Discussion: Strengths-Based Leadership
The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already.
It can be demoralizing when managers focus primarily on the deficiencies of employees, yet it can sometimes be difficult to see beyond the negatives. Strengths-based leadership is a management approach that not only recognizes an individual’s strengths, but also draws upon these strengths to enhance the dynamics of the workplace. Strengths-based leadership can be applied to employees performing at their personal best or to those who may need redirection. In addition, the principles of strengths-based leadership can be carried over to managers themselves. When nurse managers are aware of their own strengths, they can better leverage them to effectively manage difficult situations.
Review the article “Know Your Own Strength.” How can strengths-based leadership improve the skills and attitudes of employees?
Reflect on your own personal and professional leadership strengths. Consider how you might use these strengths to manage staff members who seem to be disengaged or problematic. In addition, determine how you might use these strengths to resolve difficult situations between employees.
Recall a time when you either observed a disengaged or problematic employee(s) at work or observed a difficult or conflict situation between employees.
Imagine that you were the nurse manager in the above situation. How might you have used your strengths to effectively manage this employee or situation? Also, give some thought to the strengths of those posing the problem. How might you have used their strengths to resolve the situation?
Post an explanation of what you consider to be your top two strengths as a leader. Then, briefly describe the situation you selected and explain how you could leverage your own strengths (applying strengths-based leadership) to successfully manage that situation. Explain at least two ways you might also capitalize on the strengths of the employee(s) involved to successfully resolve the situation.
Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.
Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days using one or more of the following approaches:
Suggest another way a colleague might capitalize on the identified strengths of the employee(s).
Ask a probing question, substantiated with additional background information and evidence or research.
Expand on a colleague’s posting by providing additional insights or contrasting perspectives based on readings and evidence.
Validate an idea with your own experience and additional research.
Lussier, R. N., & Hendon, J. R. (2016). Human resource management: Functions, applications, & skill development (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Chapter 7, “Training, Learning, Talent Management, and Development” (pp. 234–274)
Chapter 7 explores many types of training that organizations can offer new employees, such as on-the-job training, classroom training, and e-learning. It also highlights career development opportunities for existing employees.
Manion, J. (2011). From management to leadership: Strategies for transforming health care (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Chapter 7, “Coaching and Developing Others” (pp. 283–349)
This chapter compares the roles of leader and coach and explains why some leaders fail to employ effective coaching strategies. The author discusses coaching best practices and reviews in depth one practice, the six-step coaching model.
Kanefield, A. (2011). Know your own strength. Smart Business St. Louis, 4(2), 6.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
This article provides simple rationale for employing strengths-based leadership in clinical settings.
Tyra, S. (2008). Coaching nurses: A real example of a real difference. Creative Nursing, 14(3), 111–115.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
The author of this article uses an authentic coaching example to explain the stages of the coaching process. The author identifies coaching strategies as well as general feelings both the coach and the nurse might experience.
The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania. (2006). Authentic happiness.Retrieved from https://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/
Ellisen, K. (2011). Mentoring smart. Nursing Management, 42(8), 12–16.
Meister, J. C., & Willyerd, K. (2010). Mentoring millennials. Harvard Business Review, 88(5), 68–72.