Nursing 211– Conflict Resolution

Assertive Communication is…
The ability to communicate clearly and directly what you need or want from another person in a way that does not deny or infringe upon other’s rights.
With Assertive Communication the nurse should use what type of statements?
*Use “I” statements* rather than “you” statements.
Assertive Communication is based on…
Matter of fact, issue focused and not personal.
Characteristics of Passive Communication:
–Indirect communications
–Self denying and self-sacrificing
–Failure to stand up for own goals and rights
–Allows other to choose for them
–Emotionally dishonest
–Lack of goal achievement
–Limited responsibility
Characteristics of Aggressive Communication:
–Direct communication
–Inconsiderable of other people
–Condescending or insulting
–Rejecting others
— Cuts off communication
Characteristics of Assertive Communication:
–Direct communication
— Expresses emotions needs
–Requesting without fault or install
–Open expression of feelings
–High achiever
Conflict Defined by the World English Dictionary as…
•A state of opposition between ideas, interests, etc.; disagreement or controversy.
Conflict Defined by Taber’s Medical Dictionary as…
•The conscious or unconscious struggle between two opposing desires or courses of action.
Conflict Defined by Karin K. Roberts, PhD, RN
•The result of opposing thoughts, ideas, feelings, perceptions, behaviors, values, opinions, or actions between individuals.
Conflict Defined by Mayer, 200, p.341
“When an interaction becomes stressful, taking on a competitive, hostile, or oppositional nature, it can be classified as conflict.”
Conflict is…
•Occurs daily
•No work is free of conflicts
•Conflict can have both negative and positive consequences
Negative Conflict:
Can produce divisiveness, may foster rivalry, miss-perceptions and distrust can be created, group dissatisfaction may occur, can create organizational stasis, often leads to negative individual physical responses such as anxiety, stress, sleep disturbances.
Positive conflict:
Stimulates growth opportunity, may foster open communication, increases group cohesiveness, facilitates problem solving, may lead to change, stimulates creativity.
Categories of conflict:


•Inter-group or Organizational conflict

Occurs within the person

–Ex: have to work & have a sick kid at home

Occurs between two or more people
Contributes to burnout and work-related stress

–Ex: horizontal conflict: nurse to nurse

•Inter-group or Organizational conflict:
Occurs between two or more groups of individuals, departments, or organization

–Ex: Nurse to manager/superior conflict

Sources of Conflict:
•Inadequate communication
•Incorrect facts
•Lack of trust
•Multiple role demands
•Unclear or conflicted goals and objectives
•Unstable leadership
•Scarce resources
•Receiving direction from two or more “bosses”
•Lack of leadership
•Lack of or limited staff participation in decision making
Responding to Conflict : Conflict Management Styles:
“The Hermit”
–Passive communication
–Low concern for self & others
–Refuses to solve issue
–Increases conflict over time
–Most common style used

Def: One person uses passive behaviors and withdraws from the conflict; neither person is able to pursue goals

“The Martyr”
–Eliminates conflict ASAP
–One person ignores their own desires

Def: One person puts aside his/her goals to satisfy the other person’s desires.

“The Bully”

–Need this in an emergency situation

Def: One person achieves his or her own goals at the expense of the other person

No one should win or lose but both should gain something

Def: Both people give up something to get partial goal attainment

“The Winner”
–*Best solution for conflict*
–Emphasis on creative problem solving
–Disadvantage: Takes a lot of time

Def: Both people actively try to find solutions that will satisfy them both.

Helpful Tips in Conflict Resolution
•Utilize assertive communication technique–OPEN HONEST DIRECT
•Use a problem solving approach
•Focus on the causes of the disagreement & not on personalities
•Get all the information possible
•Differentiate between fact and opinion
•The setting for discussions for conflict resolution should be private and on neutral territory
•Set ground rules for the interaction (not interrupting, time limits, etc.)
•Listen carefully and don’t prejudge
•Don’t belabor how the conflict occurred. Concentrate on a solution
Conflict Resolution Outcomes: Three Outcomes of Conflict:
1.Win ; Win –(*this is the goal* )
2.Win ; Lose
3.Lose ; Lose
Conclusion on Conflict is…
*It’s inevitable* in any organization, but…if successfully managed…it can produce high-quality creative solutions that…lead to motivation & progress