Conflict Resolution Skills in Nursing

Challenges in Negotiating Conflict

Many challenges arise during conflict negotiation, particularly in the health care sector. If a conflict is approached cooperatively health care professionals will be in a position to restructure trust that will enhance professional relationships (Katz, Lawyer & Sweedler, 2010). Negative feelings and emotions are the ones, which are most likely to affect negotiations. During a negotiation, an atmosphere of anger, tension, frustration, misperceptions and polarization of the staff are the most likely factors that may affect smooth conflict resolution. These situations tend to be emotionally draining and will hinder a solution from being found in an attempt to resolve a conflict.

12 Skills Summary in Conflict Resolution

For sound and effective settlement of the conflict, it requires more than leadership and management skills. The 12 skills summary for conflict resolution would serve better in case a dispute arose in the workplace (Katz, Lawyer & Sweedler, 2010). In-depth grasp of these skills is fundamental in solving conflicts that would arise among the nurses in the health care sector. In one case for instance, in the previous job, APRN resigned after she been ordered to send a patient out to hospital but the director of nursing refused to send this patient to the hospital because he believed his respiratory distress could be managed in the facility. This case demonstrates some of the conflicts that arise from a misunderstanding between the different parties within the health sector.

One of the skills to managing such a conflict is the win-win approach which seeks to change those involved in the conflict to be problem solvers. One should understand the real need of being in there and to the need of the potential opponents being there. As is the case here, the first thing to do is to change the director of nursing and the nurse to problem solvers. The other skill is developing a creative response. Here, a negotiator needs to transform challenges into opportunities (Katz, Lawyer & Sweedler, 2010). It is about choosing consciously what can be done and affirms to extract the best from the current situation.  The other skill that would be in the play during management of conflict is empathy that requires one to develop tools of communication to develop support. It calls upon the negotiator to add value to the different opinion view presented while developing these views. In additional, this skill requires that one demonstrates effective listening skills while positioning himself in the place of those involved in the conflict.

The other skill is appropriate assertiveness. It is important that the one who is managing the conflict to attack the problem and not the persons involved in it. As such, instead of attacking the nurse and the director of nursing, in this case, it would be wise to attack the conflict that arises between them. The other skill is a cooperative power which calls upon the negotiator to define the inequalities in power and analyze their effects (Katz, Lawyer & Sweedler, 2010).  The other skill is in the management of emotions in which the negotiator is supposed to express fear, frustration and hurt wisely to effect change. The other skill is the willingness to resolve that demands that a negotiator to name the personal issues that could cloud the picture of the real situation. The other skill is mapping the conflict which requires that the negotiator defines the issues that are needed to chart the common concerns and needs within the conflict.

The other skill is the development of options where the negotiator is supposed to develop creative solutions by involving the parties in conflict. The other skill which is an introduction to negotiation that calls upon one to apply the best strategies for reaching an agreement. The other skill is the introduction to mediation that requires that the negotiator assists the parties involved in the conflict to move towards a solution (Katz, Lawyer & Sweedler, 2010). Finally, the other skill is the ability to broaden the perspectives so that the solutions to a conflict can be helpful to both parties.


Conflict will happen many times, particularly when people’s interactions are guided by rules, policies, regulations, and legislation. Conflict is an inevitable part of life. To manage those conflicts, it is important to understand the causes of conflict and how to manage it. Possessing these skills is essential to a negotiator so that a conflict can be solved amicably and in a rational manner. This will avoid turning to aggression or withdrawal. It is in a similar context that the conflict between the director of nursing and the nurse can be solved. The fact that a conflict has arisen between a nurse and director of nursing calls for negotiation since it is the best method of resolving a conflict. To resolve that conflict effectively requires the negotiator to treat everyone with respect as well as having a firm grasp of the twelve skills in conflict resolution. This way guarantees a solution to not only this conflict but to any other that may arise.


Katz, N. H., Lawyer, J. W., & Sweedler, M. K. (2010). Communication and conflict resolution skills. Kendall Hunt Publishing.


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