Conflict in the workplace is a common thing to see these days. There are not many corporations that everyone in the building enjoys working with everyone. To find this is a rare thing. To help employees work together and get along employers are hiring “conflict resolution” companies to educate their employees on the proper steps to resolve a conflict. Conflict Resolution Example There are many examples of conflicts in the healthcare workplace; this is one involving a Nurse Practitioner and a Physician.
The Nurse Practitioner has just finished seeing a patient on the medical/surgical unit of a hospital and is dictating her progress note for the patient. In the note the NP has stated that the patient needs to stay for another 24 hours of continued intravenous antibiotic therapy. The general surgeon for the patient has looked over the patient’s blood work, vital signs and progress notes; he has deemed it ok to discharge the patient. The surgeon approaches the NP and questions why she is not discharging the patient that day.
The NP starts to explain why she was not comfortable discharging the patient and is quickly interrupted by the surgeon who states, “If you don’t discharge that patient today I am off the case! I will also report you to the CEO of this hospital, and Medicare for keeping patients beyond the time they need to stay in the hospital! ” The NP is taken back by what the surgeon says and believes she is doing the right thing for the health and safety of the patient. How could the NP resolve this conflict with the surgeon? 12 Step Summary of Conflict Resolution Conflict resolution is something that we must all deal with in our lives.
Whether it is in the work place or at home, there is always some type of conflict going on. One of the ways that can help with conflict resolution is the 12 Skills Summary of conflict resolution presented on the website, www. crnhq. org. This website has broken down the way to properly and effectively resolve a conflict in the workplace, at home or even at school. The 12 steps are, the win-win approach, the creative approach, empathy, appropriate assertiveness, co-operative power, managing emotions, willingness to resolve, mapping the conflict, development of options, introduction to mediation and broadening perspectives. Conflict Resolution Network, 2015)
These 12 steps can effectively and calmly resolve a conflict between two parties in almost any situation Taking the example of the conflict between the NP and the surgeon, let us apply the 12 Skills Summary of conflict resolution to their dispute. The first step to apply is the “win-win” step. In this step, a resolution in which both of the parties involved are made to feel as if their solution was the proper answer to the problem, hence they both “win”.
Taking the patient who requires extended IV antibiotics, the win-win could be having the patient stay for the extended IV therapy and letting the surgeon sign off on the case to another surgeon. In this win-win step the NP gets the patient to stay for the therapy and there is still a surgeon on the case. Step two to apply to this problem example is called the creative approach. This step requires the two parties in the conflict to get creative and come up with a solution to their conflict. The solution to this conflict could be that the patient would go home with home health and IV therapy.
Hence the patient the patient would receive the needed IV therapy which was ordered by the NP and the patient gets discharged, which is what the surgeon requested. The third step is titled “empathy”, or “understanding what the other is thinking and understanding what the other is feeling. ” (Engelen & Rottger-Rossler 2012, p. 3) In this step the two parties must try to understand the reasoning to why the other party made their decision. Why did the surgeon believe that the patient was well enough for discharge? What was the reasoning behind the NP wanting extended IV therapy?
Both parties involved must try and see what the other person was thinking in this step. This might be a difficult step if personal emotions are flare up. When and if this occurs, the person needs to step back, breath and try to see the reasoning behind the other parties demand. They must also know that this is not a personal attack from the person they are having the conflict with. Appropriate assertiveness is the fourth step in this conflict resolution process. With this step both parties in the conflict must verbalize their side of the conflict with assertiveness, yet it must be in an appropriate context.
They need to state the reason for their decision and not belittle the other party. The NP must state why they think the patient needs antibiotic treatment to the surgeon and the surgeon must state why he believes the patient can be discharged. The key to this step being effective and resolving the conflict is to remain calm and listen to what the other person is saying. Being assertive on any topic “means there’s no question where you stand, no matter the topic. ” (Psychology Today, 2016) The fifth step to apply to this conflict is titled co-operative power.
When using cooperative power both parties in the conflict have equal power in the conflict, they are considered equals. Applying cooperative power in the case with the NP and the surgeon, they both must realize that they on the same level of power when they are treating the patient. They are both prescribing treatments for the patient and they both want what is best for the patient. They must also need to realize this to overcome the conflict and realize that it is the patient that is being hurt by the conflict, not the NP or the surgeon.
The sixth step in the 12 step summary of conflict resolution is known as managing emotions. Managing your emotions can be a difficult thing to achieve if one feels deeply about their opinions. When associating with others, it is important to be able to in control of your emotions and feelings. There are times when a person is unable to control their emotions and quickly jumps to anger or becomes defensive of their views whereas a person who has been properly educated in conflict resolution can verbalize the rationale behind their decision and calmly talk to the other party involved in the conflict.
This anger might stem from the individuals emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is defined as “describes the ability, capacity, skill or, in the case of the trait emotional intelligence model, a self perceived grand ability to identify, assess, manage and control the emotions of one’s self, of others, and of groups. ” (Ealias & George, 2012, p. 37) Emotional intelligence coupled with conflict resolution education is an effective way to resolve a dispute. When one expresses their emotions they may sometimes are perceived as weak or may sway the other party’s decision in the conflict resolution.
The seventh step in the 12 step program is called, the willingness to resolve. As the title says, this step is about the willingness of both parties to resolve the conflict. Both parties must come to an agreement that they are going to resolve the conflict. If both of the parties are not willing to come to a resolution than the conflict will remain unchanged. The NP and the surgeon in this example both need to want to resolve the conflict for it to be resolved. Mapping out the conflict is the eighth step to conflict resolution.
In this step the common needs and concerns for both parties are complied into a list for the other party to see. The NP and the surgeon could list or verbalize their concerns for the patient in this case. The development of options is the ninth step to conflict resolution. With this step ideas of possible options for resolving the conflict are brought forth. Creative solutions that could be a possible resolution to the conflict are brought to light in this step. The possibility of the patient going home on IV antibiotics is one of these creative solutions that could come from this step.
Negotiation and mediation form what are the tenth and eleventh steps to resolving conflict. At this point of the conflict another party might be contacted brought in to help come to a resolution. In the case of the NP and surgeon, a case manager, another doctor or NP could mediate between the two professionals. The last step of the 12 steps is called broadening perspectives. This is the step where knowledge is learned by both parties involved in the conflict. Both sides of the conflict have verbalized their ideas and the both parties can learn from what has been said.
The NP and the surgeon could learn from one another and gain knowledge from the others opinion. The 12 step summary that can be used in conflict resolution is a through process. It helps all parties involved, from the beginning of the conflict, through to the end of the process of resolution. Conclusion Conflicts amongst coworkers are a common thing to see in the workplace. Not every employee is going to get along with everyone they work with. Having the proper education and knowledge on how to resolve these conflicts is the key to a successful resolution.
Many times, employers do bring in outside companies to educate their employees on this process. It is up to the employee to grasp that knowledge presented and learn from what is being taught. The employee benefits from this conflict resolution knowledge and most importantly the company benefits. Conflict resolution can be a very grueling and frustrating process; it can also be a rewarding one. The 12 steps listed were written to help make conflict resolution a process that anyone can do and learn from.