II. Precautions

  1. Identify and address conflict early
    1. Address before conflict festers with persistent negative consequences
    2. Lingering conflict potentially spirals into irreparable damage
  2. Well-managed conflict improves team cohesion
    1. Greater insight into important underlying issues and their ramifications

III. Approach: Conflict Resolution

  1. Preparation
    1. Choose a setting comfortable to both parties
    2. Allow for adequate meeting time (consider multiple meetings)
    3. Clearly outline concerns to be addressed prior to the meeting
    4. Prepare for the meeting, researching the relevant issues
  2. Establish areas of agreement or common ground between the two parties
  3. Optimize communication
    1. Plan to focus on listening
      1. Expert negotiators spend 70% of their time listening
      2. Goal is to better understand the reasons for conflict and its associated strong emotions
    2. Assume a receptive and attentive body position
      1. Sit down
      2. Lean forward
      3. Uncross the arms and legs
  4. Address differences and concerns
    1. First define the problem in such a way that is acceptable to both parties
      1. Start with a summary of observation and related concern
      2. Express concerns directly
    2. Understand the underlying root issues of disagreement
    3. Pursue honest discussion and effective communication
      1. "Seek first to understand, then to be understood" (Covey)
      2. Listen first, think, then speak
      3. Forego preconceived notions or assumptions
  5. Pursue reasonable negotiation
    1. Acknowledge emotions, but resist allowing them to affect decision-making
    2. Pursue innovative solutions via joint problem solving
    3. Negotiate about interests instead of positions
      1. Positions
        1. What the other person or team is specifically asking for
      2. Interests
        1. Underlying needs, goals and concerns
        2. Identify common interests

IV. Resources

V. References

  1. Claudius, Behar and Charlton in Herbert (2014) EM:Rap 14(11): 2-3
  2. Montella (2014) Leadership Model Processes and Practices, AMIA’s CIBRC Online Course
  3. Fickenscher (2011) Physician Exec 37(1): 72 [PubMed]

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