Transactional leadership: This form of leadership uses the reward or punishment system, and is good to use in critical situations as it ensures that projects are completed with a high level of accuracy.5
Transformational leadership: This form of leadership is “lead by example.” This type shows followers that the leader truly cares about them and the patients putting the organization's needs before the leaders.5
Democratic leadership: The leader gives everyone a voice in the decision-making process.5 Giving everyone a voice empowers the team to strive for excellence because they have a responsibility to carry out any decisions made by the team. The democratic leader has a close, one-on-one relationship with employees. Responsibility for achievement is felt by all and success is more likely to occur. Democratic leadership draws its strength from the team members who are valued for their views and opinions. By allowing team members to contribute innovative ideas, this leader hopes for mutual consensus in order to achieve the given targets. A leader who is democratically inclined would engage her staff in decision-making and allow them to carry out their work in an independent manner. The group helps do the planning and problem-solving. Both make decisions, but the “final responsibility” lies with the leader. Communication is directed down, up, and laterally. The responsibility for achievement is felt by all involved, and the leader has confidence in the group and delegates authority. This leader’s rapport with subordinates is high, and when dealing with change they adapt well. This approach is particularly useful when the course of action is unclear. Crisis management with the team approach is not as good as the autocratic leader.
Authoritarian leadership: The leader has complete control, giving the team orders to be followed. Staff members are often made an example of if they make a mistake and are punished in front of their peers. Issues are always assumed to be the fault of the individual staff member and never the system or process.5
Laissez-faire leadership: This approach can be used when the team is experienced and needs no leadership, or the leader tends to be passive. Independent thinking is promoted but it can stall the decision-making process and may result in a few changes made in the workplace.5
When Linda deals with less experienced staff, she is autocratic, and she gives more direction. She gives them one-sided instructions and closely monitors their work. She changes her leadership style according to the age and expertise of the staff member working under her supervision. Younger and less experienced staff members might benefit from close observation, attentive guidance, and productive feedback. Linda’s role as a Manager is complex and entails managing human, operational, and capital fiscal resources. She must also develop and promote staff development and educational opportunities; make sure the staff is practicing using the appropriate healthcare professional standards; and maintain compliance with regulatory agency requirements. She also has to maintain a safe environment for her patients, staff, visitors, and clients. Linda changes her leadership style according to the situation, the needs of the medical center, and the way her staff responds to her instructions.
Today, to meet the needs of constant change, nursing has moved towards a shared model of management which involves all nurses in decision-making. In this democratic style of leadership, nurse leaders encourage the staff to become actively involved in decision-making activities. Implementing the organization’s mission, vision, and values providing quality care in all departments is vital. Successful supervisors develop competencies as noted on this chart.
To be effective in the organization, supervisors need to be aware of these three principles.
- It is all about you, the supervisor. The effective supervisor is committed to his/her personal and professional development, enabling the supervisor to lead and assist others. Supervisors need to have integrity and deliver on commitments, they must be technically competent, they must understand the required tasks needed to accomplish a goal, and they must always be aware that they are a role model.
- It is all about them, the employee. The second principle the supervisor should remember is that it is all about those we lead. Employees have to be motivated to action by an energized supervisor. The supervisor can accomplish this by creating an environment that motivates the employee to go beyond the basics of what is expected. The supervisor should focus on helping people perform more effectively and efficiently, as well as helping them become more productive and advance in their careers. It also shows them that as a supervisor you respect and value them as people and as professionals.
- It is all about the organization. Supervisors are a part of the organization, but they are not the organization and as such must work with others to accomplish the organization’s short term and long term mission, vision, values, and goals. The effective supervisor is aware that he or she is an active member of the team and always works to better the team. Effective leaders have a forward-looking orientation and work to build the culture of their organization. The insecure leader wants their successor to fail. Any leader who fails to support an employee, for any reason, hurts the organization, therefore violating Principle Number Three. The essential three elements of this third principle are:
- Leader's intent- Where are we going and why?
- Culture and Values - What makes this place function effectively?
- Practice - Do we work to improve what we do?
The first step to a supervisor’s leadership effectiveness is to make a choice to be a leader. Then, focus on your employees and help them succeed. If the supervisor can accomplish those two goals, the organization can successfully advance.