Leadership -- Conflict Management in Term Paper

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In these kinds of situations, the health care professional is taking the middle ground to satisfy both parties (which will lead to a number of challenges). This is from both sides feeling that they have won and will want more down the road. The only difference is that they are more emboldened in their position. This is problematic, because it can make the underlying situation worse in the future. (Feldman, 2008, pg. 128) (Daniels, 2004, pp. 485 -- 486)

To avoid these kinds of situations requires that compromise should be used as a solution when both sides agree to accept the proposal. This does not mean coming back in the future and exhibiting the same kind of behavior to achieve what they want. Instead, both parties have to be willing to accept the compromise completely. If this kind of approach can be taken it will create win -- win situations. While at the same time, it will establish a basic foundation of improving communication between the two parties. This is when the health care professional is exhibiting true leadership. (Feldman, 2008, pg. 128) (Daniels, 2004, pp. 485 -- 486)


A negotiation is when the nurse is working with both sides to create a compromise. The way that this takes place, is with everyone agreeing to give up a certain amount on their position in order to meet the other party half way (which is similar to something that happens in avoidance). The only difference is that nurse is trying to create a solution that will resolve a potential conflict inside the facility. (Garcia, 2006, pp. 201 -- 206) (Daniels, 2004, pp. 485 -- 486)

For example, suppose that a nurse is member of a team that works in the ICU. One of the patients wants to be able to see visitors other than his immediate family (i.e. his girlfriend). The problem is that she is not considered to be family, beyond the romantic relationship that the two have. The nurse wants to make the patient happy and follow the rules of the hospital. One possible strategy that she could use is to discuss with her supervisor the possibility of making an exception to the policy this time. While letting the patient know that if she is allowed on the ward. That this not the policy of the ICU and should be kept in confidence. This kind of approach is seeking a compromise from both the administration and the patient. (Garcia, 2006, pp. 201 -- 206) (Daniels, 2004, pp. 485 -- 486)

To prevent both sides from becoming out of control, we have focused on using tactics that will allow everyone to receive what they want. At the same time, we are letting them know that this is a one-time exception that will not be repeated in the future. In this aspect, the nurse is showing true leadership by working with both parties to come to a mutually agreeable solution. While letting everyone know, this not something they should not take advantage of at another time. This is when all the parties will follow the conditions outlined and understand the boundaries of the agreement that is in place. (Garcia, 2006, pp. 201 -- 206) (Daniels, 2004, pp. 485 -- 486)

The different skills that are mentioned above can provide nurses with an effective strategy for dealing with a host of challenges. However, some kind flexibility and common sense must be utilized at all times. This means that nurses must understand the drawbacks of using the different techniques and when to apply them. At the same time, the individual must be able to remain calm and allow the other party to explain to them what is on their mind. This will help everyone to lower the intensity of the conversation and seek out some kind of solution.

The Impact of these Principles on a Health Care Environment

The impact of the above leadership principles is that they will transform a health care environment. This is because we are focusing on improving quality, communication and effective team building. As time goes by, this will prevent any kind of situations from spiraling out of control. Evidence of this can be seen in a study that was conducted by DiMatteo (1998). He found that communication is a part of effective leadership that helps to improve the overall quality of care that is provided. Commenting about this he said, "Communication is seen as an essential component of the health care professional's role. Further, we found that the public's ratings of the medical profession depend heavily on their experience with health care staff members." This is important, in showing how applying these techniques will transform a health care environment. (DiMatteo, 1998, pp. 328 -- 333)

However, during the process anyone who is advocating these kinds of changes must be demonstrating that they are willing to practice what they preach. This means that the individual has to continually show on a daily basis that they are committed to changing the health care environment for the better. When this is happening, the person must be willing to go the extra mile and effectively communicate with all staff members. If this kind of approach can be taken, it will ensure that the nurse is demonstrating effective leadership.

Applying these Ideas in a Modern Health Care Environment

Applying these ideas in a modern health care setting can be challenging. This is because there is rising demand from more patients coming to the facility and less amounts of staff. Over the course of time, this can place increased strains on the nurse (as they are continuously overwhelmed from the challenges they are dealing with). To prevent these kinds of issues, they must be able to use the techniques of: accommodation, pressing, avoidance and negotiation. The way that this will take place, is nurse must first understand the weaknesses of using these different approaches.

Next, they will utilize flexibility and common sense when applying these tools to a potential conflict they are dealing with. For example, suppose that a nurse needs to be able to communicate their thoughts about a difference of opinion on treatment options to the doctor. The best way that this can be achieved is to ask the doctor why a particular kind of therapy was chosen. After listening to the different reasons, is when the nurse could express their concerns that this could be a mistake and the reason why. The conversation will take place in a non-confrontational and inquisitive manner (reducing the chances of escalating the conflict further). This is when they will highlight their differences of opinions and suggest another approach that is along the same lines. As a result, this is offering the nurse a solution that they can use to be able to reach out to everyone.

In this situation, the nurse was using a combination of: negotiation, accommodating and pressing techniques. The way that negotiation was used is to suggest other treatments that are similar and might not be as risky. Accommodating is when the nurse will listen to the ideas of the doctor and respect the final decision they have made. Pressing is when the nurse is asking the doctor questions about why a particular procedure was selected (in a non-confrontation and inquisitive way). The combination of these factors will help to improve communication between the doctor and nurse. This is when the nurse will understand why particular treatment options were selected and issues that they need to be aware of. At the same time, this is making the nurse appear to be a team player that is willing to do more. In future, this helps the nurse to become more experienced and have an in-depth knowledge of how to improve care.

However, the challenge is using these techniques in a non-confrontational manner. This means that the nurse must use flexibility, tact and common sense. When these tools are used in conjunction with the basic ideas that were outlined earlier, is the point that this will change the health care setting. This will be accomplished one step at a time by having everyone focus on specific tools that can deal with these kinds of issues.


Clearly, the challenges from confrontations in a health care environment will have an effect on 90% of the nurses working in the field. To deal with potential issues when they are small, requires a nurse using a number of different tactics in conjunction with one another. These include: accommodation, pressing, avoidance and negotiation. This will improve a nurse's ability to deal with a host of situations. However, these techniques require that health care professionals' have common sense and flexibility. The reason why, is because each one of these areas has specific drawbacks that could make the underlying situation worse. To avoid the conflict from becoming out of control requires that some kind of balance must be applied at all times.

If this kind of approach is taken, is when there will be a change in…

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