Conflict Management in the Workplace essay

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Conflict occurs when people do not agree over ideas, beliefs, goals and values (Northouse, 2012).  When dealing with conflict in the work place it is important to have in mind that the results of conflict lead to productive or unproductive results.  Not all the conflicts in the workplace can be resolved hence the need for conflict management, which is a way of making sure that conflicts do not escalate to yield unproductive results. Human beings react to conflict in two general ways: either they will flee to avoid the conflict or they will confront it (Northouse, 2012).  In this case, the staff nurse does not have choice but to face the conflict.  The staff nurse could deal with the conflict through the following five modes: competing, avoiding, accommodating, compromising and collaborating.

In competing, this stance is taken when the issue to be handled is sensitive in nature or when the decision that needs to be taken is unusual.  The main characteristic of this mode is self-preservation.  Avoiding is a mode used when self-confidence is low and when one does not have the authority to tackle the conflict.  It is used to stall and buy more time; however, this mode of resolving conflict does not yield efficient results.   It aims at making everybody happy which is almost impossible to do (Northouse, 2012). 

Accommodating is used when one intends to maintain good relationships between the parties in the conflict; in this case winning is not important.  It shows that there is willingness to meet the other person halfway.  Compromising mode of resolving conflicts involves each party giving up something to come to a central agreement.  This mode is considered appropriate when there is a timeline in which a decision has to be made or when the two opponents are of equal might.  The collaborative mode is used when people agree that each party involved in the conflict is as important as the other is. It is used to merge two ideas that were previously at conflict (Northouse, 2012). 

Hospital Scenario

The nurse and the aggrieved party are both important to the hospital so it is important to consider both view points while maintaining a neutral position as possible. The conflict in question here is of a professional situation. It is up-to the Charge nurse to decide which mode of conflict resolution will be the best. A hospital like any other organization has structure, (Yoder-Wise, 2011) therefore; the charge nurse was put in a position of leadership after demonstrating the ability to cope with these situations in a professional manner. This means that the charge nurse has dealt with unruly relatives before.  The first thing that the charge nurse should do is to calm the family member down and get him or her to explain what the problem is.  This is done to establish a line communication with the family member and to show him that his opinion is as important as that of the nurse.  Establishing a rapport with the family member will make sure that he does not take a defensive stance to the whole discussion as this makes it difficult to reason with him/her.

Secondly, explain to the relative that the hospital has rules; however, do not stop there but go ahead to explain the importance of the rules. Find out why the relative feels that it is of great importance that he\she should see the patient. I would then make it clear that the hospital rules and regulations apply to every person in the hospital and breaking those rules has consequences. I would explain to the relative that the hospital has allocated the visiting ours in the best interest of the patients so that they may get adequate time to rest and recuperate. I would ensure that the relative understands that the nurse was just doing her job and there is no need to cause a scene because the rules must at all times be followed.

Should the situation have an exceptional feature to it then as the charge nurse I would consider the situation and weigh what options to take?  However, I would make it vehemently clear that it was an exception and not a norm.

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