Throughout the last decade, nursing literature has established a link between the profession and leadership. However, more often than not the nurses are promoted to leadership positions due to their technical skills and not because of their leadership capabilities (Denker, 2014); this calls for a change of the nursing leadership paradigm, particularly given the fact that nurses often play capital roles in both patient care and hospital management.
One of the leadership styles, and the one I feel identified with, that has been used in nursing leadership is the transactional style. Transactional leaders are more focused on following and optimizing the existing processes, keeping their subordinates in check through reinforcements, both positive and negative. Since research found that higher levels of positive leadership are associated with both better organizational climates and clinician ratings, effective leadership has become a capital asset for clinicians (Aarons, 2006).
For instance, in my workplace, most of my coworkers exhibit a transformational style of leadership. They seek to inspire and be proximate to one another; in contrast, I consider that performance is the most important and my approach is often considered more managerial. That gives me the possibility of recognizing when and where my coworkers need my help. Similarly, since we deal with patients with PTS, we need to adhere to certain, proved, standards of practice where there is little room for innovation; thus, I consider that it is necessary a degree of order to thrive. Nevertheless, my colleagues often assume promoting roles in our work, encouraging the values and motivation of the staff and the patients (Top, Akdere, and Tarcan, 2014).
Understandably, that is something I could learn from, particularly because their attitude makes them see much more motivated and involved in the processes. Ultimately, I consider that these perceived problems or disparities between transformational and transactional leadership are not pitfalls. In fact, I regard them as opportunities to learn different techniques, finding value in approaches that can be viewed as more “humane” in the case of transformational leadership and more “managerial” in the case of transactional leadership.