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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).
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.
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.
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.
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.