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Leader and manager are terms that are frequently used interchangeably, but they are not the same. One thing to remember is that not every manager is a good leader, and not everyone who shows leadership is a manager. While a manager has an assigned position in a company's chain of command and has the authority to make decisions and control some processes, a leader does not always have recognized authority in the company, and the power a leader possesses stems from the ability to influence others through both interpersonal and communication skills (Giltinane, 2013). A manager is expected to perform specified tasks. Managing entails establishing control, and dealing with predictability and complexity, while leadership involves promoting and coping with change and compliance. Leaders establish the direction for success, but on the other hand, managers strategize and budget. Management roles include organizing and staffing, while leaders support people. Managers control, solve problems and devise effective actions. Leaders motivate, inspire people and follow through with meaningful actions. Leaders rely on persuasion as well as on influence, but not on control (Doroteo-Espinosa, 2013).
Concepts of Leadership, Management and Communication That Facilitate Effective Interdisciplinary Team Work
There are key nursing leadership, management and communication concepts that are needed to facilitate collaboration and support inter-professional teams. It is worth noting that strong management and leadership is very critical in realizing the vision of a healthcare system. A nurse manager also needs leadership skills and competencies to be at a position of acting in full partnership with other health professionals. Leaders do not exhibit similar leadership traits. The style of leadership has an impact on the entire unit including the morale of the employees and can ultimately affect the quality of care given to patients. The three common leadership styles include authoritarian or autocratic, participative or democratic and laissez-faire or free rein and many leaders identify with one of them. Being a complete partner surpasses every level of the nursing profession and needs leadership skills as well as competencies that should be applied in the profession and in collaboration with other health professional. Leaders need to exhibit qualities of leadership like interpersonal skills, flexibility, and have the ability to build trust and mentor. It is also important to acknowledge transparency, which is necessary for accountability. Every new manager may require formal training in strategic and finance management and recognize the significance of ongoing professional growth for them to remain current. The managers should understand the role of different healthcare professionals in the hospital setting, and be knowledgeable of the scope of practice, and rules and laws governing every role. Since patient’s and staffs’ safety is paramount, a nurse manager needs to have excellent communication skills such as being a good listener to be at a position to work collaboratively with various disciplines. In general, for there to be an effective interdisciplinary teamwork, various concepts of leadership, management and communication must apply, which include constructive management and leadership attributes, communication structures and strategies, training and development, suitable skill mix, personal features that support interdisciplinary teamwork, understanding and respecting roles and supportive climate for teamwork. Therefore, a nurse manager leads with knowledge and confidence, while implementing practice that is based on evidence (Hauck, Winsett & Kuric, 2013).
My Personal Leadership and Communication Style
I believe that I am a democratic or a participative leader because I value relationships and often involve members of a team when creating important goals and in decision making (Giltinane, 2013). Usually, I encourage accountability as well as responsibility. The major strength of my style is that I involve team members in making decisions, although I have the final say. By allowing my followers participate in decision making, I believe that I foster a trust environment and depict that the opinions of team members are valued. However, facilitating participation is time consuming. I know that effective leadership needs knowing the manner in which to communicate with all organizational elements. Mostly I use both verbal and nonverbal communication styles. Since people mostly focus on the actions as well as nonverbal cues, I build more trust by matching my nonverbal cues to my words.
Skill Development: Areas for Future Professional Development
As a nurse manager, I know that it is my duty to ensure patient safety by supervising and collaborating with workers. I therefore, believe that I need to improve on management skills so that I am able to value stability and efficiency, and to become impersonal, risk averse and focus on results. I believe that I am more of a leader than a manager as I have the ability to challenge, communication skills, honesty and integrity and I can inspire. However, I do not have the ability to execute a vision, direct, establish work rules, processes and operating procedures. Although I understand some of the leadership, management and communication concepts, I believe that I need more development in strategies and structures of communication to be able to fully establish and maintain an effective interdisciplinary team work. Reflecting on my leadership and communication style has enabled me to realize that I am not good at adapting my communication style based on my audience, and this is an important area that I need to develop to be effective.
Doroteo-Espinosa, M. M. (2013). Management strategies and leadership styles of selected hospitals for effective clinical nursing supervision. Paper presented at the International Conference on Management, Leadership & Governance, Kidmore End, UK.
Giltinane, C. L. (2013). Leadership styles and theories. Nursing Standard, 27(41), 35–39.
Hauck, S., Winsett, R. P., & Kuric, J. (2013). Leadership facilitation strategies to establish evidence-based practice in an acute care hospital. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 69(3), 664–674.
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