The Answer to the Question what Makes a Good Role Model
Becoming a successful leader in today’s complex and rapidly changing world and healthcare industry can be challenging. However, with the proper knowledge and training, transformational leaders can emerge. Transformational leadership requires a leader who inspires others by encouraging change, creativity, and the formation of new ideas (Porter-O’Grady & Malloch, 2018). Through this knowledge, accountability is achieved, not only for oneself but all people under the leader’s authority. This accountability makes the leader a role model, who demonstrates many important skills by becoming a role model and a coach. While each serves a vital role in leadership, it is important for a transformational leader to know the difference between a coach and a role model, and the challenges and benefits that may arise through the utilization of each skill.
Coaching can best be described as a “developmental process in a one-on-one, formal, short-to-medium-term counseling relationship focused on sustained behavior development and modification in the coachee” (Hastings & Kane, 2018, p. 12). Due to the limited time frame, coaching tends to stress the importance of personal, departmental, and organizational growth and development while creating a plan of action for the coachee to follow.
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The action plan should be detailed and focused in order to achieve the proper developmental goals set forth. Porter-O’Grady and Malloch (2018) expand on the aforementioned definition by adding that the coaching role is a partnership, where the coach forms a meaningful relationship and teaches accountability while showing that change and adaption are necessary for the growth of the individual and organization. While change is inevitable, having a leader and coach who embraces it and strives to create new avenues to accomplish individual and organizational development is a priority.
When a leader transforms into the role model or the role of coach, they must possess many characteristics to ensure they become successful. According to Hastings and Kane (2018) a few key characteristics of a flourishing coach include “rapport, collaboration, commitment, trust, listening, counseling skills, and confidentiality” (p. 12). Each of these characteristics are taught extensively to nurses, however to be a leader and effective coach, each characteristic must be more refined and present with each interaction with the coachee. Coaching should be also be individualized to meet their needs. Yarborough (2018) describe six key principles of a successful coach, which include the creation of a safe and challenging environment, working with the needs of the coachee, facilitation and collaboration, advocating for self-awareness, learning from experience, as well as modeling what you coach. Each of these principles serves to strengthen the relationship between coach and coachee and will help transform the coachee into a more valuable leader.
Challenges are inevitable, but through proper trial and error, they can be overcome. Coaching oftentimes pushes “people out of their comfort zones to stretch into new ways of thinking and doing” (Porter-O’Grady & Malloch, 2018, p. 510). This can make the coaches job more difficult, because people tend to shy away from uncomfortable situations that are out of their control. However, with persistence and proper techniques, the coach can help transform the old behaviors of the leader in training into more of a transformational leader.