Conflict management in the healthcare environment

Conflict management in the healthcare environment

Conflictmanagement in the healthcare environment

Conflictcan never be separated from leadership. To become a great andrespected leader one ought to have conflict resolution skills. A goodleader should be capable of handling any form of conflict that arisesin the workplace in a healthy and sober manner. Whenever people worktogether, disputes are bound to happen due of lack of mutual consent.

Itis the fundamental right of each and every working individual to beheard or listened to, and this is where some of this conflict arises. The ability to sense conflict, understand its cause, and bringnormality in the working environment is what makes a great leader(Rahim, 2015). Lack of good conflict resolution as a leader willcontribute your downfall.

Severaltheories put into perspective the issue of leadership and conflictresolution. Key among them include change theories, conflicttheories, and leader as a change agent.


Theoryof change (TOC) can be defined as all building blocks that form thebasis of accomplishing a long-term goal. Some of these components areplanning, participation and evaluation of a set objective.Participants applying this theory should be very clear on the setlong-term goals, and the process of achieving the set goals. Afocused leader intending to solve a conflict in the workplace shouldcreate a theory of change since it will highlight an honest pictureof the methods used to achieve the set objective.


Thiswas one of the theories that KarlMarx propounded much on. It states that a nation will always be in astate of conflict owing to the competition for the limited resources.Hence, order in the society has to be maintained through themanifestation of power rather than consensus. The theory goes furtherto highlight that those who have already gained power will suppressthe powerless in older to hold on to it.

Leaderas a change

Thistheory states that change is in direct proportion with leadership. Agood leader is one who embraces change. Some leaders handle changebetter than others and this is what elevates them from the rest.

Thehealthcare environment is not unique when it comes to workplaceconflict. For example, there may be conflicts between physicians,staff and physicians or patient and nurses. The conflicts may rangefrom simple disagreements to major controversies that may sometimeslead to violence.

Havingworked in the healthcare sector for several years, I have had theopportunity to put my leadership skills to the test by solvingvarious conflicts relating to my colleagues. To bring understandingbetween conflicting parties, I mimic the leadership skills that Ihave learnt from great leaders and combine them with some of thetheories. Using the Theoryof change,I come up with my own (TOC) which follows the following steps

  1. Listening

  2. Identifying the cause of conflict

  3. Developing a plan on how to solve the conflict

  4. Implementing the plan to come up with a solution

Conflictresolution is sometimes time-consuming but is nevertheless a verynecessary engagement (Rahim, 2015). Although it cannot be entirelyeradicated, the healthcare sector should come up with a professionalcode of conduct. Unlike in the ‘Leader as change’ theory, groundrules will help discipline individuals as they will have to befollowed by everybody regardless of seniority. I believe that myconflict resolution skills enhance effective leadership becauseeventually I am able to bring tranquility to the conflicting parties.


Rahim,M. A. (2015). Managingconflict in organizations.Transaction Publishers.