Team Building & Organization

Some things that I learned this week was about team work and the importance that a team has in accomplishing goals and tasks. I learned that even if one member of the group is not cooperating that it can affect the entire group and make teamwork unsuccessful. I learned about the importance of leadership in teamwork, clear roles and team dynamics as well as the importance of effective communication skills. I also learned about job interviewing and gained perspective on the interviewers point of view. 

Some things I experienced from the team activities was that a team can only be successful if everyone is contributing and holding a role and responsibility. If someone is not following through or doing their part then it is no longer a team and success is hard. My opinion did not change because I know that everyone is different and has different strengths and weaknesses and unless everyone puts in 100% then success is difficult. It isn’t impossible but it is hard to be completely successful. 

Some of my personal feelings is that about team work is that communication is key. Our team struggled to get organized and find a meeting time because there was a complete lack of communication from some of the team members. This was frustrating and difficult. I also feel that it is important to be confident in your role and self when it comes to teamwork so that you can carry your part and work well with others. I did learn that if teamwork is positive and successful then it actually can be a way to build your confident and increase self-esteem. I also feel that trust is extremely important because if you do not trust the people in your team than having success in building each other and accomplishing goals is more difficult and it brings on tension. 

I will take what I learned and apply it to my nursing practice by trying to become of better communicator. I realized that communication is key to success in team work and whether it is a team of a nurse and patient or employee with employer, communication needs to be a focus so everyone is on the same page in achieving goals and expectations. I learned that great growth can come from effective teamwork so I will try to not always take the lead but let others. I will try to give my patients and coworkers a chance to show their leadership skills and find their dynamic within the team. I will also try to establish my own role early on. I will also try to be better at problem solving and trusting the help of others to do so. Nursing isn’t just a sole job but takes help from others to be successful. I will try to allow others to help me more as I like to do things on my own but I realize that that is not being part of a team. 


Hiring Interview

The person in which I chose to interview about Hiring is Nathan Dredge who works in a lead management position for Response Marketing and does most of the interviewing and hiring for the company. 

  1. What past experience makes you qualified for interviewing?
    1. Nathan started a few years before as a main employee working in their calling center. He got to know the company really well during that time and was able to work his way up into a management position. He runs a team of agents and knows what it takes from those employees to make the company succeed. He also had been in prior sales positions and is really comfortable with other people. 
  2. What is the most difficult thing about the interview process? 
    1. Nathan said that one of the most difficult things about the interviewing process is when he gets backlash for not hiring someone. Turning them down for the position is already difficult enough but then when they do not respond professionally makes it that more difficult. 
  3. How many candidates do you typically interview for a job?
    1. Nathan says he typically interviews 5-6 candidates per one or two open positions. 
  4. Do you have a standard set of questions that you ask the candidates?
    1. Nathan says that he does have a standard set of questions for each candidate. He typically keeps the interview professional but likes to throw in a fun question at the end so he can see some personality. 
  5. How do you prepare for interviews?
    1. Nathan said at first when he started interviewing it didn’t go as smoothly but now he feels very comfortable, has the questions already prepared a head of time, and reviews each candidates application thoroughly prior to the interview. He likes to ask them about questions on their application as well. 
  6. Do you interview in a group or one on one, and why?
    1. Nathan says that he almost always interviews one on one because he is the main management person they will be working with and so he is typically interviewing his own coworkers/team members. 
  7. What major qualities are you looking for in candidates?
    1. Nathan says the major qualities he is looking for in candidates is professionalism and also communication skills. The candidates he hires are working with the public and they need to be able to carry on a conversation as well as stay professional and take the job and company seriously. 
  8. When you ask questions are you looking for specific answers or are you just trying to see how the candidate responds under pressure?
    1. Nathan says when he asks questions he does take their answers into account but most of the questions are not right or wrong answers so he mostly looks to see their personality, how they present themselves, and their response under pressure. 
  9. What do you value more, problem solving skills or memorized knowledge?
    1. Nathan says he values problem solving skills more than memorized knowledge because anyone can list or spout out memorized knowledge but when things don’t go as planned or you are wanting improvement its the ones who can think outside the box, provide extra skills, and see things from another perspective that makes a company succeed. 
  10. Do you try to give off an intimidating aura or do you try to make the candidate feel comfortable during the interview process?
    1. Nathan says he tries to make the candidate feel comfortable and relaxed during the interview but at the same time insuring that professionalism is still constantly present. 

After interviewing I learned that a lot of people who do interview are just looking for candidates that are the right fit and depending on the job have the right amount of experience. I also learned that management or the person interviewing should be prepared to answer questions about the job and company from the candidates themselves so knowing the company well and going into an interview prepared is extremely important for an interview to go smoothly and be fair. I also learned that interviewers like when candidates ask questions and share concerns during an interview because it shows the interviewer how much the candidate is prepared themselves. I also learned that during an interview, it is normal to be nervous but just know that the person interviewing is human themselves and showing some personality is a good thing. 

Overall it was really interesting to see the perspective and side of an interview from the interviewers point of view.  It is interesting to see what they are thinking and looking for. Not all interviewers will be a like and depending on the company some of them will be focused on different aspects. I realize that there is a lot of autonomy that an interviewer has in an interview that I didn’t realize before so it is important for both the interviewer and the candidate to be as prepared as possible beforehand. 

Hiring- Nursing Leadership

This week in Nursing Leadership, we focused on hiring from the leadership or employer point of view. This was very eye opening as I typically have only ever focused on the interviewee side of things. I learned a lot about what leadership looks for in an application and what makes an application stand out. I also learned about the interviewing process and the interviewers  responsibilities.

I learned about what is and is not allowed to be discussed or asked by the interviewer and some of the legal aspects of things.  This can be tricky because I think that the more that stands out in a positive way and the more you know about the interviewer, the better and more confident your decision will be in hiring that individual. This is why I learned it is so important to do your research about the interviewee, take your time, and don’t rush to hire because it is the best thing to hire smart. I also learned that leadership doesn’t have to hire if they don’t like any of the candidates because it’s better to wait for the right fit rather than to fill the position for need. This makes me ask the question if there are time frames and certain stipulation as too how picky leadership truly can be and I’m sure it varies from company to company. 

As a group this week we had to come up with interview questions and debate on a possible candidate to hire. It was educational to see others ideas of interview questions and their arguments and reasoning for which candidate to hire. 

Overall, it was very interesting and I learned a lot about what goes on behind the scenes of an interview and hiring process and what the expectations and responsibilities of leadership is in that situation. 

Characteristics of Leaders

  1. Leadership requires personal mastery– Nurses demonstrate leadership when they show competence and mastery in the tasks they perform. Nurses are deemed competent by means of a license to practice nursing (NLN 2010).
  2. Leadership is about values– Nurses demonstrate leadership when they embody and live by five core values which include integrity, autonomy, altruism, human dignity, and social justice. Nurses should integrate these values into their clinical practice.
  3. Leadership is about service– Nurses demonstrate leadership when they serve by creating uplifting and positive moments and experiences for their patients by providing compassionate care by putting health, dignity, comfort, and the well-being of their patient first.
  4. Leadership is about people and relationships– Nurses demonstrate leadership when they provide care that enables the building of relationships with their patients through spending more quality time with them and interacting with them. Meaningful relationships assist nurses in establishing perspective about patient’s preferences.
  5. Leadership is contextual– Nurses demonstrate leadership when they understand how certain interventions will influence a situation at hand both positively and negatively.
  6. Leadership is about the management of meaning– Nurses demonstrate leadership when they are able to resolve conflict by understanding and synchronizing contrasting points of view.
  7. Leadership is about balance– Nurses demonstrate leadership when they are able to provide equal attention and focus between their work and home life.
  8. Leadership is about continuous learning and improvement– Nurses demonstrate leadership when they strive to acquire knowledge, skills, values, behaviors and understanding through experience, study, and teaching.
  9. Leadership is about effective decision making– Nurses demonstrate leadership when they can identify a problem, gather necessary information, evaluate alternatives, weight the evidence, implement a solution, then evaluate actions.
  10. Leadership is a political process– Nurses demonstrate leadership when they can identify where change is needed and how to achieve change through the existing political structure and processes within a system.
  11. Leadership is about modeling– Nurses demonstrate leadership when they demonstrate positive behaviors and values through example and others follow.
  12. Leadership is about integrity– Nurses demonstrate leadership when they live and demonstrate moral and ethical principles such as honestly and trust in every interaction.   


Leadership Theories and Reflective Journal

This week in Leadership I learned about the beginning roles of a leader. To me leadership is someone that others follow and they have a big influence. Leaders should set a positive example and affect others from that example.  One thing I learned was that Leadership and Management, although two different things go hand and hand. I am on maternity leave so I didn’t get the chance to ask someone else but I currently am a charge nurse and so from personal experience some of the expectations that were assumed when I took a charge nurse leadership role was that I was the go to or lead nurse on each shift. With that I needed to be confident in rules, processes, and flow of the floor. I also needed to be available to answer questions and assist with anything at all times during the shift. I also needed to know how to keep the unit safe by knowing processes. I really took it upon me as the charge nurse to make sure we all worked in a safe, happy, uplifting, and healthy environment each shift I work in that role. At first I was very nervous and felt that I needed to know everything but I learned that I have a lot of backup such as doctors and management. I also learned that other departments were there to help or back me up as needed.  

Some other things I learned this week about leadership were that there are three different kinds of leadership styles. First is Autocratic: my way or the high way. Second is Democratic which is vote, group, majority rules . Third is Lassiez-Faire which is doesn’t care as long as it is done. I think that each style has their positive aspects and all three need to come into play together. A good leader has all three. 

The DISC Personality Test: After doing the test I had a tie between being I(influential) and C(Conscientious). This was not totally surprising or new knowledge about myself as Influential people care about others and try to make everyone feel welcome and belonging. They get along with everyone as they can find relation. Conscientious people do not like confrontation. Both of these are common traits of mine as I have always put other peoples needs and feelings before my own and have always struggled with confrontation. The one part that surprised me was that Influential people are said to struggle with tasks and getting things done. I would have to disagree as I feel I am a very task oriented person. Moving forward as a leader knowing this information I will take the positive traits and try to focus on utilizing the more. I also will remember the negative traits and try to work on changing them to become a better leader.   

After participating in the group project, I realized that a leader can really be another who influences others affecting actions. A leader can influence both negatively or positively. There were many leaders in history and looking at the provided list of individuals, one could argue that all of the individuals were leaders at one point in time. I like to think that leaders can only have a positive effect but in reality a lot of leaders in history had negative effects such as Hitler. I really believe that anyone who motivates others and their actions is a leader. 

After reviewing all the material this week, I was able to learn and reflect on qualities of a leader and in what ways leaders can influence others. Moving forward in my nursing practice, I hope to be a positive leader instead of a negative leader because I learned that if you are not careful you could be either. I hope to achieve this by understanding what my positive and negative qualities are and then take my positive qualities and utilize them more and instead of suppressing the negative qualities try to change them. I also learned that balance is important with leadership in that you cannot be too strong in some types of leadership styles. This is important to understand in becoming a good leader. I don’t think that becoming a leader will happen overnight and it will be accomplished through continuous example but I hope that the information learned this week will help me become a better positive leader. 

Purpose of this Reflective Journal

My name is Torina and I have been a nurse of a little over 5 years. Most of my career has been in Maternity, Newborn ICU, and Labor and Delivery. That is where my passion is. Helping new mothers and newborns. After graduating with my ASN in 2015, I took some time off of school to gain work experience and start a family. I came back to school a little over a year ago to finish my BSN. I will graduate this semester which I am very excited about. For my Leadership class I am required to have a reflective journal/blog where I will be posting my notes, learning, thoughts, and experiences during the course. This journal will help me reflect in the future of what I learned during my time in this course and also help me organize and thoughts during the course. This will be a great semester as I already feel motivated.