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Strength-Based Leadership in Nursing Management

Strength-based Leadership

I believe that my communication skills and a general sense of emotional stability are two of my greatest strengths. My communication skills are linked to my ability to listen and speak well with my colleagues and patients. They have also been instrumental in helping me to assess patients’ feedback and solve problems. Emotional stability refers to my tolerance for adverse situations, both at work and at home. Over the years, this strength has been the driving force in my career.

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Benefits of Strengths to Role as a Nurse Leader-Manager

Emotional stability and good communication skills would be beneficial to my role as a nursing manager because they would help to improve the service delivery and quality of care standards in the healthcare setting. For example, effective communication skills could be instrumental in understanding the needs of patients better than if they were not used at all. Particularly, this skill would be useful in improving nursing care because Cooper and Cottrell (2010) say that successful healthcare practitioners should anticipate patients’ needs and advocate for the same. As Buckingham (2011) suggests, the process should start by nurses identifying their key strengths and tapping into them.

Emotional stability is another strength that I could use in my practice to improve patients’ safety and care. It enables healthcare staff to manage stressful situations and improve teamwork by improving group cohesion in the workplace (Cooper & Cottrell, 2010). Broadly, this skill is essential to my practice because it could allow me to better manage stressful situations and draw strengths from positive events in the same field.

How to Apply Leadership Strengths in the Healthcare Organization

One strategy that I could use to apply my strengths in the healthcare setting is mentorship. Through such a program, I could impart my skills to interns or colleagues who may want to learn the same. The learning process may happen through observation or direct training, as suggested by Hunt (2015) and Al-Sawai (2013) in their assessment of leadership qualities in the healthcare setting.

Another strategy I could use to impart my leadership styles in the healthcare setting is through followership programs. As a nurse leader or manager, applying my leadership skills through such a platform could be fruitful because it often works well when the healthcare environment is defined by interactions between people of authority and their subordinates (Hunt, 2015). Since a nurse leader is a figure of authority in the healthcare setting, a followership program would allow the subordinates to learn about my leadership strengths in the organization.

Using Emotional Intelligence and Appreciative Inquiry to Promote Quality

Cultural insensitivity is a major issue in the healthcare setting. The problem is characterized by the failure of health care service professionals to recognize differences among groups of patients (Murcia & Lopez, 2016). These differences could emerge from social, cultural or ethnic disparities in the society, including age, social class, language, religion and family structure (just to mention a few). Consequently, many healthcare organizations are struggling to provide culturally competent care because as Murcia and Lopez (2016) say, today’s society is characterized by cultural multiplicity. Therefore, healthcare service providers need to not only cope with existing inequalities that may emerge from such a setting but also overcome individual limitations that would prevent them from creating a culturally-competent healthcare environment.

Emotional intelligence is one strategy that could be used to create such an environment. Sadri (2012) defines it as “the capacity to reason about emotions, and of emotions to enhance thinking” (p. 536). As a nurse manager, I could use emotional intelligence to improve the cultural sensitivity of nurses by teaching them how to perceive emotions accurately and to improve nurse-patient interactions in the same way. This tool could also be used to access and generate thought-provoking emotions. Consequently, it would be possible to understand emotional knowledge concerning different social and cultural dynamics of the patients.

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In the same manner, healthcare services could be tailored to appeal to the same cultural dynamism. At the center of this strategy will be a constant appeal (from me as the nurse manager) for all employees to learn how to regulate their emotions (reflectively) to promote their emotional and intellectual growth. Broadly, the role of emotional intelligence in streamlining the healthcare sector to provide culturally competent care has been highlighted by studies, such as that of Reilly and Karounos (2013), which demonstrate that emotional intelligence is ranked higher than technical skills in helping professionals to develop social skills that are needed in creating a culturally-competent workplace environment.

The appreciative inquiry would also contribute towards the creation of a sound and culturally sensitive healthcare environment for patients. As a nurse manager, I would use it to help healthcare service professionals to view their work through an appreciative or valuing eye. Notably, this transformational change methodology could make them more aware of how they use language, how they ask questions, and how they interact with their patients (Copperrider & Godwin, 2010). Here, the lesson to be learned will be that these elements of appreciative inquiry could shape their identities and those of the organization.

References

Al-Sawai, A. (2013). Leadership of healthcare professionals: Where do we stand? Oman Medical Journal, 28(4), 285-287. Web.

Buckingham, M. (2011). Strong leadership. Leadership Excellence, 28(1), 5.

Cooper, H., & Cottrell, R. R. (2010). Charting your career path through clear professional values and purpose. Health Promotion Practice, 11(1), 13-15.

Copperrider, D. L., & Godwin, L. N. (2010). Positive organization development: Innovation-inspired change in an economy and ecology of strengths. Web.

Murcia, S. E. A., & Lopez, L. (2016). The experience of nurses in care for culturally diverse families: A qualitative meta-synthesis. Revista Latino-Americana de Enfermagem, 24, 18-27. Web.

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Hunt, J. (2015). Strategies health care leaders use for leadership development. Web.

Reilly, A. H., & Karounos, T. J. (2013). Exploring the link between emotional intelligence and cross-cultural leadership effectiveness. Web.

Sadri, G. (2012). Emotional intelligence and leadership development. Public Personnel Management, 41(3), 535-548.

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