Tips for Conflict Resolution in Healthcare

July 27, 2021

Susie Woodford

Registered Nurse, RN to MSN Program


As a healthcare professional, you have undoubtedly experienced some degree of conflict in your job. Interpersonal conflicts are inevitable and can feel disruptive in the workplace. There are several ways to manage conflict with colleagues and create a healthier workplace.

Listen. Emotions can run high during stressful situations, so sometimes we just need to listen. Everyone needs to feel like what they say matters, so pausing to listen can bring understanding and insight to the problem.

Find the root of the problem. Get to the heart of the conflict by clarifying what the disagreement is about. Find out if there are needs that haven’t been met. Try to keep your emotions in check and problem-solve without blaming. Ask questions to better understand the issue.

Speak with civility and respect. No matter what the conflict is, you can prevent further problems by speaking carefully, respectfully and without judgment. If the conversation cannot be conducted with civility and respect, it may be best to take a break and reconvene later when emotions can be better controlled. Don’t be afraid to ask that the conversation be put on hold if emotions are running high in the moment.

Seek a solution. Brainstorm a solution to the conflict. If you can, create a compromise so both parties feel heard and can work toward a common goal. During this discussion, think through how to prevent future reoccurrences of similar problems.

Interpersonal conflicts will occur in your workplace just like they do in any other space. But solutions can be found through collaboration, open-mindedness and cooperation. This can lead to more respect and better morale among your coworkers. Ultimately, a stronger and more aligned workplace will mean you can deliver better patient care.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of American College of Education.
Susie Woodford
Susie Woodford, Registered Nurse, RN to MSN Program

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