Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Causes of Conflicts in the Workplace

The nursing profession can sometimes be filled with negativities. Conflict is one thing that some workplaces have. With a stressful environment and the presence of conflicts, the workplace becomes a nightmare.
There are many sources of conflicts in the workplace and below are some of the most common ones:
1. Cultural diversity.
This is not limited to ethnic differences; this goes for people who have different upbringing, nationality and social culture from other coworkers or patients. Because of globalization, so many people from around the world have taken jobs abroad. Asian nurses dream of working in the USA, while those in the latter dream of travel nursing or volunteering in the exotic parts of Asia. This cultural diversity has its pros and cons. Experiencing other people's way of life or culture takes open-mindedness and patience. Without patience and understanding, conflicts arise.
2. Personality differences.
We can never really please everybody. What we can do though is to be more patient with other people. Patients who are short-tempered or moody can be one reason for conflict. Working styles can also be another reason for nurses to misunderstand each other.
3. Leadership styles.
Just as every person has his or her own way of doing things, so do leaders. Leadership styles differ depending on the leader's character. Some are way too strict while some can be too lenient. This can be a source of conflict, especially if staff members do not agree with the leader's style.
Differing points of view, characteristics and choices can be detrimental to the company or hospital. However, this can be kept to a minimum or even diminished.
Perhaps the one who plays a big role in avoiding conflicts is the leader. Leaders must be exemplary role models. If staff members notice them arguing with patients, doctors or coworkers all the time, they would assume that conflicts are normal and something that can always be dealt with through arguments. As for staff members, from paramedic to RN employees, there should be aware of personality differences and learn to respect each other. Respect comes in different forms and is something that can be hard to achieve. However, giving and getting respect can be done.
While conflicts cannot be easily diminished, it can be prevented to escalate. Leaders must be intuitive and sensitive enough to the patients and staff as to when and how to prevent a conflict from escalating.
With leaders, patients and coworkers having less or zero conflicts, the team morale goes up and the workplace becomes a happier place to work in.

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