5.3.7 Capacity to Dialogue

DialogueIt is essential that interprofessional collaboration be planned for by those involved or affected by the change, especially if it includes a broader network that has been initially anticipated by those involved in the established practice arrangements. Teams will be required to re-think changing systems and the work environment, define role responsibilities, and establish practice boundaries. Therefore, the complexities of role development within team restructuring must be made explicit to providers rather than being left to an unanticipated informal consensus. The following two modules, conflict resolution and negotiation will provide information on how to further one’s ability to successfully communicate with team members, patients and families.


Negotiation is an effective approach to resolving a conflict situation (Kendall & Arnold, 2008; Lovern, 2001). It is also a necessary skill for working through issues related to understanding the roles of others and patient care/community initiatives.  It is particularly useful in the search for creative and innovative solutions. By agreeing to negotiate with team members and patients, one is willing to engage in confronting others and is attempting to find an acceptable outcome by exploring options (Cahn & Abigail, 2007).

There are two types of negotiation: competitive and cooperative. Competitive techniques such as playing hardball or using manipulation do not contribute to interprofessional team building since they can put people at a disadvantage and erode trust.  In contrast, cooperative techniques which involve honesty, openness, flexibility and a win-win approach are best suited to interprofessional team-based negotiation.  When an agreement is reached, all team members should commit to the solution and feel positive about working together (MindTools, n.d.). 

Develop negotiation skills for conflict resolution, role development and patient care/community initiatives.

icon Points to Remember to Guide Learning (PDF)
icon Learning Strategies (PDF)
icon Indicators of Success: An Ability to Negotiate in Practice (PDF)

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Conflict Resolution

Conflicts often begin when the people involved have a difference in the interpretation of facts, as well as a difference in perspective.  The people involved may perceive the other’s interests, values and goals as incompatible with their own.  Furthermore, there are often differences in communication styles, power balance and other situational factors that can influence how conflicts are understood and managed.  All of these factors need to be explored and examined in the process of effective conflict management (Landa-Gonzalez, 2008).

Successful management and resolution of interpersonal or team conflicts in the clinical setting is critical for cohesive team functioning, interprofessional collaboration, communication, excellent care provision and job satisfaction.  Too often, conflict is ignored or avoided, leading to a strained work environment resulting in limited professional growth (Landa-Gonzalez, 2008).

Manage conflict successfully in interpersonal relationships and teams.

icon Points to Remember to Guide Learning (PDF)
icon Learning Strategies (PDF)
icon Indicators of Success: An Ability to Manage Conflict (PDF)

View References >>

Home Supportive Environment Organizational Champions Examining Patient Care Interprofessional Change Preceptorships Evaluation

Key Challenges


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