Communication and Problem Solving
The role of conflict in the health care setting can create an unsafe culture for patient care since service delivery is a multilevel complex system. When a team is formed, it is important to have open lines of communication with each member, who in turn should value and respect each other regardless of whether or not they agree on everything that person stands for. Different cultures manage conflict in differing ways. Asian cultures avoid conflict at all costs, while most American cultures prefer direct confrontation. Furthermore, health care professionals are most often trained to steer clear from emphasizing mistakes or differing views.
Communication is the exchange of ideas, thoughts or opinions according to Webster’s Dictionary (2002). However, communication is more than just verbal; it can also be seen in body language, be delivered via e-mail, handwritten notes or text messages. To work as a health care team, problem solving and decision making are a shared responsibility that involves doctors, nurses and other health care professionals, to carry out a plan for patient care (O’Daniel & Rosenstein, n.d.). Team cohesiveness, where all aspects of patient care are coordinated with an interdisciplinary approach, will bring about not only improved clinical effectiveness but job satisfaction.
Collaboration and conflict management will build a foundation for win-win solutions, and should include the following actions (unc.edu):
* Set standards for accomplishing tasks and identify norms for team behavior
* Keep the door open for less talkative members and encourage each to contribute
* Seek harmony when conflict occurs by listening carefully and respectfully to all opinions, brainstorming possible solutions and focusing on common interests
* Seek consensus in arriving at the best decision
* Give and receive feedback about positive and/or negative behavior
* Review and evaluate progress...