There are different leadership styles:
- Charismatic Leadership
- Participative Leadership
- Situational Leadership
- Transactional Leadership
- Transformational Leadership
- The Quiet Leader
- Servant Leadership
Which do you think is the most beneficial to have in healthcare? Why or Why not?
In the twenty first century, there is an increasing move towards participatory management in all sectors. The autocratic styles of the past are mostly ineffective and frowned upon in this age of empowerment of all employees and a recognition of the contribution of everyone to the management process. Job satisfaction is a key component in managing and retaining staff and organizational commitment and a drive towards meeting the vision of the health-care provider hopefully ensures that all parties show sufficient dedication to any Mission statement and vision for the future.
Health care is a very specialized environment which requires empathy on all levels in order to meet patients' needs. Trust is key and there is no place for a lack of communication from the highest levels down. Having a "team" spirit so that patients have confidence in the whole and not just, for example one doctor, works better with transformational leadership rather than transactional leadership styles as initiative is key and is encouraged whereas in transactional leadership, roles are more defined and there is less "group" effort. In a hospital setting, stress levels need to be managed and a transformational style allows for reliance on the team and does not place too much emphasis on any one person in the team.
However, this style also needs to recognize the needs of the team members as some may not thrive in an environment like this, preferring a more direct approach and clear management. Good training programs and a feeling of shared responsibility assists these employees and situational leadership assists them to accept their role and gain confidence in their leaders and themselves. Participative management is also key as collective decisions must be made and supported by all stakeholders.
Styles such as charismatic leadership only have a place in health-care when combined with other less-controlling styles as otherwise they encourage the formation of distinct groups whereas in health-care, the need is for groups to work together and not constantly compete. As some doctors do have a competitive nature and a belief in their own infallibility, they may need to be encouraged to adopt a more interactive approach and use their charisma for the greater good - moving the focus away from their own goals and towards the goals of the health-care company.
In health care, especially training hospitals, servant leadership could prove to be an invaluable method of teaching, especially in an environment where special care is the highest priority and recognizing patients at risk is a skill to be learned. providing opportunities where junior doctors, for example, can learn from the most experienced, should be encouraged. A management style that can replicate a new generation of doctors, managed by an expert team of administrators, is something to strive for.
Therefore it becomes obvious that, in health-care, there is room for various styles of leadership to work together and provide a best case scenario. Transformational leadership provides the key to allowing all these styles to complement each other rather than compete with each other.