Reflective Journal Week 5

Reflective Journal Week 5


This week our group discussions were focused around the greatest leader of all time, performance appraisals, and dealing with what may be considered a problem employee. When discussing the greatest leader of all time it seemed to be hard to pinpoint someone that encompasses the greatest leader of all time title because there have been many great leaders and in their own way and seems to be specific for the situation they are placed in. Some of the leaders that were presented as a group were, Mahatma Gandhi, Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King Jr., and George Washington. Each of these leaders rose to a challenge and spoke up to make things right in the world to make the world a better place.

When discussing performance appraisals, it was clear that there needs to be set expectations to be able to discuss job performance with employees so that they are able to progress in their career by knowing where they stand and what they can improve upon.

When discussing the given “problem employee” scenario it was clear to me that the employee in question was not a problem but seemed to be because the needs of the unit seemed to be cumbersome and needed the extra help from those on the unit. When asked to discipline or use corrective action with an employee that doesn’t seem to have created a problem would be a difficult task and would need to be gone about methodically to retain the knowledge/experience but also cover the needs of the unit.


The team activities brought new insight/perspective into who would be considered the best leader of all time and the reasoning behind their decision. And some great ideas on how to go about talking with a “problem employee” were discussed giving me new perspective on how one may go about tackling the task.

This week it was apparent that there are many different perspectives, and ways to complete a task such as dealing with unit needs and employees that are needed to fill in where needed. When utilizing this information in my nursing practice I will try my best to gather as much information as possible to gain a holistic perspective before jumping to conclusions. This week really helped me collaborate different perspectives pulling me outside of my box of thinking.

Reflective Journal Week 4

                 This week I learned more about the hiring process, more importantly the interview processes and what it all entails. When applying for a job it’s much easier to have your resume dialed in, fill out necessary application information, and have references ready for the hiring company. But when interviewing the company needs to take into consideration, logistics of a new hire, Job description, required education/certifications, prior experience, job commitment, the Interview, interviewee personality types, genuine applicants, resources for training new hire ext. Needless to say there is a lot that goes into hiring a new employee than may meet the eye. And to hire the right employee is crucial for the future of the company/organization.

                If I get to the position where I am in charge of the hiring process it is clear to me that I take it seriously by creating a plan, have resources available to me to weed through candidates selecting those who I would hire on paper and conducting an interview to dive deeper into whom will be the best fit for the culture we work in.

Hiring Interview with Todd Bird

As I was thinking about who I will ask these 15 questions one person came to mind that had plenty of experience in a leadership position and conducting interviews for positions with great responsibility. I interviewed Todd Bird who is a juvenile and adult correction educator for Canyon’s school district (South Park Academy), in short, he is the principal at the prison in Draper UT. 

  1. What are some things you look for in an interviewee that would be a sign you would not want to hire them?

When an interviewee is exaggerating, he looks for people who are more genuine.

  2. What would you consider an adequate amount of time for an interview?

Half hour to 45 minutes, anything less is not enough time to get to know the candidate, scheduling people in 1-hour increments.

3. Do you prefer one on one interviews or interviewing someone with a panel of interviewers?

Minimum of 3 people, he wants others opinion, (another leadership role, and someone that actually does what the candidate does or someone they will be working with).

4. Do you have a set of questions that you ask everyone you interview, or do you ask questions based on the progression of the interview and do the questions vary from person to person?

Todd states that within the school district there are pretty strict rules when it comes to the questions that are asked, there has to be a set of questions that he has to ask every candidate that is pre-approved by human resources. He also talks to the panel of interviewers to not ask questions outside of the questions that have been asked. All they can do is ask follow up questions with what the candidate has already stated.

5. How do you record your thoughts while interviewing? Do you write down thoughts as you interview? Do you make mental notes and record later?

When scoring candidates, they utilize a score card, and take notes during the interview that will remind them of what they were thinking during the interview.

6. How do you avoid asking illegal questions or avoid heading down the wrong direction with your interview?

Todd states that he doesn’t worry about asking illegal questions, but that he worries about the people placed on the panel. He had an experience where he was being interviewed by a panel that had people from the community that were helping conduct the interview. The position was for an administrative position and one of the community members asked him what religion he affiliated himself with. His response during the interview was “I don’t think legally you can ask that question, thank you but I will not answer that.” He fears that he hasn’t briefed the panel enough of the types of questions that they cannot ask. With the set questions it helps mitigate that. Also, he has taken it upon himself to ask all the questions.

7. Do you require a background check, and do you look at your candidates social media?

Everyone has to have a background check, also a BCI (bureau of criminal investigations). He states that he doesn’t check people’s social media enough. He has an administrative assistant that helps with the pre-approval process by looking up social media of the candidates. They do a pre-scoring process to weed it down to a minimum of 3 candidates.

8. When interviewing a candidate for a position posting what are some key behaviors within the interview that would deter you from hiring the candidate?

Todd tries to overlook nervousness. He is more keen on trying to get a feel for the candidate’s personality and whether they will fit into the organizations culture, or are they going to stir things up and create a poor working environment for others. When hiring he is concerned how the person is going to fit in. Especially since they work within prison confinement which can be intimidating in itself. Some candidates being so intimidated that they leave the interview before even sitting down and calling in later to say that they do not feel comfortable with the environment. So, he watches the candidates as they come for the interview to see if they feel comfortable enough navigating the prison (showing ID, talking to guards) to sit down for the interview. He also like to see the response of the candidates who are obviously freaked out with the environment and whether or not they try hiding their fear. Todd said that it is obvious when candidates are freaked out by try hiding it.

9. When asking the interviewer questions are you looking for specific responses, or are you more interested in the way the candidate articulates their response?

When asking specific questions, he is looking for both, a specific response, and the way the candidate responds. Within the interview he has specific questions for both. Some questions to get a specific response, and others to see how the candidate responds. One example of a question Todd uses to see how the candidate responds is “What would your co-workers say about you?”. Many of the candidates pause for a second, because the question turns from a self-reflection to how others may view them, and states that most candidates are pretty honest with the question whether they reveal some positive or negatives about themselves. He uses this question to get away from questions that candidates may be prepared to answer such as “Tell me your strengths and weaknesses” types of questions.

10. Experience is always great to have, but at what point would you hire someone with less experience? Could you give examples if this is true?

When interviewing candidates, he already goes into the interview with the mindset that he would already be willing to hire this person and uses the pre-approval process to weed out candidates that do not meet the requirements for the position. During the interview he tries not to weigh their experience and knowledge as much as he wants to get a better feel of who they are and their passion for the position itself. By working in education, he is looking for someone that is not only educated in the subject but is passionate about teaching others who are willing to learn fundamentals of the subject so that they can progress to the next level.

11. When considering a candidate for the position are you intrigued when a candidate has a professional portfolio on top of their resume, and does this set them above other candidates?

 Todd states that he doesn’t care about a professional portfolio, he is more concerned that the candidate has the required information (cover letter, resume, application and references). He states that he has been wronged so many times. When the new Canyon’s school district opened he went through all of the candidates portfolios who applied for the superintendent position which is a $200k+ position and the one who received the job had a stabled together white paper, but what set the person apart was what was written on the papers was very impressive. On paper he looks for things that tell a story about the person and the type of person they are. For example he interviewed a candidate because there was something intriguing about the candidate on paper because there seemed to be something missing and when interviewing the candidate he found out that she was on her death bed with cancer at two different times in her life before the age of 20. When reviewing her portfolio, it didn’t state that, but he recognized that things were being delayed/going on and that he was interested. After interviewing the candidate, he ended up hiring her because she had a great perspective for someone with her age.

12. How do you score or compare candidates across the board after the interview process?

After scoring candidates he tells the panel that he will ultimately make the final call but will take their thoughts into consideration when making that decision.


13. There are some people who are qualified for the job but are not good at interviews. When you see someone struggling in an interview, what do you do? 

When Todd recognizes someone, who is struggling through the interview he likes to make a joke to get the candidate to relax. Sometimes he will say, “let’s stop for a minute, you go ahead and breathe (candidate may laugh) and he will say it’s alright we are nice here, you are already in prison how bad can it be?” or he will say, “are you nervous because this is your first time in prison?”. He also states that he has been on panels where they try to purposefully make the candidates feel nervous and doesn’t understand the purpose of this as it doesn’t help you understand who the person is after the interview is over, and not just who they are during the interview.


14. When making the final decision on a candidate, what process do you follow? Who do you communicate with to send an offer?

Once a decision has been made, he is sure to check references, and personally calls the candidate to offer the position, or to inform the candidate that they were not chosen for the position. When calling references, he also utilizes a specific set of questions as well set by the HR department. In what capacity do you know them, how long have you known them, and is there anything that you would like to tell me about this person, and would you rehire this person? One red flag is people who do not post a reference that is a previous or current supervisor.

15. When you interview a candidate what type of body language do you look for? Facial expressions? Placement of hands? What gives the impression of confidence in your opinion?

Todd states that the impression of confidence does matter, but that he is unsure of what he looks for specifically or if it’s just a feeling of confidence that he gets from the interviewee. He also states that he has been duped by some interviewees who showed confidence but ended up being hard to work with because they seemed to have all the answers. When going to interviews he states that he fidgets a lot, so he takes a pen into the interview to direct some of that energy into fidgeting with the pen instead fidgety hands. He related this to a politician who ran for president Bob Dole who had a stroke, with his hand in a fist it would be obvious that there was something wrong, but when he has a pen in that hand during his speeches it was less noticeable.

My biggest takeaways from interviewing Todd Bird was that the pre interview process is very important to mitigate the amount of time spent during interviews, and during the interview it is not necessarily the questions that are asked but as to how the candidate responds and how genuine they are about their response. Hiring someone is one of the most important things you can do for an organization. When you hire someone, you’re ultimately effecting the efficiency and morale of the workplace. When getting it wrong it is harder to get rid of the bad apple than to be more thorough in the selection process.

Week 3 Journal

   This week we discovered the different aspects of the hiring process. From my understanding of the material, as a leader in the hiring process it becomes much more difficult/time consuming depending on the organization and the hierarchal system that may take time to achieve approval for the process, and the process itself (HR, 3rd party organizations, overlooking candidates, interviews and post interview). It seems a few things tend to take more time such as the responsibilities of the position; such as a technician vs a nurse vs a manager, each of these will be looked at in more detail for different reasons.

   The interview itself has risk with what questions are made Legal or Illegal, and the preparation for the interview. If the interview is well thought out by having prepared questions, specific people involved with the interview (huck, nurse, charge nurse, or HR employee), and an agreeable best-case scenario hire. To properly lead through the hiring processes reduces the time it takes to obtain a new hire, and the skillset it takes to choose the best candidate that fulfills the needs of the unit and culture within. As a new nurse in the field these are aspects of the hiring process to consider as I am more likely to be placed in a leadership role as my career progresses.

Journal Reflection Week 2

This week I’ve had time to reflect on some of the assignments and how they bring to light the idea of great leadership. The Ender’s Game movie is just one movie that characterizes leadership. With Ender (Wiggin) and Colonel Graff being the most obvious leaders throughout the movie, they exemplified vision, patients, respect, determination, humility, good communication skills, compassion,  and most of all a sense of team work to accomplish a common goal. To me these characteristics are shown in great leaders. The opioid crisis that has plagued many communities is a prime example in how leadership can rectify the adverse effects of the crisis. In Oklahoma a state judge ordered Johnson and Johnson to pay $572 million for perpetuating the addiction crisis. I’d hope that great leadership will appropriate the funds correctly especially the communities the crisis has hit the hardest.

Through the team activity of determining who the leaders were on the given list of names we found most of the individuals that were listed were leaders and for similar but different reasons. They were similar in that they had vision or ingenuity, influence over peers, and great communication skills. Even though one in particular such as Adolf Hitler had some very disturbing ideologies that perpetrated the events that had unfold. But even Hitler was able to lead others to come together for a cause that they believed in such as the Aryan race and the genocide of millions of Jews. With this activity it is easy to see that those in natural leadership positions such as presidency, fuhrer, CEO of a company, priest tend to be easy to find the leadership qualities. However in day to day operations at work I’ve began to notice natural leaders that do not take on the given title of “leader”. These co-workers tend to have a grasp on how the system or unit works as a whole, knowledgeable experts in their line of work, teachable, and teachers of their expertise.

The DISC personality test was to help identify personal traits that contribute to ones leadership style and how each of the traits are useful within an organisation depending on the circumstances. However I did not see that one of these traits was more prevalent in me as a whole but was more prevalent in me depending on the circumstances that I am placed in. I do think that having a good understanding of oneself and your personality traits will help one be more mindful in their leadership style and may help shape their leadership style depending on their given situation.

The information in this unit will help me be more mindful of leadership characteristics, personality traits, and identify those around me to exemplify leadership even though they may not take on the leadership style. This will also help me be more mindful of my own characteristics and personality traits that I express so that I can hone in on how to better myself to become a better leader in my line of work.

Nursing Leadership Characteristics

  1. Leadership requires personal mastery – Nurses demonstrate leadership when they show competence and mastery in the tasks they perform. Nurses are deemed competent by means of a license to practice nursing (NLN 2010).
  2. Leadership is about values – A nurse will lead by example by showing the importance of not only their values but the values of those they collaborate with and the ones they are caring for.
  3. Leadership is about service – Nurses exemplify a leader when they take the initiative to help their co-workers (teammates) to achieve a common goal to provide the best care to the patients they are over.
  4. Leadership is about people and relationships – Nurses lead by getting to know their co-workers, patients, and community to learn how to fulfill their needs.
  5. Leadership is contextual – Nurses who lead identify strengths and weaknesses of themselves and their co-workers. This provides the opportunity to let those who are experts in a field/task to take the spotlight, and an opportunity to teach those in your expertise.
  6. Leadership is about the management of meaning – Nurses lead by motivating those around them to find it within them the purpose to achieving an outcome.
  7. Leadership is about balance – Nurses demonstrate leadership by being able to balance work life and personal life so that neither interfere with the other in their ability to perform.
  8. Leadership is about continuous learning and improvement – Nurses who lead put in the time to better themselves at what they do through education, and taking opportunities to learn from others who are experts in their field.
  9. Leadership is about effective decision making – Nurses lead by prioritizing their time, resources and knowing when to ask for help.
  10. Leadership is a political process – Nurses lead by being able to identify differences between those they work with and patients they care for and be able to overcome the differences to achieve an a common goal.
  11. Leadership is about modeling – Nurses demonstrate leadership by coming together as a team sharing information and strategies to achieve a shared goal or outcome.
  12. Leadership is about integrity – Nurses lead by having a commitment to do the right thing regardless of the circumstances, being consistent through actions, and expectations.

DISC Personality Test

After taking the DISC test my results were 4/0/3/8

This would make me more of a conscientious (C). It is true that I do like to avoid conflict and I am more systematic in my approach when trying to complete a project or task. 

I wouldn’t consider the results a revelation about myself but I can see traits about myself in each category, however I scored a 0 in Influential. To be honest I don’t find this test to effect my leadership style. But I do see the importance to understand the traits that I do possess and use these traits to shape how I will follow/lead in the future. This test will give insight as to what traits I may possess and show what leadership style I may lean toward.

Nursing Leadership Blog

My name is Tyson, I’m new to writing a journal, in fact this is my first time doing this. For this blog I’m going to be focusing on nursing leadership and the course that I will be taking for the fall semester of 2019. In this course I’m eager to learn more about different leadership styles, how they are perceived in the workforce, and identify my personal leadership style and how I can better myself in this aspect.