Mindful Leadership in Interprofessional Teams





Appreciative Inquiry, Chronic Disease Care, Complex Systems, Emergence, Interprofessional Teams, Mindful Leadership


In interprofessional health teams the need for coordinating leadership and the (dynamical) need for appropriate clinical expertise to come to the fore involves a tension between the traditional role of the team leader as authority figure and the collaborative leadership which enables individual team members to emerge as leaders in their area of expertise and to relinquish this leadership as needed. Complexity analysis points to an understanding of leadership as an emergent property of the team. We discuss how a framework of mindful leadership addresses the implications of this emergent leadership model, and how Appreciative Inquiry provides a structured process for examination of team vision, values and behaviour standards.

Author Biographies

Keith De'Bell, St. Francis Xavier University

Professor of Mathematics, Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science

Roberta Clark, University of New Brunswick

Associate Professor (Retired), Department of Nursing


Interprofessional Education Collaborative Expert Panel. Core competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice: Report of an expert panel [Internet]. 2011 [accessed 2018 March]. Available from: https://nexusipe-resource-exchange.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/IPEC_CoreCompetencies_2011.pdf.

Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative. A national interprofessional competency framework [Internet]. 2010 [accessed 2017 March]. Available from: https://www.cihc.ca/files/CIHC_IPCompetencies _Feb1210.pdf.

Grady CM. Can complexity science inform physician leadership development? Leadersh Health Serv. 2016;29(3):251-263.

Chadwick MM. Creating order out of chaos: a leadership approach. AORN J. 2010;91(1):154-170.

Manson SM. Simplifying complexity: a review of complexity theory. Geoforum. 2001;32:405-414.

Weaver L, McMurty A, Conklin J et al. Harnessing complexity science for interprofessional education development: a case study. Journal of Research in Interprofessional Practice and Education. 2011;2(1):100-120.

Greener I, Harrington BE, Hunter DJ, et al. Reforming Healthcare: What’s The Evidence? Bristol, UK: Policy Press; 2014. p. 3-4.

Seijts G, Crossan M, Billou N. Coping with complexity [Internet]. Ivey Business Journal; 2010 [accessed 2017 April]. Available from: https://iveybusinessjournal.com/publication/coping-with-complexity/.

Chatalalsingh C, Reeves S. Leading team learning: what makes interprofessional teams learn to work well? J Interprof Care. 2014;28(6):513–518.

Johns C. Mindful Leadership: A Guide for Health Care Professions. London, UK: Palgrave, MacMillan Publishers; 2016. p. 9-35.

Scott S. Wellness and balance: perceptions amongst female health care professionals negotiating career, family and continuing education [masters of education thesis]. [St. Catharines, Ontario (CA)]: Brock University; 2016. p 31 Available from: https://dr.library.brocku.ca/handle/10464/2291.

Zimmerman B, Lindberg C, Plsek P. Edgeware: Insights from Complexity Science for Health Care Leaders. Irving, Texas: VHA Inc; 1998. p. 29-32.

Kinnaman ML, Bleich MR. Collaboration: aligning resources to create and sustain partnerships. J Prof Nurs. 2004;20(5):310-322.

Lichtenstein BB, Uhl-Bien M, Marion R et al. Complexity leadership theory: an interactive perspective on leading in complex adaptive systems. ECO. 2006;8(4):2-12.

Bunting M. The Mindful Leader: 7 Practices For Transforming Your Leadership, Your Organization and Your Life. Melbourne, Australia: John Wiley and Sons; 2016. p. 41-86.

Dunn HL. High level wellness for man and society AJPH 1959;49(6):786-792.

Crose R, Nicholas DR, Gobble DC, et al. Gender and wellness: a multidimensional systems model for counseling. J Couns Develop. 1992;71:149-156.

Myers JE, Sweeney TJ, Witmer JM. The wheel of wellness counseling for wellness: a holistic model for treatment planning. J Couns Develop. 2000;78:251-266.

Quill TE, Arnold R, and Back AL. Discussing treatment preferences with patients who want “everything”. Ann Intern Med. 2009;151:345-349.

Cooperrider DL, Srivastva S. Appreciative Inquiry in Organizational Life. In: Woodman WR, Passmore WA, eds, Research in Organizational Change and Development. Stamford CT: JAI Press; 1987. p. 129-169.

Bushe GR. The appreciative inquiry model. In: Kesler EH, ed. Encyclopedia of Management Theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications; 2013. p. 1-5.

Burgess J. Patient Voice: Appreciative Inquiry into Living Well with Diabetes [masters applied health services research thesis]. [New Brunswick (CA)]: University of New Brunswick; 2013. Available from: https://unbscholar.lib.unb.ca/islandora/object/unbscholar%3A7116.

Cooperrider DL, Whitney D. A positive revolution in change: appreciative inquiry. In: Cooperrider DL, Sorenson P, Yeager T et al., eds. Appreciative Inquiry: Foundations in Positive Organization Development. Oakland, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 2005. p. 9-33.

Young PK, Pearsall C, Stiles KA, et al. Becoming a nursing faculty leader. Nurs Educ Perspect. 2011;32(4):222-228.

Horton-Deutsch S, Young PK, Nelson KA. Becoming a nurse faculty leader: facing challenges through reflecting, persevering and relating in new ways. J Nurs Manag. 2010;18:487-493.

Pearsall C, Pardue KT, Horton-Deutsch S, et al. Becoming a nurse faculty leader: doing your homework to minimize risk taking. J Prof Nurs. 2014;30(1):26-33.

Hunter DJ. The Health Debate. Bristol, UK: Policy Press; 2008. p. 141-142.




How to Cite

De’Bell, K., & Clark, R. (2018). Mindful Leadership in Interprofessional Teams. The International Journal of Whole Person Care, 5(2). https://doi.org/10.26443/ijwpc.v5i2.179