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3 tips to resolve staff conflicts


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Nurse managers often find themselves in the middle of conflicts, including personal conflicts between staff, nurse-patient conflicts, and interdepartmental conflicts. These issues can be disruptive, and lead to a decrease in productivity and staff morale. This makes the ability to resolve conflicts an essential skill for nurse managers, but nurses rarely receive formal training in conflict resolution. Here are some three tips to manage conflicts in your unit in a stress-free and effective manner.

Active listening: When faced with a conflict, it’s important to listen to what a person has to say and understanding their perspective. This means meeting face-to-face, asking open-ended questions, and listening without interrupting. Observe important nonverbal cues and make sure each side in a conflict understands the other’s perspective.

Keep calm: Emotions can get heated in the midst of a conflict; work to recognize your own emotions, as well as the feelings of those involved. Try to maintain a compassionate understanding for those involved, and acknowledge their feelings when analyzing a problem.

Stay positive: The negativity of some disputes can sometimes seem overwhelming. If you can manage to maintain a positive attitude and a calm demeanor, you’re well on your way to resolving most conflicts.

Source: Minority Nurse

For more about communication and conflict resolution, check out our educational articles from the Strategies for Nurse Managers Reading Room:

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