Conflict Resolution

Causes of Conflict

According to Brown, et al (2011), conflict within patient health care teams usually falls into one of
three categories:

  • Role boundary issues: Team members do not fully understand each other’s roles
  • Scope of practice: Some team members could feel like their established scope of practice is being threatened, specifically with the addition of new professions to the health care team
  • Accountability: Conflict arises when team members fail to be accountable for their actions, or for the actions of the team, or when team members feel they are the last or only accountable person for patient care

Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (2010) describes five ways of responding to conflict (with definitions provided by the University of Toronto, 2012):

  • Accommodating: Give up personal concerns, Satisfy the concerns of the other party
  • Avoiding: Does not address personal concerns, Does not address concerns of other party
  • Collaborating: Working together to develop solutions to fully address concerns of both parties, High assertiveness and cooperation
  • Forcing: Win-Lose, Strong concern for self, Weak concern for others
  • Compromising: Obtain partial satisfaction for both parties

The conflict tool you’ll find below is meant to assist in resolving sources of disagreement on teams.