Week 6: Communication

You recently hired a new member to your SLMC team. During her 6-week orientation, you discovered Kim had excellent clinical skills, but her therapeutic communication skills were inferior compared to the rest of your team. She is now working on her own, and some staff and patient complaints have been reported to you regarding her poor communication skills. As the nurse administrator, discuss your next steps for this situation and your rationale. Outline a plan to review with Kim to resocialize her to her role and make her feel like a valued part of your team.

As the nurse administrator for SLMC, you must communicate to your team the disappointing news that your organization is discontinuing tuition reimbursement benefits. Discuss how you will communicate this message to your direct reports and to the rest of the organization. Be specific and state your rationale for your communication plan.

Scholarly references to support your response are required.

Week 6: Introduction

Table of Contents

Welcome to Week 6!

This week, we will continue to examine organization theory with a specific focus on team-building approaches within and among departments. Let’s get started.



Compare and contrast the effect of organizational structures, e.g. organizational charts, standards, philosophy, procedures, and culture on work processes and organizational and patient outcomes; utilizing critical thinking, communication skills and therapeutic intervention strategies of the professional role. (PO 8)

Weekly Objectives

  • Evaluate organizational communication related to organizational structures.


Examine effective verbal and written communication; utilizing communication skills of the professional role to promote and improve quality and safety in healthcare. (PO1, PO2, & PO5)

Weekly Objectives

  • Examine group communication and team-building approaches to improve quality and safety within the healthcare organization.

Week 6: Reading

  • PointsNone

Marquis, B. L. & Huston, C. J. (2017). Leadership roles and management functions in nursing: Theory and application. (9th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

  • Chapter 16: Socializing and Educating Staff for Team Building
  • Chapter 19: Organizational, Interpersonal, and Group Communication
  • Chapter 20: Delegation

Roussel, L., Thomas, P., & Harris, J. (2016). Management and leadership for nurse administrators. (7th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

  • Chapter 6: Organizational Structure and Accountability
  • Chapter 10: Managing Performance

Recommended reading:

Phillips, M. (2016). Professional issues. Embracing the multigenerational nursing team. MEDSURG Nursing, 25(3), 197-199.

Week 6: Lesson

Table of Contents

Team-Building Approaches


As we begin this week’s lesson, we will focus on strategies to enhance team building, with a focus on group and organizational communication. As a nurse leader, you will be attending and chairing various meetings with one more several different departments. Developing interprofessional relationships with other persons and departments is a great way to appreciate their role and help build a sense of community throughout the organization.

Team-Building Approaches

Within an organization, a team atmosphere is helpful to ensure all areas operate efficiently and effectively. As the nurse leader for your team, you have oversight for the development of specific, measurable goals for your team. Within a team on a specific unit or an area, the number of individuals and their knowledge, expertise, and skill set can vary. Utilizing the attributes of your team is a great way to empower your team members and build commitment and ownership for the intended goals.

Within the Standards of Professional Performance for Nurse Administrators, collaboration (standard 11) identifies the nurse administrator as the individual who should collaborate with nursing staff, interdisciplinary teams, various departments, and the community (American Nurses Association (ANA), 2010). In addition, interdisciplinary collaboration, or team building, is noted throughout the scope and standards for nurse administrators, which reinforces the importance of team building for nurse leaders (ANA, 2010).

There are several steps that can facilitate the building of your team. As a nurse leader, your initial step is to start building your team when you interview and hire your employees. Sharing expectations and setting the tone for the culture of your organization should occur during this time to determine if you are a good fit for each other.

There are several forms of communication. Communication may be in the form of a message that is given to someone, a letter or memo, an e-mail, text, telephone call, and so forth and can be verbal or nonverbal. Communication is the use of words, sounds, signs, or behaviors to share information or to express your ideas, thoughts, feelings, and so forth, to someone else (MerriamWebster.com, 2013).

Effective communication by the nurse leader is one way to help support teamwork within your organization. There are various ways to communicate with different recipients or types of teams to convey a specific message. As well, the leader may need to vary the format of the communication or content depending on the situation and recipients. Various types of teams, such as work teams, project teams, management teams, and parallel teams, may be present within an organization.

Time to reflect…

What factors determine which communication method is most appropriate for a particular audience?

Listen to these reflective thoughts from the Course Leader:

I just as Dr Diana makes and this is our time to reflect what factors determine which communique should method or method is most appropriate for a particular audience and the nurse a leader an earth executive you’re going to be doing various presentations communications it may be to patients it may be to families that may be to your team members that maybe to the public maybe two positions could be a town hall meeting could be a one on one meeting could be a small group meeting could be walking in the hall and someone stops you for a question so things to consider again who is your audience who are you you know directing your communications to how many persons are there and certainly the location of your communications as well and is it impromptu Is that something that’s planned is that more of a formal presentation you know those are things to consider and also the nature of the communication is the communication regarding a patient or we you need to be aware of of hepa of privacy issues as well is that a sensitive matter it’s just more of a general matter that you know that anyone could hear as well so those are some things to think about him consider when your having certain communications this is our time to reflect Thank you.

Group Communication

One way to communicate the expectations for a team can be through the development of policies and procedures. Keeping minutes of meetings is one way to record the information discussed, assign duties, responsibilities, action items, and share the minutes with all the pertinent members of the group in order to enhance communication. The expectations and policies and procedures, as applicable, should be communicated with all members of the teams.

Within a work environment, generally informal and formal groups exist. Informal groups are generally volunteers who have similar interests in a topic; whereas, formal groups are typically recognized as part of the organizational structure and can be short-term or long-term assignments for its members. Team members may be part of informal and formal groups at the same time. The communication styles and role expectations may vary for these two groups as well.

Modeling of expected organizational behaviors can be performed through the use of mentors, preceptors, and other role models (Marquis & Huston, 2017). Utilization of these strategies can assist in supporting the competence and confidence of new team members within a group or organization. In addition, short-term coaching can be helpful to assist employees as they transition to a new role or to support an employee with a performance issue.

Time to reflect….

What strategies could you implement to facilitate communication to achieve optimal outcomes?

Listen to these reflective thoughts from the Course Leader:

Hi this is Dr Diana Meeks and I am the course leader and this is our time to reflect what strategies could you implement to facilitate communication to achieve optimal outcome of an nurse leader we must be cognizant that individuals receive information and share information different ways certainly there is the verbal communication and then written communication and some receive communication better in a written format or certainly some are more of an auditory where they need to hear it and some are very visual as well that they need to you know see you and hear you and to be able to read your body language and body language is a huge part of our communication so depending upon the topic of information that you want to communicate with either one individual or group an individual then the content of the information you may want to speak to that person or group and a private area it may be more of a formal setting like a former town hall meeting and certainly be cognizant on the information and on your audience so that the communication is the chief then before you even start a communication What is your goal what do you hope to communicate and it’s always helpful at least that I found to that when you’re trying to communicate something to someone or if someone else is trying to communicate with you reiterate or reflect on what they’ve said.

You know if someone shares something you can say so what I’m understanding your saying would be you know X. Y. and Z. and then if someone is trying to share something with you can just again reiterate you know this is what I’m hearing you say is this what you were trying to communicate with me so again just making sure that there are.

You know we can avoid miscommunication there’s no. At least in this communication of possible communication can be very difficult and it’s like anything that we do as duress leaders or just you know in general reflect on your conversation reflect on your communication and if there are a way that you could have improved to the process or your role or the outcome and you know how you can improve for next time and learn from it but if that are time to reflect Thank you.

Organizational Communication

The nurse leader has the power to influence various areas of an organization; specifically communication, through many aspects of the leadership role. This influence can be evident in the various team models or committees that are present within an organization. Building and developing relationships based on mutual respect and taking a genuine interest in others can facilitate effective communication (Roussel, et al., 2016). Effective communication throughout an organization can be challenging as the number of employees increase. The nurse leader should be aware of the organizational structure and who in the organization would be affected by decisions that will be implemented. Providing clear and concise information to the affected employees and allowing an opportunity for feedback and to participate in change activities are strategies to support effective communication.

One strategy to improve the effectiveness of committees is by setting policies and procedures or guidelines for each committee. A periodic evaluation of each committee can be useful to ensure needed goals or outcomes are being met and adjusting any areas as needed for maximum effectiveness. Reviewing the minutes of each meeting can be a measure to ensure the team is on target to meet the set goals and outcomes required.

As the nurse leader, knowledge of various laws, legal and political issues, and various healthcare measures and standards will be helpful to ensure the overall functioning of the organization. Oftentimes, collaboration with other departments are needed to ensure the organization is functioning with quality outcomes and aid in avoiding or dissipating conflict.

Staff development and inter-professional collaboration opportunities are another venue for educating team members within the organization regarding expectations related to team building and effective communication. It may be challenging to ensure all team members participate in learning; therefore, flexible and creative ways can help support members to complete needed learning requirements. Seeking input from members of the team regarding future training needs and opportunities is another way to support the team and enhance team building. Creative strategies to ensure all employees learn to the best of their ability should be available to team members.


Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation (SBAR)

Some leaders find a communication tool helpful to share information. SBAR is one approach to communicating information in a structured and orderly manner to provide accurate information. This method was first used in the Navy and has been found to reduce communication errors, which may have otherwise led to patient safety issues. (Marquis & Huston, 2017). The steps include introducing yourself and stating the issue you wish to discuss (situation). Next, you describe background information (background); then, state what you believe the problem may be (assessment). Lastly, you provide your recommendation for what action should occur (recommendation). SBAR is an option for healthcare organizations to consider for improving communication of pertinent patient information (Marquis & Huston, 2017).

Time to reflect…

How could the SBAR communication tool assist in conflict management?

Listen to these reflective thoughts from the Course Leader:

Hi this is Dr Diana Meeks and this is our time to reflect how could the SBAR communications who will assist in conflict management and as you just reviewed in the lesson situation background assessment recommendation and we’ve kind of talked about a little bit this earlier in the the lesson and in the course as well that depending upon what the situation is.

Whom you’re speaking to what it’s with regard then you will you know get the background get the information as to what the situation is then you’re going to make an assessment after you’ve gathered all the information and then you’re going to make a recommendation forward so these it’s just kind of a nice flow with far as making sure that you’re going from one step to the next step and then making the best possible recommendation so if you have not used this method before and a lot of times we’ve used this method but we didn’t actually name it this so just consider that the next time you have a stitch situation and then certainly get the background assess and then make a recommendation and again I know you’ve heard me say this raft of course but like everything once you’ve done this thing completed this and shared your assessment reflect on that is there anything that you could have done differently anything that you can improve upon as the leader for the next time if this should occur thanks so much this is our time to reflect.


This week, we explored how a nurse leader may influence others with their power, how to manage conflict management within an organization, and how communication can influence decision making. Next week, we will focus on quality standards within the organization.


American Nurses Association (ANA). (2010). Nursing administration: Scope and standards of practice (2nd ed.). Silver Springs, MD: Author.

Marquis, B. L. & Huston, C. J. (2017). Leadership roles and management functions in nursing: Theory and application. (9th ed.).  Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Merriam-Webster (2013). Definition of communication. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/communication.

Roussel, L., Thomas, P., & Harris, J. (2016). Management and leadership for nurse administrators. (7th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.


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