Conflicts are an indispensable part of human communication, and they are specifically common in such hectic environments as the healthcare setting. Nursing practitioners are overwhelmed with tasks and responsibilities, which makes them emotional and reluctant to collaborate with others. Nurses have to address various types of conflicts in their practice (Sullivan, 2012). Nurse leaders should have the skills necessary to resolve these conflicts and facilitate the development of each employee and the entire organization. This paper includes a brief analysis of the leadership style of a nurse leader as well as my personal reflections on the matter.
Nurse managers have to handle different types of conflicts using many strategies, and the interviewee is no exception. One of such situations discussed during the interview was an interpersonal conflict the nurse manager helped to address. The nurse manager witnessed a brief conflict between two nurses. Ms. Ajiboye approached the nurse and asked her about the reason for that attitude. The nurse complained that her colleague performed poorly and spent most of her time talking with patients rather than providing exact clinical services or care to the ones who needed it most. The nurse manager then talked to the other stakeholder who stressed that she completed all tasks properly and paid much attention to the emotional state of patients, which was essential for the healing process. The nurse also added that she was unwilling to help her peer who worked slowly and lacked professionalism. The interviewee spent some time observing the way the two nursing practitioners performed their tasks, and it turned out that both of them told the truth.
The nurse manager arranged a meeting with both nurses and focused on the arguments the sides uttered. The compromise was reached, and the parties decided to try to be more responsive and collaborative. It was suggested that the nurses would shadow each other during several shifts, which helped them understand the reasons for their opponent’s behavior. The nurse leader made the nursing professionals work in a team and concentrate on a set of goals. At the end of a certain period, the nurses received a reward as the established objectives were attained. The conflict resolution method was rather effective as the conflict was resolved and the nurses learned how to collaborate effectively and work in a team. The limitations of this strategy include the need to allocate additional funds and invest a considerable amount of time that is often scarce in the clinical setting.
Effective leaders should be able to address conflicts using various strategies. Almost et al. (2016) note that this area traditionally attracts considerable attention in academia. It is also stressed that conflicts should be resolved immediately since avoidance can result in negative patient outcomes and adverse impacts on the working environment. The employed method can be regarded as an illustration of the use of the transactional leadership style. Transactional leaders try to facilitate collaboration and utilize punishment and rewards as motivational strategies (Sullivan, 2012). However, some elements of transformational leadership (shadowing) were also utilized as the nurse leader tried to establishment of trust and empathy. Although some components of the transformational style were apparent, it is possible to conclude that the interviewee used strategies consistent with her leadership style.
During the interview, I learned a lot about nursing practice and the ways practitioners handle issues. From the interview’s first minutes and until the moment we said goodbye, I understood that the interviewee was a professional who had extensive experience in addressing various issues that emerged in nursing practice. My attitude towards the nurse did not change, and I believe she is an effective leader who could benefit from the incorporation of transformational instruments into her leadership. I am a transformational leader as I believe that leaders should inspire followers to change rather than focus on extrinsic motivation. Transformational leaders concentrate on the development of an effective working atmosphere and specific culture that promotes close collaboration, knowledge sharing, trust, and support (Choi, Goh, Adam, & Tan, 2016). I always try to make people understand each other and remain committed to organizational goals (and the most favorable patient outcomes).
I believe my leadership style would complement the effectiveness of the organization. I would use similar steps to resolve the conflict, but I would pay more attention to such domains as emotional and structural. I would try to make nurses understand each other’s positions through sharing knowledge as it is clear that both nurses are experienced and effective professionals who simply concentrate on different aspects of nursing care. In order to improve the overall performance of the staff, I would improve communication since this area needs specific attention. I would arrange regular meetings (or rather parts of these sessions) where nurses would share their beliefs, experiences, and concerns. Teambuilding and training are other aspects to focus on since nursing practitioners seem to lack certain (communication and conflict management) skills. Scully (2015) emphasizes that nurse leadership is larger than nurse management. I agree with this statement and try to guide and inspire people making them share certain values.
Although the position of a nurse manager is quite challenging, I would like to occupy this post. I believe I have the necessary skills to bring changes that are needed in the healthcare setting. I am committed to ensuring the provision of patient-centered care and improving the working environment. In order to become an effective leader, I will continue my self-development. I will keep reviewing the literature regarding effective strategies related to the development of certain leadership skills. I will also try to communicate with such experienced nursing professionals as the interviewee. These people’s knowledge will help me improve my leadership skills. I will also seek on-job training in such areas as leadership, communication, conflict management, as well as cultural and emotional awareness.
On balance, the interviewee is a transactional leader who employs quite an effective conflict management method. However, it has been acknowledged that transformational leadership should become integral to nursing practice as it can be instrumental in addressing some of the most burning issues. The focus on relationships and professional development, typical of transformational leadership, can contribute to the reduction of nurse turnover and improvement of the working environment. Being a transformational leader, I would like to become a nurse manager as I believe I can bring the needed changes to the profession. I have to admit that I still lack some things, but I am also committed to obtaining new skills and knowledge. I will review the literature and try to communicate with effective leaders who could share their experiences. I believe I will be an effective transformational leader in the near future.
Almost, J., Wolff, A. C., Stewart-Pyne, A., McCormick, L. G., Strachan, D., & D’Souza, C. (2016). Managing and mitigating conflict in healthcare teams: An integrative review. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 72(7), 1490-1505. Web.
Choi, S. L., Goh, C. F., Adam, M. B. H., & Tan, O. K. (2016). Transformational leadership, empowerment, and job satisfaction: The mediating role of employee empowerment. Human Resources for Health, 14(1). Web.
Scully, N. J. (2015). Leadership in nursing: The importance of recognising inherent values and attributes to secure a positive future for the profession. Collegian, 22(4), 439-444. Web.
Sullivan, E. (2012). Effective leadership and management in nursing (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice-Hall.