Nursing is a rewarding, yet demanding, career that requires people to have strong leadership skills and think on their feet. However, that is not to say that every nurse must lead others in the same way. In this blog, Salem University explores the personality types and leadership styles the profession tends to attract and how these unique differences play out on the job. Do you recognize yourself in any of the descriptions below?
Nurses with this leadership quality are especially effective with motivating teams during times of stress or conflict. Whether the issue involves broken trust between co-workers, low morale, or team members showing frequent disrespect towards each other, affiliative nurse leaders have the relationship-building and conflict management skills to initiate noticeable change.
However, nurses with this leadership style should not have the task of managing overwhelming morale issues on their own. They do well as leaders, but also require the back-up and cooperation of others at their own level or higher.
This type of leader sets the rules and delegates duties to others with little tolerance for discussion or errors. Nurses with an authoritarian leadership style are highly structured and self-reliant individuals. They make decisions quickly without seeking input from others.
While you might think there is no room for this type of leadership in the nursing field, people with all personalities and styles of working shine in different situations. For example, an authoritarian nurse typically performs exceptionally well in emergencies and disaster management when people with other styles of leadership might freeze and not know what to do.
Nurses with a democratic leadership style enjoy collaborating with other staff members to make the best decisions for their patients. They welcome new nurses and are eager to share their knowledge to help younger professionals develop. Employees who work under a nurse who displays a democratic style of leadership tend to feel valued and put greater effort into doing a good job.
Nurses who thrive on collaboration need to be careful not to spend an excessive amount of time soliciting opinions when a decision requires prompt action. They also need to be careful not to let people with more forceful personalities monopolize the decision-making process, while quieter, more thoughtful staff members go unheard.
Nurses who operate under this style of leadership make few decisions on their own. They generally bring all decisions to the group and take a hands-off approach to creating solutions for on-the-job problems. Of all styles of nursing leadership, laissez-faire and authoritarian sit at opposite ends of the spectrum. This is not to say that a laissez-faire nurse leader will not be critical of staff when necessary. They simply prefer to allow the group to make its own decisions and only step in when an impasse occurs or there is simply too much conflict.
While the nurses under the direct supervision of a servant leader tend to their patients, people with this style of leadership take care of them. They observe other nurses in action and ask them what they need. Some top characteristics of a nurse with servant leadership qualities include:
- Ability to persuade others
- Active listener
- Community builders
- Inspires trust in others
- Strong conceptualization skills
- Strong situational awareness
Servant leader nurses often do well when brought into situations where they manage the work of diverse team members. These nurses seem to have the innate ability to anticipate needs and provide other nurses with the resources they need to serve patients and work cohesively as a unit.
Nurses with a transactional leadership style tend to offer rewards or negative consequences to team members based on how each one performs certain tasks. The top focus areas of transactional leadership include organization, leadership, supervision, and performance. Leaders who operate this way rely on the premise that applying either rewards or negative consequences to each employee’s actions inspires motivation. Staff will either do better the next time or perform at an even higher level to earn greater praise.
Transformational nurse leaders also appreciate a collaborative approach and seek to create a shared vision with their peers and those who report to them. They enjoy seeing positive change take place and inspire others to adopt the same mindset. People who work with nurses who have a transformational leadership style often use the following words to describe them:
- Secure in their own abilities
Because nurses with this leadership style are excited by change, they are more tolerant of errors than nurses with other leadership types because they view them as progress towards a larger goal. Team members who work under these nurse leaders tend to be engaged, productive, and fulfilled at work.
The demand for nurses with advanced credentials has never been higher, regardless of leadership style. Salem University invites you to request more information about our RN to BSN program today.