Transformational Leadership - Being a Likeable Nurse Leader
Published: 13 January 2018
Published: 13 January 2018
You'd be surprised to learn that only a small percentage - just 12.5% - of nurses and midwives actually strive for leadership roles, according to research by Tyczkowski et al. (2015).
The paper, published in the Nursing Administration Quarterly, highlights stress and poor support as key reasons for the lack of attraction towards nurse leadership.
Being a genuinely 'likeable' person would be a surefire way to improve the support received from team members and colleagues.
But, how does one become more 'likeable'’?
Transformational leaders (Spahr 2015) have gained attention in recent years for leading in a way that truly inspires teams and helps to 'transform' certain workplace cultures.
This type of leader is said to have the following skills and traits:
(Mind Tools Content Team 2018; Spahr 2015)
Spahr (2015) explains that transformational leaders are particularly excellent resources for ‘outdated’ organisations that desire or require remodelling.
Obviously, this kind of leader may not be best suited to more transactional, controlled or bureaucratic systems that are more inflexible (Spahr 2015). It appears that in order to be ‘likeable’, you need to be the right type of leader in the right situation or context.
Consider the qualities of transformational leaders as listed above.
Now, according to the findings of Anonsen et al.'s (2013) qualitative study on what makes a nurse leader 'exemplary', they must display:
If we look at the list of transformational leader traits above, we can clearly see that most traits, if not all, can be categorised under each of Anonsen et al.'s findings of what makes an exemplary leader.
(Mind Tools Content Team 2018)
Tyczkowski et al. (2015) acknowledge that in order to be an effective leader or manager, it is also important to be resilient. As such, it is crucial to possess stress-management skills and high emotional intelligence.
Montalvo (2015) recognise that successful nurse leaders also need to have political skills. This is due to the need to manage organisational politics, complete performance evaluations, network, cope with stress and achieve interpersonal relationships.
Witges and Scanlan (2014) express that leadership is imperative for nurse managers, as it can improve staff performance and client care.
Of course, being likeable is not the only goal of a nurse leader. Some people may even argue that in order to be an effective nurse leader or nurse manager, it is not absolutely essential to be likeable.
Likewise, some people may argue that in order to be an effective leader or manager, sometimes you may need to act in a way that is not likeable at times.
Madeline Gilkes, CDE, RN, is a Fellow of the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine. She focused her Master of Healthcare Leadership research project on health coaching for long-term weight loss in obese adults. Madeline has found a passion for preventative nursing. She has transitioned from leadership roles (CNS Gerontology & Education, Clinical Facilitator) in the acute/hospital setting to education management and primary healthcare. Madeline’s vision is to implement lifestyle medicine to prevent and treat chronic conditions. Her research proposal for her PhD involves Lifestyle Medicine for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Madeline is a Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE) and primarily works in the academic role of Head of Nursing. Madeline’s philosophy focuses on using humanistic management, adult learning theories/evidence and self-efficacy theories and interventions to promote positive learning environments. In addition to her Master of Healthcare Leadership, Madeline has a Graduate Certificate in Diabetes Education & Management, Graduate Certificate in Adult & Vocational Education, Graduate Certificate of Aged Care Nursing, and a Bachelor of Nursing. She is working towards her PhD. See Educator Profile