Fundamentals - Leadership, part 1: Leadership Styles

by Meris Shuwarger November 17, 2022 Updated: April 27, 2023 4 min read

  • 0:00 What to Expect Leadership Styles
  • 0:30 Authoritarian/autocratic leadership
  • 1:20 laissez-faire leadership
  • 2:04 Democratic Leadership
  • 2:28 Transactional leadership
  • 3:35 Transformational leadership
  • 4:40 Quiz time! Leadership

Full Transcript

Hi. I'm Meris, and in this video, I'm going to be covering different types of leadership styles. I'm going to be following along with the leadership flashcards. These are found in our fundamentals flashcard deck. I'm going to be starting from the beginning, so if you have a set of these cards already, go ahead and pull them out. We'll go through them together. Okay? Are you ready? Let's get started.

Now, if you see here on this card, there's a lot of bold red text, which means it's important for you to know, so let's go through some of these. Authoritarian, or sometimes called autocratic leadership style. So this one is where the leader is really kind of making decisions without input from the team. This is not an ideal type of leadership style. It's more of a dictatorship of leadership styles, and it can lead to a lot of high turnover and employee dissatisfaction. So this is useful during emergency situations, so think of a mass-casualty event. Somebody has to step in, take charge, give directions. This isn't a time to collaborate and have a sharing of ideas. It's an emergency. So this is good for emergency situations. It's not an ideal leadership style for your everyday unit management, for instance. Now moving on to laissez-faire. When we think of laissez-faire, this essentially, in French, means hands off, so this is the leader who kind of just lets people lead themselves. They're going to let the team make decisions for themselves. And this might sound nice, but it leads to low productivity and frustration because there's no actual leadership going on, so it relies on the team members to make those decisions for themselves. Again, not ideal. And we do have a cool chicken hint here to help you remember that laissez-faire is lazy. So if you can think of that when you are taking your nursing school exams or thinking about leadership styles, laissez-faire is lazy.

Now democratic. This is where the leader and the team work together towards the goals and outcomes. It promotes group satisfaction, but it may slow decision-making. Again, if we are getting everybody's input, it's going to slow things down. It's not that this isn't necessarily a good leadership style. It's just a slow one, so keep that in mind. And then we have transactional. Now with transactional, it is what it sounds like. I want you to think of a transaction like when you go to the store. If I give you money, you give me a thing. Right? That's the transaction. With transactional leadership, there is going to be a reward in exchange for tasks being done. Now, sometimes this might be a good thing. Sometimes it's a nice motivating factor, like when the person who gets the most positive patient comments gets a pizza party or whatever. Sometimes that can be a good thing, but again, we don't want to necessarily always be motivating people with extrinsic rewards and extrinsic motivating factors. So think about transactional. There's going to be an exchange, so if you do something, I will reward you with something that you want. But this is also like we're not really thinking of the big picture here. Right? We're not getting at the intrinsic motivational factors. We're getting at just, "If you do this, I'll give you that."

Now, what is the ideal leadership style? The ideal leadership style is going to be transformational. So we're not just doing a transaction. We are transforming the people beneath us with our amazing leadership skills. Okay? So transformational, this promotes teamwork and shared decision-making, and the leader is going to be seen as trustworthy and respected. Again, this is the ideal style. So the leader is strong, they're making strong decisions, but they are considering input from the team. When I think of transformational, I often think of a unit-based council where members from the unit of different interdisciplinary team members - the nurses, the techs, the respiratory therapists - they all get to have input on what they see as possible areas for improvement, and then the leader gets to take that information and decide what to do with it. We want to transform the culture of the unit to be supportive and caring. Transformational is the ideal leadership style.

Okay. That is it for leadership styles. I have some quiz questions for you to test your knowledge, so let's see how you do. Okay. Are you ready to test your knowledge? Here we go. A unit manager says, "If you help me with these chart audits, I'll down staff you early tonight." What type of leadership style is this? This is the transactional style of leadership because the manager is providing a reward for finishing a task. What is considered to be the ideal leadership style? Transformational leadership is considered to be the ideal style.

All right. That is it for this video. I hope you learned something. Leave me a comment about something you learned or experience about leadership style. I'm excited to hear. Thanks so much, and happy studying.


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