Conflict resolution skills

In managing this conflict at hand I will first take a deep breath to control my anger which might lead to unpremeditated answer to the surgeon. Since, I have the knowledge that unless I choose to live the life of a recluse and avoid human contact, I will always experience conflict and therefore the conflict created will not be a strange thing. I will remember that conflicts are normal and unavoidable.

I will essentially try to figure out the source of the problem; it might be either differing values- in terms of the surgeons perception, competition over scarce resources-as in this case the surgeon is complaining since a nurse is unavailable to assist him, miscommunication or lack of information – in this case the surgeon is not aware that I am the nearest nurse available and I am attending a patient or relationship breakdown -the surgeon and the nurses might have not been in good terms  or the surgeon looks down upon nurses and treats them disrespectfully .

It is therefore paramount to know the cause of the conflict. In this case the surgeon assumes that the nurses have overstayed on their coffee break which is not the case. I will therefore not utter a word to the surgeon.

The surgeon in this case wants his needs to be met and since he lacks patience he bursts out unnecessary scorn at the nurses. At this point I will endeavor to realize that each of us responds to conflict in different ways. If I understand the impatience nature of the surgeon then I will have to accommodate it. If he is a surgeon I do not understand quite well then I will persevere to get to know him. I will not answer him since emotions could override reasons. Once I understand the reason, approaches and responses that may lead to conflict between me and the surgeon I will be at a better position to resolve this crisis.

I will be very critical with my response since firstly, the surgeon might be displacing anger from elsewhere and thus if I respond negatively then our relationship will be in the balance. My aim in this case will be to ensure that I have amicable relationship with whoever I work with since if not so I will always be under stress thus affecting my performance. I will respond to the surgeon with a lot of humility and concern such that he/she will realize that his shouting was indeed uncalled for. The surgeon in the long run will strive to mend fences after realizing his mistake.

I also could persevere at the time and not comment about the surgeon’s behavior since at the time he/she is shouting he is angered by the  nurses’ actions of staying for long during their coffee break, so talking about it at the very moment will bring more conflict.  Probably after some a few days I would invite the surgeon for a cup of tea. During our discussions or chat I would mention to the surgeon that his behavior of shouting at nurses was not pleasant and was actually demeaning the dignity of nurses in the eyes of patients. This will make him realize that indeed that was not the right way to request for someone.

Then he will be cautious next time when he requires some assistance. There might even be a possibility that the surgeon was not aware that he was being rude. It is therefore important to bring this issue to the limelight since if not addressed it might lead to communication breakdown that will see even patients suffering. Also of importance, if the surgeon is a man then I will advise him to recognize that men and women have different ways of communicating; the vise versa is the same.

I will remain calm and assertive in this kind of situation and assure the surgeon that I will help in any situation I can and of course we have a common goal of saving peoples’ lives. If the problem persists then I will involve other colleagues by having a meeting with the medical staff to discuss how to improve the working environment.

While handling this moment of crisis with a lot of caution, I will also try to figure out the reasons why the surgeon is shouting all over. It is sometimes inevitable in a true emergency situation for some one to take the lead and give orders. So therefore I ought not to react to the orders in a vacuum but react to them by wholesomely considering the circumstances the surgeon is in. It is to this effect that I will accommodate the surgeon knowing that he might be in a position that warranted for the order. I will also consider our past relationship with the surgeon.

I would also use an interest based approach where I will focus on the needs and interests that lie beneath the conflict rather than focusing on the positions that we may be taking. The goal hear will be working for resolutions that allows everyone to get what we want rather than trying to win or defeat the other person. In this case I will not show the surgeon that I am equally tough in my talk. I will rather resolve his position of handling things by being accommodative to his sentiments and later resolve the underlying conflict.

Essentially in handling this conflict I will try to demystify and clarify the conflict as a first step in understanding the issue. Eventually this will assist in improving and strengthening our (nurses) relationships with the surgeon.  Also I can be managed this conflict by endeavoring to improve my communication skills by basically seeking to understand others before I am understood. Improvement of my communication skills will ensure that I fully understand the message the surgeon is trying to convey before I attempt to make the point I want to make.

Finally, I would manage the surgeon’s created conflict by ignoring what he said. In this situation I could not take risk by talking to the surgeon since if I did this could flare up the conflict especially if he was a difficult colleague. In this situation it is imperative I consciously decide to let the matter go. Avoidance is in this scenario a perfectly acceptable option to choose.


Mayer, B (1999). The Dynamics of Conflict Resolution. New York: Aspen Publishers.