and are willing to share responsibilities. I like to lead through cooperation, not by bossing around others. This means that I would seek to promote policies through group discussion, and place strong emphasis on teamwork. I believe that an effective manager not only encourages, but listens to input of the workers; an effective manager not only instructs the worker, but shows how the instruction should be carried out; the effective manager eliminates inspectors, and instead teaches the worker the value of doing their own inspection, fostering their own self-worth on the job and their part in making the company works.
Effective leadership thus enhances job satisfaction, efficiency and work production (Huber, 2006).
I believe that I would be a good leader because I believe that all effective leaders recognize that their power to achieve organizational objectives comes from having a motived workforce who shares in the organization’s vision.
In addition to my ability to establish clear visions and identifies ways to achieve goals, I am a people-oriented individual who believe that people perform at their best when the work that they do enables them to achieve their highest potentials both as human beings and as employees. This means that I do not take an authoritative approach to leading. Rather, I believe in empowering every employee. For these reasons my leadership style is best reflected in the transformational model of leadership.
By definition, a transformation leader is a “leader who motivates followers to perform to their full potential over time by influencing a change in perceptions and by providing a sense of direction. Transformational leaders use charisma, individualized consideration, and intellectual stimulation to produce greater effort, effectiveness and satisfaction in followers” (Huber, 2006, p.19).
According to Robins and Davidhizar (2007), health care organizations need to constantly evaluate individual nurse managers to promote transformational leadership qualities because positive transformational changes in nursing produce a beneficial trickle-down-effect health care delivery. Huber (2006) indicates that the transformational leadership concept is vital to the nursing practice because it promotes the development of a culture of excellence and that organizations with transformation leaders have traits such as “pride and satisfaction in the work, enthusiasm, team spirit, a sense of accomplishment, and satisfaction” (p.21). McGoldrick, Menschner and Pollock (2001) state that transformative learning helps nurses to change the way they think about themselves from a professional standpoint because transformative learning aims to refrain the thinking of the individual to self-reflection.
Robins and Davidhizar (2007) found, for example, that employees who work with managers who lead in a positive and encouraging manner become more contented and satisfied with positions, which translates into increased patient satisfaction. This is due largely to the four main activities in which the transformational leader engage: establishing a vision, providing meaning for employees through the building of a social architecture, maintaining organizational trust and placing emphasis on the importance of building employee self-esteem (Huber, 2006).
Assessing My Decision-Making and Problem-Solving Style
Problem-solving/decision-making is a very important aspect of the leadership process. Sullivan and Decker (2005) point out that leaders must be able to use critical thinking skills effectively when making decisions or attempting to solve problems. This means, being able to make assumptions, interpret and evaluate data, explore alternatives, identify information, and analyze and question implications for each solution. When I am faced with a problem, I have a tendency to make decision based on my intuition and experience. For example, if I had a patient who was agitated and my care plan is not meeting the needs of the patient, I would be tempted to solve the problem by asking for help from a supervisor or a coworker. In some cases, I would also rely on past experiences and try methods that I have used with other patients. On one occasion I had a patient who had a pressure ulcer and complained a lot about lying on her side.
However, I could not allow the patient to lay on her back because it would make her condition worse. To solve this problem, I tried other methods such as distracting her through the television, talking, use a pillow or reading a story to get her to minimize and not focus on the discomfort. In some cases, I also engage in trial-and-error for some patients for whom the normal care procedure may be insufficient in achieving desired results. However, I also used an organized method to solve problems that do not require immediate action. For example, if I am having problems with a co-worker, I would define the problem, identify the source of the problem, and then choose a number of solutions that would best address the problem. For each solution, I would also assess the alternatives, the advantages/disadvantages of each solution and their short-term and long-term implications.
Assessing My Ability to Set Priorities
Setting priority is an important facet of everyday life, whether dealing with families, work or play. I believe that I am proficient in setting priorities because I set priorities based on whether the decisions I make will achieve the intended goals. For example, during my college years, I decided that it was crucial for me to work while attending school. While my larger goal is to earn a degree so that I can achieve upward mobility, my number one priority is to be efficient on the job and fulfil my work responsibilities. This means that if my school schedule should conflict with my job responsibilities, I would rather make the necessary change to my school schedule. This is because school is a long-term goal whereas my current employment facilitates that long-term goal by providing me with an income as well as experience that would enhance my future endeavors.
Thus, one way that I set priorities is based on the importance of activities, tasks or responsibilities. I also set priorities based on the time-sensitiveness of the task. Because I set priorities based on the utility of the task, action or event to my short-term and long-term goals, I tend to rely more on strategy than on emotions when prioritizing. However, I am able to modify my plans based on extenuating circumstances. Refining a plan, for example, may become necessary when an earlier plan does not go as intended. I am therefore open to reassessing my plans and making revisions to make them more effective and goal-oriented.
Assessing My Delegation Skills
Sullivan and Decker (2005) define delegation as a “process by which responsibility and authority for performing a task (function, activity, or decision), is transferred to another individual who accepts that authority and responsibility” (p.144). Delegating a task is an indication to the other person that you are placing your confidence in him or her regarding their competence and trustworthiness to effectively perform the task. When I am about to delegate a task to someone there are a number of questions that I ask myself. These include: what is the task to be delegated? What is the complexity or simplicity of the task? How much decision making is involved in completing the task? I possess excellent critical thinking skills and is able to analyze information effectively. For this reason I believe that I am good at delegating task. I usually consider the individual experience with the specific issue, the individual’s background with similar tasks, the person’s reliability and on-task behavior as well as the emotional maturity required for the task.
Assessing my Communication Skills
To facilitate team work in the transformational leadership setting, it is important to have an effective communication system that provides complete and accurate exchange of information that guides decision (Conrad & Poole, 2005). Tate (2005) observes that to be proactive, the leader needs to use clear language when interacting with coworkers and knowing how to listen to others, including staff and patients (Tate, 2005). Tomey (2004) indicates that communication is a process which involves giving and receiving information through verbal exchanges, gestures, writing, and the use of technology. I consider myself to be fairly competent in the area of communication.
For example, I have good interpersonal communication skills. I can read body language, facial expression and can use these modes of communication to get desired results. I am also competent in oral and written communication. I am able to articulate my ideas and have sufficient vocabulary to have meaningful exchanges with others. I am also good at making others understand my stance on certain issues. I am also able to use technology such as a computer and a phone to communicate. For example, I can send e-mails, use an online chat room, send a text message.
Assessing my Conflict Resolution Style
According to Sullivan and Decker (2005), conflict management is a time consuming and difficult process. To resolve conflicts, management has to listen to both sides of the issues and identify compatible solutions. Based on this assessment, I believe that I possess good conflict resolution skills since I am always willing to listen to others’ position before reacting. I am also good at negotiating. Sullivan and Decker (2005) indicate that the purpose of negotiation is to achieve agreement. My desire to avoid confrontations that can be distracting and unproductive, provides with a keen sense of looking for common grounds on which people can find agreement. Also, I emphasize the importance of diversity when dealing with others so that people can understand that having different ideas or ways of thinking does not have to cause conflicts. As a result my key strategy is to use collaboration in which I encourage others to find ways of working together to achieve shared goals.
Identifying Strengths and Weaknesses / Plan of Action
Two areas in which I consider myself to be proficient or competent are decision-making/problem solving and delegation. However, I have deficits in the area of communication and conflict resolution. In the area of communication, I have difficulty in the transmission of the message due to having a strong accent which makes my speech difficult to understand at times. To address this issue, I will see a speech therapist to assist me with pronunciation and speech rate. This is very important because a leader has to work in a fast-paced multidisciplinary healthcare environment that requires others to quickly understand what he or she has to say. In the area of conflict resolution, I tend to take the “flight into fantasy” approach, which involves thinking about something else in order to be protected from stress.
The consequence of this is that it does not address the needs of the parties. To overcome this problem, I will try to incorporate the confrontation approach. This approach allows the leader to deal with the issue and put it to rest (Sullivan and Decker, 2005). As a democratic leader ,I will effectively seek to bring together the synergy of my subbordinates in order to achieve our specific objectives.It is imperative that as a leader I strive to approach my leadership style in a comprehensive and transformational manner.My decision making will aplly critical thinking skills in order to solve problem.Priority setting,goal delegations and conflict resolution are pertinent to my leadership style and objective.
Conrad, C. & Poole, M.S. (2005). Strategic Organizational Communication in a Global Community (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth. Huber, D.L. (2006). Leadership and Nursing Care Management (3rd ed.). Pennsylvania: Saunders Elsevier. McGoldrick, T.B., Menschner, E.F. & Pollock, M.L. (2001). Nurturing the transformation from staff nurse to leader. Holistic Nursing Practice (16)1, 16-20. Sullivan, E.J. & Decker, P.J. (2005). Effective Leadership & Management in Nursing (6th ed.). New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc. Tate, C.W. (2005). Leadership in Nursing. New York: Churchill Livingstone. Tomey, A.M. (2004). Guide to Nursing Management and Leadership (7th ed). St. Louis, Missouri: Mosby.
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