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An antidote to what's ailing healthcare workers: a new (old) way of relational leadership.

Park B, Tuepker A, Vasquez Guzman CE, Edwards S, Waller Uchison E, Taylor C, Eiff MP. An antidote to what's ailing healthcare workers: a new (old) way of relational leadership. Leadership in health services (Bradford, England). 2023 Mar 28; ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print).

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PURPOSE: The purpose of the study''s mixed-methods evaluation was to examine the ways in which a relational leadership development intervention enhanced participants'' abilities to apply relationship-oriented skills on their teams. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: The authors evaluated five program cohorts from 2018-2021, involving 127 interprofessional participants. The study''s convergent mixed-method approach analyzed post-course surveys for descriptive statistics and interpreted six-month post-course interviews using qualitative conventional content analysis. FINDINGS: All intervention features were rated as at least moderately impactful by at least 83% of participants. The sense of community, as well as psychological safety and trust created, were rated as impactful features of the course by at least 94% of participants. At six months post-intervention, participants identified benefits of greater self-awareness, deeper understanding of others and increased confidence in supporting others, building relationships and making positive changes on their teams. ORIGINALITY/VALUE: Relational leadership interventions may support participant skills for building connections, supporting others and optimizing teamwork. The high rate of skill application at six months post-course suggests that relational leadership development can be effective and sustainable in healthcare. As the COVID-19 pandemic and systemic crises continue to impact the psychological well-being of healthcare colleagues, relational leadership holds promise to address employee burnout, turnover and isolation on interprofessional care teams.

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