Week 5 Reflection

This week in lecture we learned about conducting performance reviews as well as managing problem employees. In teams we expressed our opinions about  what individual we think would be the greatest leader of all time and why. I don’t know if my choice was cheating… but I chose Jesus Christ – because he influences a lot of people every day. We discussed qualities that separate the good employees from the bad. We also ran through a scenario in which we had to deal with a “problem employee”. There is so much more politics to hiring and firing people than one would first acknowledge. I learned that it’s important to keep record of employee discipline, because it would be much more difficult to terminate a problem employee if there is no record of his/her misconduct.

I think the most interesting part of this weeks learning was the stories our professor shared with us about the people he’s had to fire or terminate. He also shared with us how we should avoid disciplining employees on Friday’s (when possible) because it can fester throughout the weekend. There have been cases where people have ended their life because they were fired and didn’t have anyone to talk to because it was the weekend. I learned that it’s important to be compassionate and to avoid being vindictive when firing or terminating an employee because it can be the most humiliating, traumatic, and life changing experiences for an individual. I really enjoyed the quote our professor shared with us at the end of the lecture in regards to terminating an employee. He said something to the effect of, “As a manager it’s important that we are always helping our employees to succeed, but sometimes it’s to help them succeed elsewhere.”

Hiring Interview Answers and Reflection

This week we were asked to interview someone who was in charge of hiring new employees. I interviewed K.C. who works at Chrysalis as a house manager. It was interesting hear the answers to our team questions and how he conducts himself as a manager. To be honest, his replies were not all that surprising to me, as I know K.C. personally and have been friends for a number of years. The question that stood out to me the most was the question about avoiding bias when hiring people. I think this is something that can be very difficult, because managers often have to rely on their opinion or that “gut feeling”. I think what he said about opinion and bias being closely related is true. They are very closely related, and it’s important for everyone, not just managers, to avoid discrimination in our judgement. The following are his responses to our team questions:

1- When do you start looking for people to hire?

“If someone quits or puts in their 2 week notice.”

2- What is one question you always ask in an interview and why?

“Why do you want to work here? I can usually tell if that person really has a desire to work here or if they’re just looking for any job in particular.”

3- What is one quality that you are always impressed with in an interviewee?

“Professionalism.”

4- How do you personally prepare for an interview with a candidate?

“My interviews are more casual than formal, I typically end up hiring people I have already known or have some sort of connection with.”

5- What, if any, deal-breaker qualities do you look for?

“If they seems lazy or have a nonchalant attitude.”

6- How do you avoid your own personal biases during interviews?

“This is hard for me to do, I feel like opinion and bias are almost one and the same, but I do my best to not discriminate for petty things like race or gender.”

7- What do you look for when you first meet your interviewee?

“Someone who can smile and give a firm handshake.”

8- Do you have an interview panel? If so, who do you have in on that panel during the interview?

“No”. N/A

9- What are you looking for in a candidate?

“We have a high turnover rate here, so I look for someone who can be committed and stay for a while.”

10- What is your least favorite thing about hiring?

“It can be time consuming and it’s no fun when you hire someone who ends up being a total flake.”

11- Is there a certain time limit you try to stay in while conducting an interview?

“My interviews are typically no longer than 20 minutes.”

12- Do you take time to learn about your candidates prior to meeting them in real life?

“Like I said, a lot of the people I end up hiring are those I’m already somewhat familiar with. If it’s someone I don’t know at all, I do like to ask questions and try to get to know who they are.”

13- Are you impressed when your interviewee speaks up when they have a chance to ask questions? Which questions are you most impressed by?

“Absolutely, I want my employees to know what they’re getting themselves into.”

 

Week 4 Reflection

This week we participated in a team building activity. We shared some laughs, and got to know each other by playing some “get-to-know-you” games and activities. Although waking up early to spend 3 hours on a conference call over google hangouts wasn’t my favorite idea, I did enjoy getting to know my teammates better and to share a laugh. We also played through a couple of survival scenarios and debated as to what items would be most critical to have and how we could use them. This was probably the most memorable part of the team activity. I enjoy being able to put myself in those types of scenarios to try and test my knowledge. Although on paper it was a little hard to organize my thoughts, if I were to survive a plane crash and I knew what my options were, I think I could do a pretty decent job at surviving.

Week 3 Reflection

This week in Leadership we learned about the hiring process and the politics surrounding it. The most interesting topic for me this week was learning about which questions were considered illegal to ask during an interview. I found it quite intriguing how some of these questions were just about basic demographics, like age. I understand that these questions are illegal because they’re trying to avoid discrimination and bias, however, age seems like it may be pretty important to know in the legal process of things for a hiring interview. I’m assuming there are different rules about this when it comes to occupations where there is a legal age requirement. I also learned that unless the interviewee willingly divulges the information, it’s illegal to inquire about marital status, number of children, pregnancy, sexual orientation (in some states), race, religion, nationality, financial status, or whether they were honorably discharged from the military.

As a team were asked to come up with questions we could ask a nurse leader about how they conduct a hiring interview and how this process works. We were also given a case study in which we were to come to a consensus to pick 1 of 2 candidates for a nurse leader position. To me, the choice was easy. One of the nurses was already familiar with the unit (current employee), had more years of experience, and had already established a good rapport. The other nurse had experience at a larger/busier facility but it would have been riskier and cost the hospital much more to go with an outside hire.

Looking into the future, I can use the information I learned this week to help me prepare for becoming a nurse leader and interviewing potential candidates. I will use this information to help me avoid discriminating and avoiding my own personal biases.

Week 2 Reflection

This week we were asked to reflect and discuss our thoughts on leadership and management. From the lecture and assignments this week, I learned that everyone has leadership qualities or the potential to be a leader. I learned that there are many different types of leaders, and that people respond differently to the various types of leadership. I also learned there is a vast range of personality traits and qualities that can qualify someone to be a leader. I learned about the differences between leadership and management. To me, leadership is more about the personality traits one develops, and their ability to motivate and inspire others towards productivity. Management, however, makes me think of the managing day-to-day activities, making sure policies and procedures are enforced, etc.

DISC Personality Test

My score in the DISC (Dominant, Influential, Steady, Conscientious) personality test was as follows:

Dominant: 5

Influential: 6

Steady: 14

Conscientious: 15

My score qualifies me as Conscientious.

I don’t think I necessarily learned anything new about myself from this test, but it was encouraging to know that a person doesn’t necessarily have to be “Dominant” or “Influential” to be a leader. There are so many different leadership qualities.

 

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 by holding themselves to high moral standards in their performance at work and social circles.

3.       Leadership is about service – Nurses demonstrate leadership by treating others with compassion and empathy as they serve others.

4.       Leadership is about people and relationships – Nurses demonstrate leadership in their ability to communicate effectively with others.

5.       Leadership is contextual – Nurses demonstrate leadership when they can be flexible and cater towards the needs of others.

6.       Leadership is about the management of meaning – Nurses demonstrate leadership when they understand the purpose of their interventions and teach others to do the same.

7.       Leadership is about balance – Nurses demonstrate leadership when they show humility. Nurses know they are not superior to their patients and can learn from others.

8.       Leadership is about continuous learning and improvement – Nurses demonstrate leadership by educating themselves. Nurses strive to stay up-to-date on the most current research in order to better help those around them live healthier lives.

9.       Leadership is about effective decision making – Nurses demonstrate leadership by being assertive. Nurses help physicians to make decisions and strive to deliver care to the best of their ability.

10.   Leadership is a political process – Nurses demonstrate leadership by knowing and respecting the hierarchy set in place by their facility. Nurses take advantage of this system to improve patient care.

11.   Leadership is about modeling – Nurses demonstrate leadership by being an excellent example. Nurses strive to show competency in their work and help others to improve.

12.   Leadership is about integrity – Nurses demonstrate leadership by being professional. Nurses are open and honest in their work and avoid being deceitful.

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