Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
Type: CONFLICT RESOLUTION PAPER
Subject: Nursing Leadership Course
Subject area: Nursing
Education Level: Undergraduate/College
Length: 6 pages
Referencing style: APA
Preferred English: US English
Spacing Option: Double
Title: Conflict Resolution Paper
Instructions: 1-Read Finkelman (2016), Chapter 13: Improving Teamwork: Collaboration, Coordination, and Conflict Resolution, section on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, pp. 324-333. 2-Observe nurses in a care delivery setting. Identify a recurring conflict with the potential to negatively impact patient care. Decide if delegation was an issue in the conflict. This should be from your practice setting or prelicensure experiences. 3-Provide details of what happened, including who was involved, what was said, where it occurred, and what was the outcome that led you to decide the conflict was unresolved. 4-Identify the type of conflict. Explain your rationale for selecting this type. 5-Outline the four stages of conflict, as described in our text, and how they relate to your example. 6-Propose strategies to resolve the conflict. Search scholarly sources in the library and the Internet for evidence on what may be effective. 7-Discuss if delegation was an issue in the conflict. Be specific. 8-Describe how you would collaborate with a nurse leader to reach consensus on the best strategy to employ to deal with the conflict. 9-Describe the rationale for selecting the best strategy. 10-Provide a summary or conclusion about this experience or assignment and how you may deal with conflict more effectively in the future. 11-Type your paper using Microsoft Word 2010 or later. 12-Follow APA format. Consult your APA manual, and consider using the APA resources provided by Chamberlain. 13-Write a 5-7 page paper (not including the title or References pages) using APA format that includes the following. A-Describe an unresolved (recurring) conflict that you experienced or observed. Identify the type of conflict. B-Provide details of what happened, including who was involved, what was said, where it occurred, and what was the outcome that led you to decide the conflict was unresolved. C-Outline the four stages of conflict, as described in Finkelman, and how the stages relate to your example. Decide if delegation was an issue in the conflict. Be specific. D-Describe the strategies for conflict resolution and how you would collaborate with a nurse leader to resolve the conflict. Cites the course textbook and two scholarly sources. E-Provide a conclusion or summary about this experience and how you may deal with conflict more effectively in the future.
Important notes: Use the book as a reference
Required: Use the book as a reference Read Finkelman (2016), Chapter 13: Improving Teamwork: Collaboration, Coordination, and Conflict Resolution, section on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, pp. 324-333.
In any environment, differences between departments, groups, or people always emerge leading to conflicts. This is because of the existing variation in values, behaviors, goals, attitudes, and beliefs. In the workplace, these differences also emerge from either staff-manager interaction or staff-staff interaction. Health professionals always experience face external and internal conflicts. Although conflicts have a positive outcome, the negative sides would be devastating, as they damage the interpersonal and professional relations; therefore, affecting patient care outcome due to communication gaps. Indisputably, the conflict remains a widely studied topic but this paper identifies the issues associated with interpersonal conflicts, impacts, and the best strategies to resolve them.
An interpersonal conflict emerges from the disagreement between groups or people within an organization leading to dissatisfaction and bitterness (Walia, 2012). Whenever the interpersonal relationship is altered, interpersonal conflicts would emerge, especially among co-workers. In the healthcare environment, workplace conflicts appear more complicated because of the emotions which define the complex relations. For example, in the hospital, interacting with different people with diversity, such as managers, physicians, nurses, administrators, and the staff is common. Though nurses sometimes operate under strenuous, stressful, and difficult conditions which can precipitate negative interpersonal relationship, they remain busy in their duties to resolve conflict; hence, compromising patient care outcomes. The situation is different where health professionals understand the roles leading quality care. This implies that interpersonal relationship through respecting values, collaboration, listening, and cooperating are the determinants of success in the healthcare setting.
It has been noted that physicians have taken dominance of the health operations and compromising the role of nurses leading to interpersonal conflicts. Negative interpersonal relationships can never give room for productivity and performance to thrive. Based on our case, the interpersonal conflict has been caused by various factors including managers lacking relevant communication and managerial skills, whereas nurses misinterpret the situation and lack competency. Indisputably, people have to learn certain skills which promote peaceful coexistence and harmony. Most of these skills are never inherent because nurses must learn them through an ongoing experience and education. Unfortunately, when nurses begin their work, they rarely get opportunities to learn about these new skills through formal training. Therefore, nurse leader should identify the sources of conflicts, thus filling the skills deficiencies and improve patient care.
Scenario: Upon the completion of a nursing diploma, I was privileged to join an intensive care unit in New York. The intensive care unit had ten beds with three staff nurses operating in shifts. Along these nurses, the manager and a medical officer were attached to the entire floor. Unfortunately, I noted that the turnover of nurses was higher than other workers because of pulling legs, poor communication, emotional exhaustion, lack of cooperation, negative attitudes of physicians towards nurses, lack of respect and acceptance. Because of these reasons, many patients suffered leading to their dissatisfaction.
On one occasion, a physician in charge of our floor came around to follow his patient who had known diabetes mellitus case and urinary tract infection. The physician shouted uncontrollable questioning why his patient was not catheterized as advised on admission. The nurse had also missed giving the patient an insulin dose. It appeared the nurse had issues with the physician and nurses. Because of this conflict, the condition of our patient deteriorated leading to an extended admission. Unfortunately, the manager of the unit had opted for an avoidance strategy, even in cases where interpersonal problems affected patients. The manager was an autocrat when handling staff and failed to listen to any burning issues. Some staff nurses had previously tendered their resignation because of this leadership style and interpersonal conflict.
Four stages of conflict and relationship to identified conflict, including delegation issues
The interpersonal conflict experienced in the scenario above can be described in four stages of conflict including latent, felt, perceived, and manifest conflict (Finkelman, 2016).
Latent conflict stage: – Conflict begins with its anticipation which forms the basis of this stage. According to Finkelman (2016), inadequate communication or competition for available resources can help in predicting conflict in an organization. In most cases, the anticipated conflicts would trigger tension among workers. In a healthcare setting, the anticipated conflicts are inevitable. For instance, the scenario where the manager follows up his patient’s treatment and discovers the nurse has failed to attend to him. The nurse on duty had anticipated conflict because of inadequate communication or interpersonal relationship between the nurse and the managers. Although the nurse on duty was competent to handle the diabetes mellitus case, she opted to avoid it intentionally for personal reasons. Therefore, it becomes difficult to discount latent conflict in this scenario.
Perceived conflict: – In this stage, it is possible to acknowledge the presence of conflict in the scenario. At this state, discussing the issue could be difficult, but staff could be feeling the impact of the challenge (Finkelman, 2016). For instance, with the high turnover rate of nurses in the hospital could be affecting the productivity of the institution. The manager must have felt this problem despite disregarding them. Based on the findings of Finkelman (2016), perception makes the conflict known and puts the management on the road towards finding a lasting solution.
Felt conflict: – The stage is where individuals begin to feel about the issues. This could emanate from anger or anxiety as reported by Finkelman (2016). At this point, staff begins to feel stressed and burnout leading to high turnover. With regard to the scenario, the felt conflict is evident. Since the manager uses an avoidance strategy, it is growing out of hand. Although avoiding conflict could be part of the solution, it has failed in this circumstance. This is because it has covered the problem for too long to sustain, hence, becoming complicated. Staff and nurses have completely lost trust in the manager. This makes it difficult for the problem to be resolved. In the most unethical instance, the diabetes mellitus patient was wedged to the conflict, as a nurse failed to handle his case because of their war.
Manifest conflict: – The interpersonal conflict evident in the scenario seems to be both destructive and constructive (Finkelman, 2016). The destructive aspects are evident when the manager avoids and disregard the issues raised by staff and nurses. This makes them ignore some of the instructions and policies because the manager has lived in denial. This is evident in the scenario where some nurses have opted to resign and seek employment elsewhere. The high turnover rate in the intensive care unit department is higher than other sectors because of poor communication and avoiding opinions of staff and nurses. When the patient is drawn to the conflict, the outcome is despicable; hence, compelling the manager to yell at the nurse. The shouting reveals the situation because even the nurse never ceded his ground.
Strategies for Conflict Resolution
Conflict is always part of human life, thus making prevention nearly difficult, especially for some conflicts. Finkelman (2016), however, affirms that preventing conflict is possible when preventive steps are adopted. Importantly, conflicts can be prevented when their causes are identified. Since preventing conflicts have proved difficult, it is recommended for the managers to consider conflict management strategies to resolve them. Conflict management allows staff and manager to understand the problem and address it appropriately. The following strategies can help resolve the conflict in the case study.
Empowerment: – Power is an issue that can be abused and used to undermine subjects. However, in a healthcare setting, collaboration is an important strategy that needs to be adopted. It entails the use of persuasive and informational power, where power is delegated to others for improved service delivery (Finkelman, 2016). Although in the scenario, the nursing manager has a legitimate power, he uses the power to assert his authority over others. The manager needs to introduce participative decision-making style to allow nurse and staff to participate in the running of the healthcare. The nursing leadership needed to empower workers to allow them to address the issues emanating from their work.
Accommodation is another important strategy to break the deadlock in the hospital. Finkelman (2016) argues that accommodation gives others the opportunity to improve the situation through cooperation. Additionally, avoidance strategy can be used in some cases. However, the situation can never accommodate avoidance nobody is ready to withdraw from the situation. Without a doubt, the nursing leader has used avoidance strategy to withdraw from important issues, thereby affecting the performance of nurses and demoralizing them. Therefore, the situation is insurmountable. In fact, the nurse manager and staff found it fit to disagree publicly. This typical response to the conflict has failed and should be avoided.
As a nursing manager, introducing competition can also help to break the deadlock. This will see the manager take charge and give direction. Competition as a strategy allows the manager to use legitimate power to listen to staff and make a binding decision. This will bring an end to the challenges experienced in the organization. Of all these strategies, collaboration would fit the situation (Walia, 2012). This is because the positive approach allows the conflicting parties to build consensus and achieve an acceptable solution. Collaboration ensures that both parties enjoy a win-win situation by compromising some issues. The physician-nurse relationship has thrived in a collaborative environment. This is because both parties are needed for quality patient care. Therefore, Amestoy, Backes, Thofehrn et al. (2014) found that leaders and nurses are required to collaborate by making their professional communication positive. In healthcare, inter-professional interaction must be embraced to allow both staff and physicians to consider teamwork. Collaboration and cooperation provide the best strategies to build a strong team.
Based on this paper, it is evident that conflict should be managed and prevented through different strategies. Since physicians and nurses are required for quality service delivery in a healthcare setting, it has proved critical to managing interpersonal conflicts which might arise. When conflicts arise between nurses and physicians, the impact would be evident in coordination, collaboration, understanding, and communication leading to poor patient care. This shows that the nursing manager must embrace teamwork which allows for collaboration, negotiation, delegation, and coordination; hence, promoting inter-professional interactions. Therefore, collaboration is an important strategy to manage workplace conflicts, as it encourages a win-win situation.
- Amestoy, S.C., Backes, V.M.S., Thofehrn, M.B. et al. (2014). Conflict Management: Challenges Experienced by Nurse-Leaders in the Hospital Environment. Revista Gaucha de Enfermagem, 35(2). Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1983-1447.2014.02.40155
- Finkelman, A. (2016). Chapter 13: Improving Teamwork: Collaboration, Coordination, and Conflict Resolution, In Leadership and Management for Nurses: Core Competencies for Quality Care, 3rd Ed. (pp. 324-333). Boston: Pearson.
- Walia, A. (2012). Characteristics and Impact of Interpersonal Conflicts on Requirements Risks, Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository, 1034. Retrieved from http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/etd/1034.