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Leadership plays an important role in nursing. This essay will define leadership and how leadership qualities relate to nursing practice in order to help nurse leaders to work effectively with in nursing environment. Furthermore, the will discuss how the key characteristics influence followers to work commonly in a group for a specific goal. Moreover, these qualities help them to
Leadership is defined as personal skills which can be helpful to influence other people to the leadership benefits. It can effectively take the people in the same direction, sharing the same goals. (Lansdale, 2003). In this way, the important task of a leader is to make an action plan and encourage the team members to achieve the negotiated goals. Leadership is a major concern to the health care system. Its style is based on personal, professional and organisational value system because leaders provide shape to clinical practice with their qualities. Using their own skills leaders can easily address the needs of patients and colleagues. Leadership reflects the values of people, organizations and societies in which the leaders are working. In order to work effectively and to avoid the risk of conflict, the leaders always need to become acquainted with the values and beliefs of the individuals and organisation with whom they are working. (Stanley, 2008).
Moreover, a leader uses interpersonal skills and specific behaviour for the purpose of effectiveness within profession. Because of this, the quality of leaders has a crucial role in influencing others. These qualities give them authority to work and develop their strategies effectively. (Daly, Speedy, Jackson, 2010). There are ten essential qualities which influence the work of a leader in a professional environment. First of all, a leader must have integrity which means leader should be honest and trustworthy. As, these key values are necessary to promoting a positive attitude and better performance in staff and colleagues. All staff expects these mandatory requirements from a leader. Besides this, courage to take a leadership risk is crucial to attain excellence. It is the ability to confront risk without fear which is sometimes necessary to get success. A leader may have good ideas and strategies in mind but they can not be effective without any action. This is called initiating which is the first step that needs to be taken in order to get the things done successfully. As it is hard task to do, wise use of energy and effort and an optimistic attitude are needed to give role satisfaction in leadership. Along with this, it is very common that rapid success of other colleagues discourage someone easily but positive thinking helps to keep up leaders and their co workers to resolve difficulties. This also ledââ‚¬â„¢s to remotivation in staff members. Effective leaders never quit easily, instead, they continuously use their efforts for work. (Tappen, Weiss & Whitehead, 2004).
Balance is another characteristic of leaders. It is essential to make an equal balance between personal and professional life. Paying attention towards the working environment needs to be balanced with attention shown to family and friends, because social activities are as important as professional. The most effective leaders easily balance between work and leisure time. Regardless, there are some stresses in almost every job which puts on work pressure and causes stressful life. In such conditions, leaders should think positively to address the issues and they should act as a role model for others in order to bring about possible solution. (Tappen, Weiss &Whitehead, 2004)
Self awareness is a most valuable key quality that is essential to motivate other people, because people who can not understand themselves they can not change others. In addition of these, according to International Council of Nursing (Sally, 2007) there are some more key elements that could be helpful for leaders. They should have a vision which could be a dream and it helps them to think strategically and differently from the daily schedule. Along with this, awareness about external environment is also crucial because it might affect the organization, its strategies and future planning. Having, confidence about the work one is doing also count a lot, because it helps to influence others. Knowledge related to political skills is another key value for leaders as it teaches them how to cope with conflicts and how to understand goals, values, expectations and behaviour of others. It is also significant to review all strategies to make any change according to the demand of time. Thereafter team work, partnership & alliances and effective communication teach them how to work with others to achieve common goals and how it helps them to share new ideas and information with others. (Sally, 2007)
All these characteristics of leaders play a vital role in nursing practice. They influence and shape the clinical practice. During clinical practice, leaders confront many challenges. To figure them out successfully, they implement strategies which lead out as the result of critical thinking &discussion to improve patient care and outcomes. (Daly et al 2006). Nursing leader always faced challenge to think creatively about the development of critical thinking. This has a powerful impact on the problem solving and decision making. Working as a leader always requires continuous development of skills and regular improvement in them.
In nursing, nursesââ‚¬â„¢ leaders confront many different team workers. To work efficiently nurse leaders must create an environment of trust among their followers. This leads to the involvement of co workers in planning and decision making on issues that will affect them directly or indirectly. Sometimes to get success, leaders have to take risk without any fear. Courage helps them to make some crucial decision strongly, which may be stressful and have to be made while under pressure. It also enables them to have confidence about making judgements. According to Kanter in ICN Nursing Leadership (Sally, 2007) it is the expectation of success which provides a link in between someoneââ‚¬â„¢s ideas and performance.
Leaders should have knowledge about interpersonal skills. This means they can motivate or generate others toward shared goals with positive attitudes. To achieve this, nurse leader take initiative steps. Nurse leaders encourage team to work effectively with a range of different people at different levels so that they can feel supported. This will result improvement in health care settings. Along with this, nurse leaders develop new roles and skills regarding any changes and challenges in health organization because all these will result in quality care, efficiency and improvement in equity of access, especially for needy populations. Because nursing provides essential health care services, leaders should alert staff about any changes in policy.
A key quality of leader is to transmit their passion about the future to others. A vision for nursing means what would be the ideas of the leader for organization to happen within a specific period of time. Then to get there, all major programmes, projects and activities are planned strategically to turn toward the same vision. The external environment might affect it. For this purpose external awareness related to health trends, issues, new policies and other factors is necessary. SWOT (strength, weaknesses,) and environment scanning helps them to review the whole situation and creates more opportunities. Regardless, political skill is needed to understand, from all stakeholders and to cope with conflicting situations, values, fears and behaviour of different people. It also means being able to plan creative, proactive and appropriate strategies for various situations. Effective communication means one can easily understand someoneââ‚¬â„¢s language. It is crucial for work safely and to give commands to followers. (Sally, 2007)
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