The ability to manage people effectively and align their cooperation to attain a specific goal has always been appreciated in individuals. Leaders can alter the functioning of various units and promote positive change by their examples or using potent strategies. Today, the idea of leadership remains critically important as it helps to improve the work of various organizations and ensure all team members can cooperate in a way that simplifies the achievement of the existing goals. For the nursing sphere, this concept is also fundamental as the ability to act in complex situations and manage people helps to save lives and attain better treatment outcomes.
Leadership in Nursing
The contemporary nursing practice presupposes the provision of demanded care to all patients and improvement in the quality of their lives. However, because of the increased diversity of clients’ demands and increased sophistication of the sphere, the given task can be complicated. For this reason, leadership acquires the top priority as one of the tools to align better cooperation, resolve problems and conflicts, and motivate specialists to work together and achieve desired outcomes (Clarke & Dreher, 2017).
The critical role of this concept for practice also results in shifts in nurses’ preparation as much attention is given to leadership qualities, their cultivation, and improved understanding.
Under these conditions, leadership theory, as the set of knowledge on how to become a better leader in different environments, acquires the top priority for the nursing sphere. It focuses on traits, behaviors, and strategies people can adopt to enhance their capabilities, create the basis for cooperation, and avoid problematic issues or conflicts (Weberg et al., 2018).
Furthermore, because nursing involves interpersonal and interprofessional collaboration, the conflicts are an integral component of this setting, and the leader’s central function is to select strategies guaranteeing that such issues will help to move forward and avoid deterioration of atmosphere or motivation (Clarke & Dreher, 2017). In such a way, leadership theory is a fundamental component of modern nursing practice.
As stated previously, conflicts are common in the healthcare setting as it presupposes cooperation between numerous people, including patients and workers. Under these conditions, dealing with problematic issues and problems becomes one of the most important topics for this area. From the leadership perspective, resolution of disputes, problematic situations, or conflicts involves finding a solution satisfactory for all involved parties and leading to the end of disagreement (Furlong & Moore, 2020).
Moreover, it is vital to guarantee that this situation will create the basis for future improvement and help to avoid the repetition of similar cases in the future (Furlong & Moore, 2020). It means that leaders should act as moderators and supervisors, monitoring relations between parties and ensuring there is no critical harm done by the conflict.
For nursing practice, effective conflict resolution practices are fundamental and should be continuously improved. For instance, communicating with others or being a part of an interprofessional team, a specialist might experience differences in views and perspectives on a particular problem. The existence of multiple opinions on the same issue is vital for the nursing sphere as it helps to discuss all existing options and select the most effective and sufficient one (Kristiansen et al., 2016).
However, a leader’s central task is to ensure that such disputes and discussions will not transform into a conflict resulting in the impossibility to continue cooperation and deteriorating the quality of care provided to a patient (Furlong & Moore, 2020). In such a way, leadership becomes a framework for better cooperation and problem-solving vital for nursing practice.
Conflicts might also be associated with the delegation of tasks and responsibilities distribution. For healthcare, the ability to perform specific roles and accept specific patterns of cooperation is vital as it serves as the guarantee that patients will be provided with appropriate, sufficient, and professional care (Furlong & Moore, 2020). Furthermore, in interprofessional teams, delegation becomes more complex as it presupposes consideration of knowledge and experiences certain specialists possess (Furlong & Moore, 2020).
That is why leaders should have an improved understanding of how such complex situations can be managed and what strategies can be employed to ensure that all specialists can do their best and contribute to the resolution of the case (Kristiansen et al., 2016). Their correct functioning becomes vital for outcomes and clients’ satisfaction.
The leadership theory offers several conflict resolution strategies applied to various situations to attain the desired outcomes. These include avoiding, compromising, collaborating, and accommodating as the central methods to resolve disputes between parties (Weberg et al., 2018). However, the avoiding approach is inapplicable for the modern nursing practice as it might result in the accumulation of adverse effects (Kristiansen et al., 2016).
For this reason, compromising, accommodating, and collaborating are viewed as the most potent conflict resolution strategies in nursing. They presuppose discussion of the problematic issue and outlining the plan of actions that can meet the interests of all parties (Weberg et al., 2018). Moreover, leaders should play a moderating role in providing possible options for discussion and compromise.
Importance for Nurses
Practical conflict resolution is significant for various nursing roles and spheres. For instance, the unit manager has multiple responsibilities and duties to ensure the stable work of a particular department. It means that he/she should monitor the work of numerous individuals and guarantee they are satisfied with the current working conditions or do not suffer from the unresolved conflict (Kristiansen et al., 2016). Problem resolution skills can help to discover any potential issues and consider the strategy that can be used to address the question and prevent the emergence of adverse effects. It will also ensure the stable work of the unit and its ability to achieve relevant tasks.
For bedside nurses, the ability to resolve conflicts and apply various leadership skills is also important. His/her responsibilities include the delivery of immediate and direct care to a patient, assessing the health status, and monitoring of current conditions (Weberg et al., 2018). These duties demand cooperation with a client and other team members, which can serve as the source of potential conflicts. That is why correctly realizing the existing strategies, a bedside nurse can ensure that the patient will be provided with the required treatment, and other health workers will engage in meaningful cooperation aimed at creating the continuing of care vital for recovery.
Finally, for a public health nurse, the enhanced understanding of leadership theory and conflict resolution skills is fundamental. This specialist is responsible for monitoring the health of communities and cooperation with people representing various social classes and groups (Weberg et al., 2018). Under these conditions, there is much space for conflict situations and problems that should be managed to avoid undesired outcomes.
A specialist with enhanced leadership skills will find the most applicable strategy and use it to prevent the further deterioration of the situation. In such a way, strategies for problem resolution are essential for nurses working in different spheres as they are a key for successful cooperation.
Conflict Resolution and My Practice
For my own nursing practice, conflict resolution is a critically important topic as it can make me a better leader and specialist. My future work presupposes cooperation with numerous people, including other specialists, colleagues, and clients. It is impossible to avoid conflicts completely as they are an integral part of the cooperation between people. However, possessing the enhanced vision of how issues can be resolved and used to create the basis for new achievements, I can become a better specialist and find my own place in various teams. For this reason, I am sure that this topic is fundamental for my nursing practice and future.
I think that the correct understanding of this topic’s importance also served as the stimulus for my personal and professional growth. Conflict resolution has always been one of my weaknesses because of the inability to understand other parties’ arguments and make a compromise. However, I also think that such skills are vital for becoming a good leader and the ability to work in teams. For this reason, I improved my understanding of conflict resolution strategies, how they can be applied to different settings, and the role of a leader in various problematic situations. I believe that such skills will help me in the future, and I continue working on their improvement.
Speaking about my career, I also believe that I have good opportunities. One of my main strengths is the ability to learn and acquire new skills. It is one of the central traits for a good leader and specialist, meaning the I can become a respected worker. At the same time, there are still many areas that should be improved, such as communication and interaction with other people. However, because I work hard to eliminate these problems, I am sure I will be able to eliminate existing limits and barriers and move forward to achieve new goals.
Top Leadership Qualities
Altogether, speaking bout leaders and leadership qualities, I think three central traits making a good nurse leader are knowledge, commitment, and motivation. A leader should possess extensive knowledge that can be applied to various situations. Moreover, he/she should be ready to help other people and offer a practical recommendation on how to solve a specific problem.
Commitment cultivates a better understanding of the importance of things they do and preserves the desire to help people, which is vital for the healthcare sector. Finally, motivation is a key aspect of high performance levels and positive outcomes. Leaders should be motivated and be ready to inspire other people to follow them and attain positive results. Only if a person has all these traits, he/she can become a good leader in the nursing sphere.
In conclusion, leadership remains one of the fundamental concepts of the modern world. Its role in the healthcare sector cannot be overestimated. Conflict resolution, as one of the central topics of leadership theory, helps to support the practical work of teams and units. The employment of specific strategies contributes to better cooperation between specialists and their ability to engage in various groups aimed at helping patients to recover. I also work on improving my conflict resolution skills as a way to become a better specialist and succeed in my future practice.
Clarke, P. N., & Dreher, M. (2017). Transitions and transformations in nursing leadership. Nursing Science Quarterly, 30(1), 34–37. Web.
Furlong, G., & Moore, C. (2020). The conflict resolution toolbox: Models and maps for analyzing, diagnosing, and resolving conflict. Wiley.
Kristiansen, M., Westeren, K. I., Obstfelder, A., & Lotherington, A. T. (2016). Coping with increased managerial tasks: tensions and dilemmas in nursing leadership. Journal of Research in Nursing, 21(7), 492–502. Web.
Weberg, D., Mangold, K., Porter-O’Grady, T., & Malloch, K. (2018). Leadership in nursing practice: Changing the landscape of health care (3rd ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.