The group I wish to discuss is my current nursing practice; as it stands right now, our group is still in the Norming stage of group process, in which “Consensus evolves as group cohesion develops; conflict and resistance are overcome” (McGonigle & Mastrian 2011, p. 436). Over the course of three years, we moved through the Forming and Storming stages, learning about each other and getting accustomed to each other’s styles of communication and individual practice. One of the most interesting challenges in getting to this stage has been the individual-level variables that make up our personalities and working styles: factors such as job position, years of experience, and self-efficacy are strong factors that determine how we work and relate to others (Lee & Ko, 2010).
As some nurses have more experience than others, they may better know how to deal with difficult patients and handle difficult workloads; however, in my practice some younger nurses are placed in positions of higher responsibility, which can lead to resentment from more experienced nurses. It has been a great challenge to settle the various egos of the nurses in the practice, enabling them to work together effectively and amicably in a group. Furthermore, self-efficacy has been a large issue in my practice; the younger nurses, placed in positions of greater responsibility while not having enough experience makes them more uncomfortable with their ability to do their job. It has been the job of the group and its respective leaders (e.g. our primary care physician) to assure the nurses of their ability and make them feel confident in their practice.
During this time, in order to get to this stage, I acted in the role of Energizer; my goal was to encourage the group to work harder and “raises (sic) the level of its actions” (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2011, p. 437). There were quite a few clashing personalities between the nursing staff when the group formed, which meant that it was necessary to keep ourselves motivated, and make morale higher. By getting everyone to become more motivated to act and facilitate better nursing practice, everyone was inspired to become more effective through cooperative learning methods (Baghcheghi et al., 2011). We used team-based learning as well to create a sense of community when expanding our knowledge of evidence-based practice (Mennenga and Smyer, 2010).
In a leadership role in my practice, I believe I can do quite a few things to get us to that final stage of group process – Performing. As an Energizer, I feel I can motivate the other nurses to work harder and to communicate better. For one thing, I understand that listening is the most important part of communication ; I will incorporate the GRRRR listening model more cohesively when communicating with other members of the group (McGonigle & Mastrian 2011, p. 432). In terms of written communication, my energizing efforts will be short and sweet, and will focus on the recipient’s needs (p. 432). At the same time, my communication will be assertive and I will assist with group-building activities. I also wish to communicate with other leaders and example-makers to ensure that our methods are consistent and positive. As a leader, I must be sensitive to the needs of those around me; it is only then that we can start to create more positive outcomes and a greater group dynamic in the practice.
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