Strength-based leadership is integral in improving organizational productivity because it focuses on leveraging employee strengths for organizational development (Kanefield, 2011). At the same time, it focuses on harnessing employee strengths to enhance workplace dynamics (Lussier & Hendon, 2016). My key strengths as a leader include patience and strategic thinking. These two attributes have been instrumental in helping me to accomplish my goals and to assisting others to reach their full potential. As a nursing manager, I would find these strengths to be useful in my work, particularly with regard to employee development, as is the case in the example below.
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In Orchard Health Center (a nursing home in Alabama), two patient care coordinators were involved in a “superiority contest” in the workplace. One of the employees was perceived to be a silent and passive aggressive worker, while the other was seen to be an extrovert with domineering and loud behaviors. Although they both held similar positions in the department, the extrovert often took charge of activities in the department to the detriment of the “silent” colleague, who was seen to be “weaker.” This perception irked the introvert because he felt that he was being undermined and overlooked by his subordinates because of his apparent lack of dominant behaviors.
As a nursing manager, I would use my strategic thinking ability to separate the two employees through clear role distinctions. In the intervention, each employee would have to carry out separate duties from the other in a manner that both of them would enjoy full control of their operational processes, as suggested by Manion (2011). More importantly, I would make sure that their duties and roles do not overlap because each of them has a different approach to accomplishing their goals. Although Tyra (2008) cautions that this strategy would not yield positive results immediately, I would use my patience as a leader to allow each of the nurses to acclimate to their new positions and learn to work together, as opposed to undermining one another, based on personality differences.
Lastly, since one of the employees is an introvert and the other is an extrovert, I would use their different sets of strengths to assign them duties that align with their personality types, as recommended by Lussier and Hendon (2016). For example, I would assign people-centered duties to the extrovert and allow the introvert to work on duties that require creativity and intense preparation. This way, their personality types would complement one another and the conflict between them would be resolved.
Kanefield, A. (2011). Know your own strength. Smart Business St. Louis, 4(2), 6.
Lussier, R.N., & Hendon, J.R. (2016). Human resource management: Functions, applications, & skill development (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Manion, J. (2011). From management to leadership: Strategies for transforming health care (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
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Tyra, S. (2008). Coaching nurses: A real example of a real difference. Creative Nursing, 14(3), 111-115.