Leveraging Your Nursing Leadership Style

Leadership in nursing has been an increasingly relevant topic, as the industry has continued to rapidly change during unprecedented challenges.

Nurses stand to make a significant impact in these times of complex and urgent change. With an increased focus on leveraging nurse leadership, refining your nursing leadership style is particularly important as you grow your nursing career.

Nurses make up the largest segment of the healthcare workforce — and while most nurses approach their careers with patient care in mind, many will unexpectedly transition into leadership roles. While traditional leadership models often follow a one-size-fits-all approach, nurses who understand how to tailor specific styles and apply them in certain situations will find success through adaptability.

Building upon this logic, nurse leaders with a solid understanding of their own leadership style will be more successful in influencing their team/unit, ultimately driving better patient care. However, having a foundational understanding of the most common types of leadership styles is beneficial starting point. The most recognized five nursing leadership styles are:

  • Transformational
  • Democratic
  • Laissez-Faire
  • Autocratic
  • Servant

1. Transformational Nursing Leadership Style

Transformational leadership is a management style that motivates employees to take ownership for their roles and perform beyond expectations. Instead of assigning tasks from the top, transformational leadership teaches people how to think rather than just do what they are told. Sometimes called quiet leaders, they lead by example.

Pros of Transformational Leadership Style

Transformational leadership in nursing inspires and motivates employees to find better ways of achieving a goal, as these leaders excel at conflict resolution. They can mobilize people into groups that can get work done, raising the well-being, morale and motivation level of a group through excellent rapport.

Cons of Transformational Leadership Style

Transformational leadership in nursing may prove to be ineffective in initial stages of initiatives or ad-hoc situations. This type of leadership style requires an existing structure so that further development and growth can occur, meaning it’s not ideal for brand-new organizations.

2. Democratic Nursing Leadership Style

The democratic leadership style welcomes and encourages input and communication from the team when making decisions. Relationships are highly valued by this type of leader, and it’s important to them that their team feels comfortable and willing to voice concerns, opinions, and ideas. A democratic leader also sees value in providing feedback to their team, truly viewing communication as a two-way street.

Pros of Democratic Leadership Style

Democratic leadership in nursing can work well to ensure the team feels valued and comfortable speaking up. High reliability organizations value transparency and input from team members with the most expertise, not necessarily seniority or highest rank, making this type of leader beneficial in creating a culture that promotes input from the entire team.

Cons of Democratic Leadership Style

Democratic leadership style in nursing can be detrimental to the team when a rapid response is required. In an environment where adverse events and emergencies occur, time is of the essence, and democratic leaders unable to make quick decisions independently and without input from the team might struggle to succeed.

3. Laissez-Faire …read more

Read full article here: nurse.com