Leadership is a process and an art (Manning, 2012). It is the ability to influence other individuals who look up to the person in a top position. A leader empowers, encourages, and leads by example by being productive. He or she encourages the followers or members of a team on the need to apply effort in their respective roles since it has an effect on the collective goal of a group (Dartey-Baah, 2015). Being a leader in the healthcare profession requires a person to maintain contact with the team members and inspiring them to continue extending their services to the patients that need care and attention. Leaders in the healthcare industry adopt different leadership styles. The styles employed can either be autocratic, democratic, laissez-faire, transformational, transactional, amongst others. I believe the democratic leadership style best describes the approach I would use if I was offered the opportunity to take a top position in a healthcare facility.
The democratic leadership style assumes that a leader creates an environment where employees feel part of a team. A leader holds the power and authority but allows the juniors to take part in the decision-making processes. This style assumes that empowered employees are more productive than those that take direct instructions from their leaders. A democratic leader recognizes that he or she is not the only person in the team with an ability to creatively think and innovate, hence, team members are encouraged to be vocal about ideas that can help improve an organization both in the short-term and in the long-term.
Strengths and Weakness of a Democratic Leadership Style
A democratic leader encourages the team members to use their skills to perform their duties (Dartey-Baah, 2015). This is because each team member is unique and has special talents that can be employed in the workplace. One of the strengths of adopting a democratic leadership style in the healthcare industry is that it allows the development of creative and critical ideas when handling different patients. The healthcare industry is a service type of business that requires practitioners to handle different types of patients daily. There is no discrete or specific way of handling patients and democratic leadership style encourages nurses and other healthcare practitioners to be flexible and innovative. Nurses working under my leadership would have to come up with creative ways of handling patients' demands and retain a compassionate attitude towards them while being professional. As a leader, I would encourage the nurses to ensure that patients leave satisfied with the quality services extended to them.
I have communication and interactive skills which are pertinent to a leadership position as they enable a leader to initiate conversations with the juniors. Maintenance of an open communication and consultation is encouraged in a democratic leadership style. As a leader, I believe that I should be approachable and that nurses will feel free to come to me to seek guidance or clarification of certain issues. Maintaining an open communication between a leader and juniors encourages the flow of information which is used in the decision-making process. Open communication also encourages members to engage each other by maintaining a closeness within a team. Any nurse that encounters a problem is encouraged to seek help from the leader or members of the team. Empowering nurses helps them perform their duties better in the long-term. Communication and interactive skills are important in the healthcare field as they enable nurses to initiate conversations with patients and get the necessary information from them.
One of the weaknesses that my preferred leadership style has is that it may portray me as an indecisive leader. A democratic leader considers the opinions of others and evaluates the available options before making a final decision. Juniors working under a democratic leader may feel ignored if their views are not considered during a crisis in the healthcare firm. However, a democratic leader compensates for this shortcoming by reducing the number of consultations that have to be made, so that the decision-making process is quickened, and a solution availed within the least time possible. My critical thinking skills will be applicable during crises in my profession, where I will need to make a decision within a short time. My experience in the healthcare field will enable me to refer to past scenarios and approaches used to solve issues, which can then be enhanced and adopted in the decision-making process.
My honesty, confidence, courage, creativity, and competence leadership characteristics will enable me to act as a guide to others and influence others in the healthcare field. I believe that communication between individuals should be based on facts. An honest person talks the truth and has nothing to hide. Nurses under my leadership will be encouraged to be honest in their conversations and acts during their tenure at the healthcare facility. Further, my team members will be more productive if their leader shows high confidence levels. Being confident means that I believe in the mandate given to me. On the other hand, being courageous means that a leader is willing to withstand the internal and external pressures that come with being in a top position (de Zulueta, 2016). I would like to enhance my creativity and inclusiveness characteristics. I have a strong belief that equal both men and women possess skills and knowledge that can be used in improving the service delivery in the healthcare field. Therefore, I will include both male and female staffs in my team and have brainstorming sessions for creative ideas.
My leadership characteristics will help me build and maintain collaborative relationships across and within different disciplines since I will interact with patients from diverse backgrounds. Further, my team will include nurses from different cultures and backgrounds. A leader is one that is willing to constantly learn and maintain an open mind in the decision-making process. In the past, I have had to interact with a patient who was a professor at the university. The professor was knowledgeable in different areas. I initiated conversations with the patient which made me gain knowledge on various topics including life, education, family, death, amongst others. One of the strategies that can be employed to help improve outcomes in the healthcare field is striking conversations with patients that are feeling uneasy about opening up. The conversations calm patients and make them feel comfortable to talk about their health. I would like to enhance my communication skills and honesty characteristics. This will enhance my interaction with patients and nurses, as well as encourage team members to confide in me.
Ethical Leadership and Communication with Diverse Audiences
Professional ethics in the healthcare field necessitates practitioners to remain professional in the relationships maintained amongst nurses and with patients (de Zulueta, 2016). As a leader, I will ensure that personal relationships do not cloud my judgment and that team members can rely on my ability to come up with an objective decision. Therefore, no nurse will receive preferential treatment or consideration when assigning duties and I will encourage equality among all team members. Diversity and inclusion are important in the way employees relate as they consider themselves equal to the leader's perceptions (Lee & Royo-Bordonada, 2015). For instance, when delegating duties, non-factor issues like age, gender, creed, religion, culture, or belief will not be considered. Members of a team will be selected based on their abilities and competencies in different areas.
The democratic leadership inclusion and fairness characteristic prepare an individual to lead a diverse team and serve in a dynamic communication within an ethical framework by considering all people important in the decision-making process (Kupo, 2014). A leader understands that people are different which makes working in a team interesting. This is because a diverse team allows people to learn the character and perception of others who are different from them, which encourages participation and open communication. Each employee in a diverse team is considered equal to the others.
On the other hand, a leader factors in that a healthcare facility attracts people from different backgrounds, meaning that audiences and recipients of information are not the same. They deserve quality information that is easy to understand. Communication with patients is encouraged so that nurses can understand the best approach to handle their needs. For instance, the approach used to handle adult patients is different from that used to address patients. Both audiences have diverse needs, which justifies the need to adopt unique communication strategies.
Research Skills and Critical Thinking
The healthcare industry requires practitioners to continue learning and reading extensively so that they can adjust to the changing dynamics in the world. New information is released daily and juniors, as well as leaders, need to keep up with trends taking place in the healthcare field (Lee & Royo-Bordonada, 2015). Therefore, research skills and critical thinking become a necessity for practitioners. This ensures that a person is in the know about the latest developments and new drugs that can cure diseases in a simpler and faster way. Research skills enable an individual to collect data from different sources and come up with a report on a subject, while critical thinking ensures that a researcher picks relevant and useful information from the diverse areas. In conclusion, a democratic leader provides an enabling environment for juniors to become proficient and efficient in their respective duties. The leader encourages employees to engage each other and come up with creative ideas that can be adopted in the decision-making process.
Dartey-Baah, K. (2015). Resilient leadership: A transformational-transactional leadership mix. Journal of Global Responsibility, 6(1), 99-112.
de Zulueta, P. C. (2016). Developing compassionate leadership in health care: an integrative review. Journal of healthcare leadership, 8, 1.
Kupo, V. L. (2014). Becoming a scholarpractitioner in student affairs. New directions for student services, 2014(147), 89-98.
Lee, L. M., & Royo-Bordonada, M. A. (2015). Continuing the conversation about public health ethics: education for public health professionals in Europe.
Manning, G. (2012). The art of leadership. Tata McGraw-Hill Education.
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