Strategies for Resolving Conflict
Conflict is a natural part of human interaction. How you deal with it, however, can lead to either positive or negative results in your work environment. Conflict may not always be a serious problem-sometimes it can even be helpful-but it must always be addressed. Effective leaders consider conflict a puzzle that needs solving, and they use various critical thinking and communication techniques to do so.
In this week’s media, Dr. Rubino discusses how conflict can be good and can help bring about needed changes. Dr. Rubino also shared strategies leaders can use to address conflict to ensure positive outcomes. The readings also provide strategies for dealing with conflict situations. Read the case study below about a work conflict, and then respond to the questions.
Lydia, a BSN graduate, previously worked as a hospice nurse in a not-for-profit care center. Overall, Lydia found her position to be enjoyable; however, she did not find it challenging. As a result, Lydia made the difficult decision to leave the care center and pursue other options in the field of nursing.
Lydia accepted a position at a local hospital in a pediatric intensive care unit. Because of her outstanding work ethic and eagerness to learn, it was only a few months before Lydia was offered a promotion to nursing supervisor of the morning shift. Her duties now included making patient assignments, communicating with other areas of the hospital, and addressing patient complaints, among other things.
Although this promotion suited Lydia’s desire for a challenging work environment, the change deeply upset the staff nurses on the pediatric unit. Most of the staff nurses had worked on the unit for at least 5 years and felt that Lydia’s few months of experience was not sufficient in comparison.
The discontent among the staff nurses soon became very apparent to Lydia. Her job as nursing supervisor became very difficult as the staff nurses became extremely uncooperative. The complaints over patient and task assignments came first, then sarcastic remarks toward Lydia. At first, Lydia hoped that simply ignoring the staff nurses’ behavior would cause this behavior to diminish on its own, but that was not the case. The staff nurses resorted to procrastination, and whenever Lydia approached them with additional tasks, they each had an endless stream of excuses.
Lydia could not look past this behavior any longer, as these conditions were now adversely affecting the work quality of the unit as a whole. Frustrated—but not willing to leave her position—L ydia brought these issues to one of her supervisors. Her supervisor, in turn, acknowledged the lack of professionalism in the staff nurses’ behavior; however, Lydia’s supervisor made it very clear that being an adept nursing supervisor included the ability to handle issues or conflict that may arise within the unit. She then encouraged Lydia to view this conflict as an opportunity to make some positive changes and sent Lydia on her way.
Based on the case study, respond to the following:
- What conflict resolution strategies should Lydia utilize first?
- Which techniques for effective communication would be the most practical, as well as the most beneficial? Why?
- 250 to 350 words and APA format
Support your response with references from the professional nursing literature.