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Strategic Analysis and Leadership Interventions, Coursework Example

Pages: 7

Words: 2021

Coursework

Introduction

The principles of nursing leadership require an effective understanding of specific models that have a positive impact on practice objectives. Conflicts in the nursing environment often play a role in expanding nursing outcomes and providing high quality patient care. However, nurse leaders must possess the appropriate demeanor and characteristics that will coincide with other personalities in the workplace setting. When this is not the case, conflicts are likely to arise that are difficult to manage and may contribute to poor outcomes and performance. Conflict resolution is an important means of identifying and managing conflicts in the nursing workplace that may interfere with quality patient care and treatment. From a leadership point of view, a productive and positive work environment is the primary objective; therefore, it is expected that nurse conflicts must be resolved in a timely and efficient manner so as not to disrupt workplace dynamics. The following discussion will address conflict resolution for nurses in greater detail and will emphasize the importance of nurse leaders in addressing conflicts in a timely manner to ensure that resolution strategies are appropriate and effective in mending fences in nursing work environments.

Shared Governance Model

For a prior assignment, a nursing conflict was described where a nurse manager was ineffective in her role in a diverse work environment. She was unable to exercise conflict resolution strategies in her workplace and was a poor fit for the nursing unit. Nurse leaders must exemplify such characteristics as moral courage in resolving conflicts effectively (Edmonson, 2010). Moral courage supports conflict resolution because it provides nurse leaders with a platform to make ethically responsible decisions in resolving conflicts that will have the best possible impact on nurses and patients (Edmonson, 2010). Furthermore, nurse leaders must support a healthy workplace environment because this will engage nurses and minimize conflicts through open communication and collaboration on a regular basis (Sherman and Pross, 2010). Important contributors to this process may include training, education, mentoring, and ongoing development so that nurses recognize their value in the workplace so that conflicts are minimized (Sherman and Pross, 2010).

A model of shared governance must be considered as an opportunity to convey the importance of nursing practice objectives that demonstrate collaboration and cultural diversity in different forms in order to achieve successful practice objectives (Wilson, 2013). In this capacity, nurses represent an opportunity to convey the importance of shared ideas and decision-making in enabling nurses to experience a greater sense of accomplishment and comfort in the workplace environment, thereby leading to greater productivity and success in all areas of nursing practice (Wilson, 2013). Shared governance supports the ongoing development of new approaches in order to ensure that patient outcomes are met and that nurses achieve satisfactory results in the workplace setting that will have a positive impact on their patients (Wilson, 2013). These accomplishments are essential to the delivery of high quality patient care and treatment in the workplace setting at all times (Wilson, 2013).

Participatory Management Model

Leaders who demonstrate effective approaches must recognize their skills and strengths in order to accomplish the desired objectives. Therefore, it is important for nurse leaders to communicate and to be present and active when conflicts arise so that the conflict is managed as quickly as possible (Sportsman and Hamilton, 2007). These efforts require nurses to develop a conflict management style that will be effective in addressing problems in a timely manner and without unnecessary delays (Sportsman and Hamilton, 2007). A participatory management style represents “mutual influence and collaborative interaction” in the workplace setting that encourages nurses to be successful communicators and to consider their roles in shaping effective patient outcomes through collaborative contributions to enhance quality of care (Frohlich, 2001).  In this context, there are considerable efforts that must be made in order to accomplish the primary objectives of patient care and to demonstrate the overall importance of collaborative models to ensure that practice approaches are consistent and appropriate at all times (Frohlich, 2001). These contributions include active participation in a variety of areas, including research-based and direct care approaches that will satisfy the needs of patients in an effective manner (Frohlich, 2001). Nurses collaborating in this manner will be provided with a framework for successful outcomes and a means of exploring new insights in order to ensure that their patients are protected from unnecessary risk or harm (Frohlich, 2001).

Nurse Leader Interventions

Regardless of the circumstances, nursing conflicts cannot remain untouched and should not continue for lengthy periods of time (Cardillo, 2011). Therefore, a number of interventions are possible and may support conflict resolution in a positive and productive manner (Cardillo, 2011). For example, it is important to identify common ground that will support a compromise of different positions in order to agree upon a mutually beneficial resolution (Cardillo, 2011). This approach will support the development of new perspectives regarding an issue in order to resolve the conflict without significant complications and/or repercussions (Cardillo, 2011).

Another option to consider is to recognize where the potential exists to experience problems with an individual who wants to cause conflicts in the workplace (Cardillo, 2011). This is not uncommon when employees are dissatisfied with their work environments or experience any type of negative feelings toward a specific individual or situation (Cardillo, 2011). Therefore, the root of the problem must be addressed and disciplinary action must be taken by the nurse leader as necessary to prevent additional concerns (Cardillo, 2011).

Since conflicts are common, it is important not to waste valuable time and energy on situations that will never have a clear resolution, as this is non-productive and does not provide any real sense of accomplishment (Cardillo, 2011). In addition, there may be no opportunity for compromise, so other options should be explored where real benefits are likely to occur that will improve nursing practice and productivity (Cardillo, 2011).

When conflicts are serious, it may be necessary to establish an intervention through mediation, whereby an outsider must become involved so that the conflict does not erupt into a catastrophe that cannot be resolved (Cardillo, 2011). The mediation process is likely to enhance the resolution of the conflict by examining both arguments and in determining the resolution that is most feasible (Cardillo, 2011). These contributions will enable the conflict to be managed more effectively in a manner that will enhance the workplace rather than detract from real progress and productivity (Cardillo, 2011).

Nursing conflicts are often best managed when communication is open, honest, and productive on many levels, as this allows individual nurses to engage and to recognize the value of communication as a positive driving force in conflict resolution (The American Nurse, 2013). According to the text, “poor communication is often at the heart of conflict…And that puts patients at risk, teamwork at risk, and joy at risk” (The American Nurse, 2013). Therefore, in order for the conflict to be resolved in a timely and efficient manner, it becomes necessary to establish a protocol for resolution that will address disagreements and other points of contention with the appropriate tools that will support positive working relationships between nurses (The American Nurse, 2013).

Another strategy to consider is to think about what to say before it is actually said (Leary, 2008). At one time or another, nurses make a poor decision and make a statement out loud that may contribute to one or more conflicts that could have been prevented if the nurse had thought ahead (Leary, 2008). This is a common yet preventable phenomenon that requires patience in order to prevent nurses from making mistakes or causing preventable problems (Leary, 2008). Therefore, thinking before saying or doing is essential in preventing conflicts or minimizing the consequences of these conflicts as best as possible (Leary, 2008).

It is also important to recognize that some conflicts might be beneficial in that they promote change and progress in the workplace setting when they do not get out of hand (Leary, 2008). These efforts demonstrate the importance of conflict management as related to productive arguments, many of which exist to start conversations and to address problems that have been largely ignored to date (Leary, 2008). This type of intervention may produce positive results when the conflict is initiated with the best interests of the entire team in mind (Leary, 2008). In these cases, nurse managers must recognize their roles and direct these conflicts in a manner that will achieve the desired results without adding additional problems to the mix (Leary, 2008).

Some conflicts may erupt without a clear reason, but the potential exists that the real reason behind the conflict remains hidden (Leary, 2008). Therefore, it is necessary for nurse leaders to examine these challenges and to redirect these conversations in such a way that the real problems are addressed and are no longer ignored (Leary, 2008). This will improve the potential for conflict resolution of the initiating conflict as well as the real underlying conflict that exists (Leary, 2008).

Finally, from a conflict management perspective, nurse leaders must recognize the issues that are important to nurses and the conflicts that may arise when these conflicts are brought to the surface (Leary, 2008). This type of behavior demonstrates that nurse leaders recognize the issues that are important to their staff members and to address these concerns carefully and thoughtfully so as not to cause significant harm to the team dynamic (Leary, 2008). These efforts will play an important role in shaping positive outcomes and in determining how to address conflicts in a productive manner that supports long-term success and achievement in the nursing environment (Leary, 2008).

Conclusion

The challenges of nursing conflict resolution requires effective and experienced leadership at the helm in order to accomplish the desired objectives of the entire nursing team in all areas, including patient care. When conflicts exist, there is a greater potential to experience challenges and other problems that may interfere with successful outcomes and productivity. Therefore, it is essential to employ conflict resolution styles that will enhance the nursing unit and promote its success over the long term. A number of different conflict management styles are available; however, not all styles fit all situations. Therefore, nurse leaders must demonstrate flexibility and strength in their ability to manage conflicts as they arise. Typical leadership styles include transformational and democratic as a means of resolving conflicts and other matters of importance. From a nurse leadership perspective, it is more important than ever to address the conflict directly and to consider the issues that may arise between the parties as the conflict continues. These steps will enable the nurse leader to consider the appropriate resolution methods and to develop solutions that will be mutually beneficial to all parties that are involved in the conflict itself. In the example provided, an inappropriate management style was a significant reason why the manager was not successful in her position; therefore, the style that is best suited to the nurses within the unit must be implemented.

References

The American Nurse (2013). The art of engagement: nurses, ANA work to address conflict. Retrieved from http://www.theamericannurse.org/index.php/2011/09/30/the-art-of-engagement/

Cardillo, D. (2011). Seven strategies for managing conflict. Retrieved from http://news.nurse.com/article/20111128/DD01/311290003#.UnrclOKihjs

Edmonson, C. (2010). Moral courage and the nurse leader. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 15(3), retrieved from http://gm6.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/Vol152010/No3-Sept-2010/Moral-Courage-for-Nurse-Leaders.aspx

Frohlich, J.A. (2001). A model to manage community participation in clinical health research. University of Johannesburg, retrieved from http://ujdigispace.uj.ac.za/handle/10210/4182

Iglesias, MEL, and de Bengoa Vallejo, R. (2012). Conflict resolution styles in the nursing profession. Contemporary Nurse, 43(1), 73-80.

Kelloway, E.K., Turner, N., Barling, J., and Loughlin, C. (2012). Transformational leadership and employee psychological well-being: The mediating role of employee trust in leadership. Work & Stress: An International Journal of Work, Health &Organizations, 26(1), 39-55.

Leary, A. (2008). Conflict resolution. Retrieved from http://www.faculty.umb.edu/pjt/692-08AL.pdf

Sherman, R., and Pross, E. (2010). Growing future nurse leaders to build and sustain healthy work environments at the unit level. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 15(1), retrieved from http://gm6.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/Vol152010/No1Jan2010/Growing-Nurse-Leaders.aspx

Sportsman, S., and Hamilton, P. (2007). Conflict management styles in the health professions. Journal of Professional Nursing, 23(3), 157-166.

Walter, F., and Bruch, H. (2010). Structural impacts on the occurrence and effectiveness of transformational leadership: an empirical study at the organizational level of analysis. The Leadership Quarterly, 21(5), 765-782.

Wilson, E.M. (2013). Evaluating shared governance for nursing excellence. University of Nevada, Las Vegas, retrieved from http://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/thesesdissertations/1909/

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