Leadership Concept Analysis

Leadership Concept Analysis

Over many decades, attainment of quality health care has been elusive. In the contemporary world, however, patient-centered care, one of the elements of quality care, has become the focus of all healthcare systems. Such is the case given the desire of these medical institutions to epitomize quality at all cost. With such an emphasis, issues to do with medical errors and falls have significantly reduced in this era. Furthermore, many quality healthcare initiatives formed by various bodies have surfaced given the need to maintain high-quality standards. A case in point of such bodies is the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality with the Department of Defense came up with the Team-STEPPS (Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety) that targets to improve the safety, quality, and efficiency of health care (Haynes, & Strickler, 2014). Team-STEPPS incorporates two crucial components, communication and teamwork that at their best are vital for prevention of adverse events such as medical errors that impair the efficiency of health care services provided. As such, an analysis of groups, their dynamism and vitality in the attainment of an effective and efficient healthcare system is of the essence and thus forms the central theme of this discussion.

Significance to Nursing

A group refers to an aggregate of people with shared objectives who mutually influence each other (Adams, & Anantatmula, 2010). The study of the concept of a group and its dynamism is of great importance since it offers a wide-range of benefits that are worth noting. To begin with, through this analysis one is able to appreciate the role played by groups within an organization. Additionally, groups facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration, which is of the essence for the achievement of positive patient outcomes. Last but not the least, a study of this concept enables one to appreciate the characteristics of successful teams and dynamism of teamwork.

Literature Review

Central to this section are issues relating to group formation, characteristics of effective teams, group communication, and strategies to enhance the success of groups and communication.

Group Formation Process and Leadership

According to Mind Tools, (2012) the five phases of group development include forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning. The forming phase is the first stage of this process in which individuals converge to create a distinct cluster. The individuals at this juncture are cautious as they get to familiarize with one another. At this stage, the nurse leader should direct and establish clear objectives for the team and the individual members. Consequently, this will facilitate the improvement of performance.

The next stage is the storming phase. Members of the group wrestle with relationships and roles of others within the team. Characteristic of this stage is dissatisfied, competitive members and conflict because of issues that relate to procedures and behaviors. Besides, the individuals mainly compete for power and status (Chun, & Choi, 2014). Consequently, informal leadership becomes inevitable. Thus, the roles of a leader at this phase are to establish clear processes and structures, build trust as well as the healthy relationship between members and seek to resolve conflicts as quickly as possible. With the accomplishment of such roles, it is beyond doubt that the group will not fail at this stage.

During the norming phase of group development, there is the definition of goals and rules of behavior. The members also identify both acceptable and unacceptable behaviors and attitudes. Additionally, there is clarity concerning the structures, roles and relationships that one must follow (Mind Tools, 2012). As such, in this stage cohesiveness becomes more apparent than in the prior phases.

The fourth step of the group formation process is performing. During this phase, team members agree on the primary targets, activities and come out to work. The cooperation among the members improves significantly, and emotional issues are non-existent (Marquis, & Huston, 2015). Communication at this stage is perfect since members interact in a tension-free environment that allows them to share ideas.

Finally, adjourning is the last phase of this group formation process. During this stage, the team dissolves upon achievement of its objectives or undergoes the reforming step again but with significant changes in the environment (Mind Tools, 2012).

Characteristics of Effective Teams/Groups

Reminiscent to effective teams is various features, which are of the essence for a group that desires to exemplify high standards of quality. An example befitting of such characteristics is the possession of clear objectives and agreed goals. Objectives and goals determine the activities that group members will undertake to achieve them (Marquis, & Huston, 2015). As such, they steer the members to a common end and thereby optimize success.

That notwithstanding, an effective team must also exhibit openness to opportunities for confrontation. Transparency will allow each member a chance to confront any member without fear of any kind (Haynes, & Strickler, 2014). Consequently, this ensures that the confronted individual improves on the issue and enhances the success of the team. Such a characteristic in health care will increase the chances of achieving positive health care outcomes that are reminiscent to high standard medical facilities.

Furthermore, a healthy group is typical of appropriate leadership. Marquis and Huston, (2015) are of the opinion that a good leader seeks to resolve conflicts within a group before it hastens the disbandment of the team. Furthermore, with good leadership, members are able to enjoy a good relationship with others within the group since the leader actively seeks to build healthy relations among members. Evidently, good leadership epitomizes the success of a team.

Lastly, trust and support are also inevitable for effective teams. Support for other group members ensures that the achievement of goals and objectives is not in jeopardy due to one’s shortcoming. On the other hand, trust is essential for teams that want to be useful since it enables all members to work towards the achievement of the stated goal with greater motivation (Haynes, & Strickler, 2014). Apparently, such instances depict the need for trust and support for a team to become effective.

Group Communication

According to Marquis, and Huston, (2015) communication within the group is inevitable, and therefore leaders should utilize effective communication channels that will pass the message clearly. Additionally, leaders should lay out strategies that will reduce the barriers to effective communication to enhance passage of information within groups. An example of such measures is the use of excellent interpersonal skills while talking to members of a group.

Finally, the channels used should epitomize confidentiality especially if the information is sensitive. A case in point is the patient’s information, which the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) demands that should remain confidential at all cost (Marquis, & Huston, 2015).

Strategies of Optimizing Teamwork and Communication

Team-STEPPS is essential in facilitating teamwork and communication in several ways. For instance, Haynes, and Strickler, (2014) observe that two strategies are vital for the improvement of teamwork and communication. The two measures include situational awareness and mutual support. Situational awareness relates to the ability of one to understand every element of the group and circumstances as well as what is likely affect the cohesiveness of the group. With such information, the individual can prevent the disintegration of the group possibly due to the self-absorption tendencies of team members.

On the contrary, mutual support improves teamwork and communication through the perception by a person that the other group members are a worthy backup in case of difficulty to accomplish a certain task. Such an understanding will enable the individual to speak out when seeking for assistance without fear (Haynes, & Strickler, 2014). As such, mutual support improves teamwork and communication.

Application to Nursing

The nursing implication drawn from this subject is the role that a nursing leader ought to take up during the group formation process and communication. Indeed, good leadership is the ultimate key to successful teams since they need to play crucial roles throughout the team development process. That is the case since they are responsible for coming up with goals in the forming phase, resolving conflict and enhancing trust in the storming stage, team building in the norming step, delegating in performing phase and organizing for evaluation of team’s achievements in adjourning phase (Mind Tools, 2012). With such instances, it is apparent that leaders have a big part to play in facilitating teamwork and communication.


In closure, indeed communication and teamwork are essential skills that nursing leaders ought to invest upon in their skill set. That is the case given the benefits afforded by the pair of competencies. For instance, teamwork and effective communication reduces incidences of medical errors, which influence the health of patients negatively. As such, nurses should seek opportunities of improving the two skills. For example, through utilization of Team-STEPPS, the nurses are on the right course to achievement this objective in a dual manner. However, failure to do so, will only but limit the chances of having effective communication and teamwork within the health care setting.




Adams, S. L., & Anantatmula, V. (2010). Social and behavioral influences on team process. Project Management Journal, 41(4), 89–98

Chun, J. S., & Choi, J. N. (2014). Members\’ needs, intragroup conflict, and group performance. The Journal Of Applied Psychology, 99(3), 437–450. doi:10.1037/a0036363

Haynes, J., & Strickler, J. (2014). TeamSTEPPS makes strides for better     communication. Nursing,44(1), 62-63. doi:10.1097/01.NURSE.0000438725.66087.89

Marquis, B. L., & Huston, C. J. (2015). Leadership roles and management functions in nursing: Theory and application (8th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins

Mind Tools. (2012). Forming, storming, norming and performing: Helping new teams perform effectively, quickly. Retrieved from http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_86.htm