Pick one of the Leadership characteristics in the chapter you read above that you feel is the most important in a leader. Describe a personal situation about yourself or a leader that supports why you feel that characteristic is the most important.
I think that one of the most important leadership traits is co-operation.
One Director of Care that I worked for would read through my charting and question why I had worded a note in a certain way. She would question my decision-making, and as a result I felt very insecure about my nursing skills.
Another Director of Care was very supportive of my nursing judgement, and admitted that she would have made a similar choice if she had been in my place. I felt validated, and valued as an employee.
The second DOC embodied the definition of co-operation: “the action or process of working together to the same end”. Having a supervisor who feels that they are working together makes it possible to practice nursing leadership on the floor.
Cooperation is very important. I feel so many of these skills connect. for example we need to communicate to get to the point of cooperation. It is important that everyone has a clear direction, communicate and cooperates to get to that end goal.
Cooperation is indeed an effective way for leaders to influence and empower the team. When people work together for a common goal it builds a healthy environment and the team will in turn be more efficient.
Communication is the most important trait of leading and managing. If we aren’t communicating with our teams, residents and families, no one has a clear direction. With this being said communication can happen in many different forms and does not always require a face to face conversation. The world of technology has made communication much easier.
I was sent into a LTC home to assist IPAC from a corporate level due to outbreaks. When I arrived, we learned that the home needed much more support than we thought from the communication that was given to us. I was then ask to communicate out the corporate direction which involved a change in managers schedule during outbreak and following proper procedures, policies and follow up. Majority of the staff was great with midmorning meeting to communicate any updates, changes, etc. I would also request an end of day summary. This would not be a practice I would do regularly but this home needed to open up the lines of communication within their department and crossing over departments. Having these summaries helped me identify areas of concern, hold employee accountable and help support the department by filling in the gaps. We often heard, ”oh I think environmental does that” or “that’s not my job” By teaching communication and modeling better communication skills it assisted the managers with their department and the departments within the home learning to support each other.
I agree with you that communication is definitely very important in leadership. As we all had experienced as nurses regardless of where we had worked there’s always a breakdown of communication somewhere. A breakdown in communication caused delays and affected patient care.
I think along with communication, everyone is so busy in their own day to day things to do that we forget to acknowledge and valid each other. I feel that a leader has an awareness and ability to address this while communicating. Everyone wants to feel heard. When the communication is positive everyone feels better and it will reflect in patient care. Often as the nurse trying to communicate we can feel unheard which leads us to be discouraged.
In my experiences I feel as though empowering others is the most important role in leadership. When a leader is able to communicate and connect effectively, they are able to empower others to grow and be more successful in their practice. Confidence, job satisfaction, pride and growth are benefits of empowering leadership.
When I am training a new nurse or mentoring a student, I want them to feel that I am a safe person to learn from. My communication style leans towards the ‘feeler’. In the beginning of my nursing career, I felt intimidated and very vulnerable. I feared what I did not know or did not know to ask. I remember being pulled aside by my manager to be told I didn’t complete something correctly. I was embarrassed and felt defeated. It was as though there was no time to be new and to learn. One of my goals is to ensure that students and new nurses feel supported and confident in their practice as they learn and grow.
Jessica, it is easy to forget what a new nurse does not know when they are just starting their career. By utilizing the “feeler” communication trait, the mentoring nurse uses empathy as a tool to put themselves in the new nurse’s place, and tries to remember what it was like to be just starting out. This extends to all new staff who are starting a new position in a new workplace. Too many times, seasoned staff dismiss new staff instead of taking the time to explain or take them under their wing.
This results in the view that “nurses eat their young”, and that new nurses just have to “put up with” being bullied and abused. It represents a lost opportunity to create a positive professional relationship where both parties end up being enriched and growing.
Keep on empowering others and leading by example. This is how workplace culture is changed; one nurse at a time.
I agree. I was a student not that long ago and having a preceptor who is supportive and communicates effectively makes all the difference. I’ve also had the opposite experience with a clinical instructor. This instructor was dismissive. They did not answer any questions from me or other students and appeared to not have an interest in helping us learn. When in a position where you are teaching students or training new nurses it is important to use communication in a way that understanding way that encourages learning and growth. Though I haven’t trained nurses, I have trained co-workers before and I also did my best to make sure they feel supported and free to ask questions.
Every trait and skill in leadership is important to lead and manage a team. However, for me, the most important one is being adaptable to situations. When managing a team, situations change on a daily basis, and being adaptable to them is the basis of problem-solving and managing the issue.
Working as an agency nurse at an LTC gives me the opportunity to lead a team of PSWs. I come from an ER background so I am accustomed to adapting well to situations. One example I have experienced in regards to being adaptable was when early in the morning during the day shift report, I was notified that 4 resident rooms needed some rearranging. The beds and some furniture needed to be moved away from the window because they are scheduled to install AC units in these rooms. It throws off the routine schedule for the PSWs. One of my PSWs had recently hurt her back from moving furniture. I encouraged the uninjured PSWs in my unit for all of us to work as a team. I came in each room and helped each one of them to move furniture. We were able to finish the task quickly and did not affect resident care or my medication administration.
Being adaptable to situations is a good one. It is helpful as long as it is not one sided and others are also adaptable.
I think communication is the most important characteristic of a leader. Being able to communicate effectively allows the team to fully understand the goal clearly. Effective communication is important to gain the team’s trust, inspire and empower positive change. Communication does not only involve what is being said, it also involves body language, active listening, transparency and implementing feedback.
I work as an RPN at a long-term care home. As the RPN on the unit, I am responsible for leading and supervising Personal Support Workers, making decisions, communicating with family members, and collaborating with other departments. I had an experience where the Director of Care (DOC), informed a PSW of pertinent information regarding a resident and did not inform me directly. Because of that vital information regarding the resident was misinterpreted which affected resident care.
I think communication in the most important characteristic of leadership. Effective leadership uses communication as a tool to establish relationships, build trust, and teach in a mutually supportive setting.
Once while working as a PSW, a nurse who I did not work with regularly made an assumption about a situation. They came to me one evening and told me I didn’t know how to do something correctly, which I did know. They did not ask me any questions to clarify the situation. Instead, they treated me in a dismissive manner. I then spoke to some colleagues who I worked with more often and who regularly saw me perform this skill and they supported me. They told me that this nurse does it to a lot of younger staff members. A more effective way this nurse could have handled this situation would have been to work with me. To start a conversation and learn all the facts of the situation rather than making assumptions. This could have been a learning opportunity. Though this is not a positive example of leadership, it taught me how important effective communication is in building trust and a supportive environment.
I believe communication is the most important characteristic of a leader. Effective communication allows the leader to build a trusting working relationships within their team. Others will find it easier to go to a leader if they need something. Effective communication goes hand in hand with other characteristics of a leader as well.
I do blood draws in my position and another nurse had come from a long-term care facility within out organizations to work in the clinic. She was fairly new and was set up working from the lab where I would do blood draws. I was training another nurse to do blood draws and that nurse worked at the long-term care facility the other nurse came from. She would come in one day a week and work with me and had been there a couple times before. One day I came into work and the new nurse was sitting in the lab with the door closed. The door automatically locks and we have fobs to get in. I used my fob to go into the lab and she was on the phone but she let me know she set me up in the other room. I had no idea why she suddenly decided to move my work area into the triage room, but I just got set up and started working. I guess one of the other staff told our supervisor and she came and opened the lab door and started loudly talking to her about the situation. After everything was said and done the new nurse asked if she could talk to me. We sat down and talked about what happened. I told her we could have avoided all that had she just let me know what was going on. Although there was not effective communication at the start of the situation we were able to communicate in the end and resolve the issue and start to build a better working relationship.