Being a leader, and working with people - page 2

Hello I recently started nursing school, and everything (for the most part) is going great, so far. But, there is an issue that has come up for me, and I think everyone here might want to read... Read More

  1. by   michar
    Everything I'm about to say is meant constructively, please accept it in the manner I intend it.

    Quote from USCSomeday
    I exemplified successful teambuilding and leadership.
    First, I broke the ice with friendliness and a positive attitude, and invited active participation.
    Were you an active listener?

    Quote from USCSomeday
    I established our goals and set priorites, taking into account personal issues by telling people what I think, responding to others, and involving everyone.
    What goals did others want? Perhaps listening and involving everyone then as a group setting goals?

    Quote from USCSomeday
    Then, I determined our roles and responsibilities, organizing my ideas and collaborating with others to decide who would be doing what. I used strategies to accomplish this, and did so by listening to others, tolerating differences, being open and flexible, and managing my emotions by expressing myself assertively and respectfully, while still managing to be sensitive to others.
    Again, you said you were flexible and listened to others after you determined roles and responsibilities (may I assume this includes your role as leader?) Listen and input and then a group decision is a nice pattern to follow.

    Quote from USCSomeday
    Then, I followed up and followed through, offering support to the other group members and taking on individual responsibility.

    Now, back to my original question: how do you maintain a leadership role in the face of obstinacy and bad attitudes? What paths can someone take to ensure that they maintain professionalism and a positive attitude when their ideas are met with disrespect and unconstructive criticism? Being aware of group dynamics -- as a means for becoming leaders in nursing -- and engaging in productive exercises is something I'm sure everyone on this board can benefit from, which is my goal for this topic.
    I'll answer your question again a little bit differently. All groups have different dynamics and different leadership needs. Typically study group situations need a more laid back team effort rather than an authorative leader. If you were met with disrespect and unconstructive criticism perhaps this isn't the group for you to lead. To lead you have to have followers.
  2. by   kharing
    I hope things work out for you. I'm not sure why you feel there's a need for leaders in your program? Unless it's a group project that's graded - I focus on my own progress. I wish I had the energy to want to "lead" in my clinicals. To be honest - after knowing people through the prerequisites, I've learned that I work better alone. I made the choice to only align myself with students that do well and make the effort to get strong grades.
    In my program, I can count those people on one hand. The rest? They gossip, fight, argue and do poorly on exams. I worked to hard to get here and won't get caught up in group dynamics. The goal for me is passing the boards - again good luck!
  3. by   USCSomeday
    I think that there is only so much analysis people can give me, based on the information I've provided. It is certainly difficult to interpret a complex group process from a text message... so what I'll do is restate my question in terms that I think people can follow. Let's forget about the initial question. Instead, let's look at what can be done to promote team building and leadership, and how each of you have managed this in the past. I don't think that judging a situation with secondhand information is reliable, in other words. I think that you can all give me better responses if you tell me, based on your personal experience, how you have individually experienced leadership -- taking into account all the related factors that this type of thinking and experience includes, such as personal background, social processes, thought development and reasoning strategies, interpersonal interactions, et cetera.
  4. by   GratefulHeart
    Quote from USCSomeday
    Hello
    I recently started nursing school, and everything (for the most part) is going great, so far. But, there is an issue that has come up for me, and I think everyone here might want to read about. It has to do with leadership and group dynamics. My question is this: how do I be a leader in group discussions, using assertiveness and collaboration, without getting critisized, stonewalled, or getting an otherwise negative reaction? It seems that when I'm in certain groups (not every group, by the way), there is a competition for the leadership role. When this happens, I've seen the group morale detiorate, and I've also seen people become hostile and insulting. It seems like there is a way to finesse the group a little bit, or a way to be recognized and appreciated for my contributions without getting the stink eye. I've specifically seen people have marked negative reactions to my analytical, problem-solving approach to getting things done. I've heard others say that it's just not right to "barge in and tell everybody," but I'm not just going to sit there while people waste time and chat. It seems like people are letting their personal lives into classwork, and not focusing on the big picture -- which is that we're there to accomplish a common goal, through the most effective means possible. Is it unfair to presume that people's reactions to my personality are biased, because of their personal interest in achieving leadership at all costs? It's a hard way to look at it, but it's the only conclusion I've come to. When I look at my behavior, I recall being as nice as I possibly could be, making sure to initiate conversations and engage every group member, and bring a positive, supportive -- yet leading -- attitude to the group. Part of self reflection is just that... but I get the feeling that I'm going to have to put on some armor before working with these people again, because I've seen them become insulting, demeaning, and negative in situations like I'm talking about. This, in my opinion, is entirely unprofessional... and it puts me in a bad spot, because I look like the bad guy, even though I've maintained a professional level of communication the entire time. What to do, what to do. Advice?
    Nursing Student X
    My advice is to privately ask some of the members in your group how they perceive your leadership style. I know that may sound crazy, but I have learned far more about myself from my critics than I ever have from my friends.
  5. by   llg
    Quote from USCSomeday
    I think that there is only so much analysis people can give me, based on the information I've provided. It is certainly difficult to interpret a complex group process from a text message... so what I'll do is restate my question in terms that I think people can follow. Let's forget about the initial question. Instead, let's look at what can be done to promote team building and leadership, and how each of you have managed this in the past. I don't think that judging a situation with secondhand information is reliable, in other words. I think that you can all give me better responses if you tell me, based on your personal experience, how you have individually experienced leadership -- taking into account all the related factors that this type of thinking and experience includes, such as personal background, social processes, thought development and reasoning strategies, interpersonal interactions, et cetera.
    This post suggests to me that you still equate "leadership" with "control." While a lot of people are willing to be led, most people do not like to be controlled. As other people have said, to be a good leader, you have to helpl people get where THEY want to go and/or accomplish the things THEY want to accomplish.

    The key to being a good leader is starting with (and building upon) the characteristics and desires of the group. Accept people as they are and where they are. Get to know them, their preferences, and their goals. Help them to build on their strengths to accomplish their goals. When they see you as being helpful to them from their point of view, then they will be interested in listening to your ideas and perhaps, willing to follow where you would like to lead. But the starting point is always their goals and characteristics, not the leaders.

    Most people are suspicious of people who seem over-anxious to lead the way, particularly if their leadership style involves efforts to control the activity.

    llg
    Last edit by llg on Oct 13, '06
  6. by   WDWpixieRN
    Quote from USCSomeday
    I think that you can all give me better responses if you tell me, based on your personal experience, how you have individually experienced leadership -- taking into account all the related factors that this type of thinking and experience includes, such as personal background, social processes, thought development and reasoning strategies, interpersonal interactions, et cetera.
    In my personal experience, it's all based on the individual situation....I tend to be shy and sit back and wait for someone else to take the reigns...as I've gotten older, I've found myself more willing to add my .02 when the situation presents itself and I feel I have a valid, creative, or knowledgable point of view....I am always willing to let someone else lead the way when I respect and feel that they are the best fit for the job....or when management has thrown me in to a situation where I HAVE to follow someone else's lead (as a project/program manager I have been assigned to). In a situation such as you describe, if I didn't have faith or feel the group dynamics were in my best interest time-wise, I would excuse myself and study on my own...I really don't have time for the aggravation and frustration....

    With this approach, I have been volunteered up to be a VP one year for PTA for my child's school, head room mother, VP of Phi Theta Kappa at my CC, and other things that don't come to mind readily at this time. Sometimes I have taken the lead as with my team in my previous position in IT, organizing birthday celebrations or good-bye luncheons or other types of "social" activities that you may not feel relates, but nevertheless, requires others to "follow" your lead or suggestions. I always did that using a "poll" type of basis asking what others' thoughts were on how we were going to accomplish the celebration. By doing a small thing such as that, my managers would ask me to step up in work situations, my last assigned project being a firmwide project which I was asked to coordinate with our department of approximately 85 IT employees and three of our large business departments. (we have over 6,000 home office employees overall). I think it was a matter of earning respect for how I "worked well with others".

    I sometimes find myself the lead in small group projects at school, but don't promote myself as such...if someone else seems to be the stronger leader (or louder), I will most certainly step back and do whatever needs done to accomplish our common goal, but not get caught up in the politics.

    And one of the reasons your posts reminded me of "project management" is my previous position...the job drove me nuts as an implementation or fix that might take a developer a few days or sometimes a few minutes to create, would involve (well, require) days or weeks of "hoops" that had to be gone through....requirements gathering, acceptance, technical architecture docs, other documentation, user acceptance testing, blah, blah, blah...it drove me nuts as it mostly created user anger and frustration and extra work on our end...sometimes, it was nice just to "get to and do the job" and be done with it!!

    I really wish you the best in figuring this out....
  7. by   Rosa2Little
    Quote from USCSomeday
    I think that you can all give me better responses if you tell me, based on your personal experience, how you have individually experienced leadership -- taking into account all the related factors that this type of thinking and experience includes, such as personal background, social processes, thought development and reasoning strategies, interpersonal interactions, et cetera.
    You have received a wealth of very good responses without the additional information that you perceive to be essential.

    Are you really interested in what others think, or are you simply looking for someone to tell you what you want to hear? That question is for you to answer for yourself -- the answer maybe apparent to others already.
  8. by   michar
    Leadership style and technique various depending on the group and situation.

    In settings like you described, sit back and gather information (assess the group so to speak) and find out what they are wanting. Listen, listen, and listen. This would also be a good time to use therapeutic communication to find out what people are wanting to get and what they are willing to give.

    Oh, listen some more.

    Don't declare yourself leader, or actively butt heads with those who are. Be the leader that if you were a follow you would want to follow.
  9. by   USCSomeday
    Quote from Rosa2Little
    You have received a wealth of very good responses without the additional information that you perceive to be essential.

    Are you really interested in what others think, or are you simply looking for someone to tell you what you want to hear? That question is for you to answer for yourself -- the answer maybe apparent to others already.
    My point in responding was that the information I provided didn't fully clarify enough of the situation to let others give valid advice. What I'm interested in is receiving feedback about leadership styles based on your personal experiences; it's impossible for you -- or anyone -- to make a sound judgement on my leadership style, anyways. All I can do on an open forum is present a topic for discussion based on data I've collected and experienced. To make this strategy more effective, I revised my original prompt and instead asked for the same thing from you that I expect from myself: I asked for people to discuss a topic based on their own collected and experienced data. This isn't reality TV.
  10. by   Daytonite
    Quote from uscsomeday
    i think that there is only so much analysis people can give me, based on the information i've provided. it is certainly difficult to interpret a complex group process from a text message... so what i'll do is restate my question in terms that i think people can follow. let's forget about the initial question. instead, let's look at what can be done to promote team building and leadership, and how each of you have managed this in the past. i don't think that judging a situation with secondhand information is reliable, in other words. i think that you can all give me better responses if you tell me, based on your personal experience, how you have individually experienced leadership -- taking into account all the related factors that this type of thinking and experience includes, such as personal background, social processes, thought development and reasoning strategies, interpersonal interactions, et cetera.
    i think that those of us who took the time and patience to respond to you have just been belittled and made to seem insignificant. :angryfire i don't like being treated that way. i'm just forgetting about this entire thread and unsubscribing from it. bye.
  11. by   locolorenzo22
    Me, too. I think you happen to equal leadership with management and have gone to one too many team building sessions. There is a difference between being a TEAM leader as a worker and a PEER leader as a student. Reflect on this and that's all I can say. We're all giving you some tips, but apparently you don't want to hear. Just my .02 cents.
  12. by   lilypad2424
    Ha! You sound very mature and interested in being "the leader." Welcome to real life. This is how the world works no matter what proffession you are in, so learn from it. The career path you have chosen will present you time and time again with these sort of situations, and it sounds like you may need to do a bit of reflecting. You may have the best ideas out of anyone, however, you can't force people to respect your input. Throw in the competitive nature of school (and i assume you are mostly with women) and WHAMMY! you have issues out of the gate. I think you sound very motivated, and caring about the material which is what is important, so my advice(since you asked, is just do what you do....if you are truly interested in learning and have intelligent input that is constructive, you will trump the dilly dallyers every time. You may not be recognized as the leader, but will be a great nurse! Good luck!
  13. by   jov
    Let's review what you said...

    Quote from USCSomeday
    I entered this group
    I offered my
    I'll give you a summary of my part
    I exemplified
    I broke the ice
    I established our goals and set priorites
    by telling people what I think
    I determined our roles and responsibilities
    organizing my ideas
    I used strategies
    expressing myself
    I followed up
    do you see it now?
    leadership isn't about you. It's about the group.

    NOW your story is that it's impossible for us -- or anyone -- to make a sound judgement on your leadership style... respectfully I will disagree. I think it's very easy for most of us to make a sound judgement on your leadership style.
    Last edit by jov on Oct 13, '06

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