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Ashley Timm

“The greatest leader is not
necessarily the one who does the greatest things.  He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest
things.” Ronald Regan.

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Leaders come in all shapes and sizes
and all posses a different set of useful skills. There are things that set good
leader apart for the great ones.  After
reading different articles I have learned just how important these skills
really are.  One of the articles
Leadership skills in the or Part1 communication helps surgeon avoid pitfall was
extremely informative.  It talks about
the six leadership styles: authoritative, coaching, affiliative, democratic,
pacesetting, and commanding. Having multiple leadership styles can make for an
even better leader.  According to the
article the authoritative leader is going to be the leader focusing on the
long- term goals. When an authoritative lead they listen to others, the leader goes
over goals for the group and builds support. Coaching was another style they
mentioned.  Coaching, or mentoring,
involves giving out the responsibility to right person and for the right job.   An effective coaching leader helps team
mates pick out their own strengths, weaknesses and set their own end goals they
are wanting to obtain. The coach guides others in obtaining any extra
information and resources. The affiliative leader can
create a safe, learning environment that addresses other’s emotional needs.
With the affiliative leadership style, they are trying to build team harmony,
boosts morale, and gain loyalty of the group. The affiliative leader shies away
from the negative feedback and rather tries to offer only the positive. A great
way to offer a positive feedback system is to use the sandwich effect.  You start with a positive then add the negative
followed with another positive.  When you
use this approach, it makes the team player feel less attacked when being
corrected. Your point is still just as effective you are just using positive
reinforcement rather then just tell them everything they did wrong.  It A democratic leader gathers
the input from everyone in the group. This makes everyone feel a part of the
team.  They feel as they belong, and their
opinion is valued. Encouraging input from others in the group generates
new ideas and increases positive outcomes. The democratic style encourages
buy-in and builds trust and respect.
The pacesetting style sets
high goals and standards and demonstrates them. 
Weak performers are expected to progress or can expect to be replaced.
This style is most effective with a team of exceedingly talented and driven team
members. The risk of the pacesetting style is that it can up set the confidence
of the team leaving them feeling as they don’t  matter. 
Weak performers are expected to improve or be prepared to be replaced.
This style is most effective with a team of extremely talented and inspired team
members. While contribution from others may be urged, the leader upholds the definitive
power. This leadership style is efftive in a crisis.  The breakdown
of these leadership qualities was great. 

Another example used was the comparison of
surgery to a flight crew.  I had never
considered the similarities. Both surgery and aviation their possibility for high stress,
pressures, requirement of properly working equipment, and a historically unyielding
pecking order. Airline pilots
use a preflight checklist to simplify communication errors. The purpose of the
checklist is to deliver information so that every member of the flight crew has
a understanding of what is expected and what is being done.  This same procedure is done in the OR with
our “time out” or “pause for the cause”. 
There are many different names but it’s all the same concept.  By taking the extra time and running down the
check list it provides effective commination that is laid out for the entire
team. This kind communications allows for less errors and can prevent major
mess ups.

It talked about leadership role in a
crisis.  This is a very important quality
for a leader in the surgical setting.   Difference in expected pathology,
problems with technology equipment or, and errors of communication can all
conspire to create a surgical crisis.  “The
secret of crisis management is not good vs. bad, it’s preventing the bad from
getting worse.” Andy Gilman.  Knowing how
to handle these added stress factors is critical.  It can mean the difference in life saving
seconds.  Surgeries can change on a
dime.  Being able to adapt while
maintaining order and being able to give directions couldn’t be more important.  Everyone in the operating room would love for
each procedure to be a well-orchestrated serious. But anyone that has ever
worked in the OR knows that isn’t ever the case. 

One of the
other major topics talked about in the article is having effective
communication.  Communication is key in
any part communicating but if its not effective it’s not relevant.  What is the point of communicating if what
you are trying to get across isn’t effective. 
It’s a waste of everyone’s time. Most importantly you probably aren’t
going to have a happy surgeon on your hands. 
“The single most important lesson of effective communication is this:
Focus on clarity.  Concentrate on
precisions.  Don’t worry about
constructing beautiful sentences.  Beauty
comes from meaning, not language. 
Accuracy is the most effective style of all.” David Gerrold

We must be able
to do a self-assessment to figure out if we will be an effective leader and if
we don’t match up to these things then we must know what we need to fix. When
putting people in management roles we must be able to evaluate their skills as
well.  Self-awareness
is being able to know what is your limits are and what you can do.  Self-management is being able to maintain
those emotion and knowing how to keep them in order.  Social awareness being able to recognize other
strengths and utilizes their skills.    Social skills are used to inspire others make
them see your vision and want to reach the same goals you are trying to achieve.  “If somebody doesn’t have the self-awareness
and self- respect to conduct themselves in a polite and business- like fashion,
then that could be an indication of their lack of ability to be a strong
performer.” Mark Green


5 unique Surgical tech skills you need to succeed.

Leadership skills in the OR part 1 communication helps surgeon
avoid pitfalls

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