Effective communication is an integral part of an effective leader’s skills. For results to be realized, the leader must know how to effectively use communication to motivate and inspire. To improve communication skills as a visionary leader entails achieving a level of understanding others and being understood by others by using affirmative language whereby one talks what they believe in and not what they do not believe in. (Sahgal & Pathak, 2007).
A leader must communicate effectively on short term and long term goals to influence the mental focus of their followers. This acts to make them understand consequences of their actions. Active listening is integral for a leader. This technique helps one to hear and conceptualize the message and in turn make informed decisions. Communicating to boost confidence and improve self image of others makes a leader command respect and wield more influence (Sahgal & Pathak, 2007). This source teaches me that a leader must always focus on the positive.
A visionary leader makes fewer statements and instead asks more questions. This triggers active thinking in the listeners as well as influencing positive change. By always focusing on the future, a leader triggers conversations directed towards making future oriented decisions. A leader must always entrench objective thinking in his/her communication. This helps the followers discern facts from opinions. Communication from a leader must demonstrate decisiveness and firmness (Mind Tools, 2005). From this source I learn that clarity is integral in influencing others as it depicts a sure and convinced mind
Smart Goal 2: Reviewing Staffing Practices to Improve Staff Performance.
Nurse shortage is a concern that has existed for decades. The staff is overworked resulting in fatigue and compromised health care. This has been associated with poor medical services and high mortality rates. The staffing practices therefore require a review so as to improve staff performance. The shortage of nurses can be effectively addressed by increased recruitment and retention of nurses as well as capacity building for the staff (Flipovich, 1999). From this source, I learn that a satisfied employee translates into a satisfied client. Thus, it is important to boost staff performance through incentives.
The conventional model of raising the remuneration is not the only solution but should just be among the strategies. The staffing can also be improved by encouraging collaborative working between the aging nursing work force and the new recruits to allow exchange of skills. In addition to addressing staffing challenges, the provision of necessary facilities and favorable working environment would act to raise the morale of the workforce and result in better and improved results (America Nurses Association, n.d.). This source teaches a leader to be considerate of staff welfare to encourage improved performance.
Smart Goal 3: Skills That Relate To Strategic Planning/Management
Enhancing the nurses’ role in healthcare delivery through strategic management is integral to realizing comprehensive results. In order to make achievable strategic plans, the process of strategic management and/or planning should involve the entire organization and not only the top management, in this case, nurse managers only. The most important ingredient in strategic management is incorporating partnership, collaborations and inclusiveness as the core guiding principles (AONE, n.d). As a leader I learn that any staff member irrespective of position can effectively participate in decision making and contribute to finding workable solutions within the organization due to the direct contact he/she has with the immediate environment.
A more business-like management model involving the medical staff in the management process would greatly help in designing and delivering the most appropriate services as well as the sound management of available resources. Inculcating a change agenda within the nursing profession would help in a more integrative role of the nurses into the politics and ideologies of nursing to ensure any legislation and governing structures set up function in accordance with or in a supportive way to the realization of the ultimate goal of the profession; to save life (Crossan, 2003). I learn from this source that a leader must encourage the staff to be versatile so that they can contribute effectively in all areas pertaining their profession and environment.
Smart Goal 4: Skills of a Visionary/Transformational Leader.
Transformational leadership entails seeking opportunities for growth, innovation and general improvement of the environment. A transformative nurse leader makes proactive decisions when situations demand, divides roles accordingly such as staffing on the basis of training, capabilities and responsibilities (Mcguire & Kennerly, 2006). I learn that a leader must develop plans and working guidelines while incorporating expertise input and advice as well as sustaining strong credibility among clients and service providers.
The skills defining a transformative leader include communication of vision and goals clearly to give direction. The leader also collaborates objectively and listens to all parties keenly before taking any binding decision. As opposed to a transactional leader who directs, the transformative leader empowers his/ her teams to enable them achieve set goals. Building of relationships is a major skill required of transformative leaders (Bass, 1999). This source teaches me that a leader, while at the forefront, must provide stimulation to keep the team behind engaged and focused while performing all actions with integrity and quality.
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