Ten Aspects of Servant Leadership
My leadership style is the servant – this way of directing means that providing service to the people around me is the top priority. Ten main aspects constitute the concept of this kind of leadership. Listening involves a special approach to decision-making. While the traditional type of leader assumes an independent choice of the path of development, the classic servant is defined by listening to guidance. Contrary, the leader-servant makes decisions based on the advice and words of his subordinates, listening to them. Empathy implies an ability to understand the people around and feel what they are experiencing. In other words, it is an ability to place oneself in others’ circumstances. Healing is a quality that helps to restore and strengthen relationships not only within the team but also concerning people who interact with the organization but are not part of it. One more essential aspect is awareness – it is an ability to clearly understand and evaluate one’s circumstances, opportunities, tasks, goals, and determination. Concerning a servant leader, awareness is also a tool making a leader able to help others comprehend the same aspects of their life and work. Persuasion is the crucial element that differentiates the servant type of leader from the traditional one. This aspect implies that a person seeks to establish a consensus in the group instead of making a decision alone.
Conceptualization means the ability to design a vector for the development of a company or a group of people in the long term. In addition to solving daily tasks, leaders with such skills regularly think about what kind of results they want to achieve in 5-10 years. Foresight is necessary for analyzing events from the past for making decisions in the present. According to research, it allows one to build a systematic approach to solving problems and anticipate possible events (Gandolfi, & Stone, 2018). Building a strong community means gathering not only specialized qualified workers who have competence only in their professional circle but people with various skills and expertise.
Moreover, it is necessary to develop mutual assistance and support skills to create the right atmosphere and mutual feeling of commitment in the team. For continuous development, the leader-servant devotes a significant amount of time and attention to improving their subordinates’ skills. Finally, stewardship implies the competent management of the structure’s resources, both material and intangible. Only if all company components are appropriately managed, the leader will develop the team and the skills, personal and within the group.
Importance of Personal Style’s Awareness
Nursing professional needs to understand personal leadership style, traits, and practices for several reasons:
- A theoretical understanding of their competencies will allow a specialist to improve their skills more effectively in various fields.
- Understanding the team and the whole organization contributes to a more competent goal setting and decision making, increasing management and work efficiency.
- Nursing involves continuous work with people to provide help and solve problems with their physical and psychological health.
Therefore, a professional needs to clearly understand their traits and practices to establish contact with people of different nature – patients, coworkers, and employees. To the highlighted purposes, the servant leadership style corresponds the most.
How to Be an Effective Communicator?
To be an effective communicator, it is necessary to apply practices and skills from different management styles. A significant part of servant leadership is aimed precisely at the competent interaction of people in the group: a leader of this type seeks to unite employees, build a strong community, and also listen to their subordinates. By creating a trusting system of relationships within the team, the leader can count on the number of interactions within the group and outside of it, with clients and partners, which will increase over time. In addition, one can use and combine practices from various management methods to achieve better results. For example, in the participative type of leadership, decisions in the team are made by a majority vote, which allows employees to feel their value. With this approach, trusting relationships are strengthened in the group, contributing to an increase in the liberation of employees, the number of ideas put forward, and the level of communication within the team.
Interactions within the Interprofessional Format
A high level of communication is primarily necessary for interaction between representatives of different departments and working in an interprofessional format. Professionals from various industries may perceive the same problem in different ways. Therefore, leaders need to make the most of their communication skills to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings. The ability to establish trusting relationships between employees of various specialties allows one to increase the quality of work. Subsequently, with the effective implementation of communication skills, the manager can expect an increase in efficiency and in employees’ autonomy. Scientists claim that by understanding the specific features of colleagues’ work in another direction, employees will be able to approach solving problems more comprehensively and openly (Lemoine et al., 2019). All of this requires improved communication skills.
Integrating the Tenets of Servant Leadership
The profession of a nurse initially involves working for the benefit of people. Any specialist’s main task in this field is to provide high-quality medical services and create a feeling of comfort and calmness for the patient. Servant leadership principles aim at achieving the same goals. The servant type of leader strives to listen to their employees, help them, and allow them to participate in decision-making. Similar techniques are needed to build a strong relationship between the health care provider and the patient. Workers who can form communication with their patients increase overall trust in healthcare and improve the quality of services provided. When the patient realizes that the nurse is doing everything to help, specific cooperation begins between them to achieve one goal – improving the client’s health. This is especially important when working with patients who come to medical institutions with mental and psychological problems. In such cases, the skills and competencies gained from servant leadership principles are critical to delivering quality health care.
The Way Servant Leaders Benefit
Service leaders have a distinct advantage over other types of leaders. During the workflow, sideboard managers can get to know people in their environment and subordination. According to scientific research, over time, using the methods and practices of servant leadership, the manager better understands the team’s strengths and weaknesses (Shah et al., 2019). Therefore, having such information, a person can help people on their team by assisting with dealing with non-standard situations and improving professional performance. Thus, having an awareness of one’s leadership, it becomes possible to demonstrate a personal example, which also positively affects the general morale and effectiveness of the managed team. The service leadership approach to job performance enables managers to quickly develop a highly skilled workforce capable of making their own decisions, which benefits the entire healthcare system. In addition, with this approach, the quality of the services provided increases since the service leader, by their approach to work, motivates employees to use the same methods concerning patients.
An example of servant leadership is the continuous involvement of a leader in an employee’s workflow. The leader can actively help their subordinates, replace them in the workplace if necessary, and advise if required. Nursing, in general, is closely related to the ideas presented in the servant leadership concept. The employee, realizing their manager’s contribution to work, will try not only to meet the set standards within the organization but also to use their own positive experience in communicating with patients. This will lead to the creation of trusting relationships, which will ultimately benefit the quality of medical services provided.
A second example might be the changes in employee behavior outside the workspace. Research shows that servant leadership has a positive effect on the psychological well-being of employees (Shah et al., 2019). This is because subordinates are less morally burdened by management, which makes the assimilation within the organization better. When working with a servant type of leader, associates are more actively involved in their work tasks, as they feel support from their leader. Similarly, servant leaders who manage the work environment and such aspects of work as awards, deadlines, work assignments, and performance appraisals positively affect employee well-being and satisfaction, as the practice of a servant leader beneficially addresses these components.
Gandolfi, F., & Stone, S. (2018). Leadership, leadership styles, and servant leadership. Journal of Management Research, 18(4), 261-269.
Lacroix, M., & Verdorfer, A. P. (2017). Can servant leaders fuel the leadership fire? The relationship between servant leadership and followers’ leadership avoidance. Administrative Sciences, 7(1), 1-11. Web.
Lemoine, J. G., Hartnell, C. A., & Leroy, H. (2019). Taking stock of moral approaches to leadership: An integrative review of ethical, authentic, and servant leadership. Academy of Management Annals, 13(4), 148-187. Web.
Shah, M., Batool, N., & Saad, H. (2019). The influence of servant leadership on loyalty and discretionary behavior of employees: Evidence from healthcare sector. Journal of Business & Economics, 11(2), 99-110. Web.