How to Resolve Conflict in the Workplace

Topics: Management, Nurse, Generation Y Pages: 7 (1996 words) Published: April 22, 2010

How to Resolve Conflict in the Workplace

This paper will explore the complex topic of how to identify, approach and solve generational conflict in the workplace. It is important for nurse managers to be able to identify generational conflicts occurring among staff. Key strategies within the process model are recommended to be utilized by the nurse manager when addressing generational conflicts at the workplace. There are four main generations focused on within this paper, showing the fundamental differences between all generations and reinforcing the importance of conflict resolution.

How to Resolve Conflict in the Workplace
What is conflict resolution? How does one in a managerial nursing position identify generational conflict among their staff? How does one appropriately apply the process model to solve disputes that occur in the workplace? Many questions may cross one’s mind when deciding how to confront and resolve conflicts among nursing staff. In order to being the process of rectifying intrapersonal staff conflicts, one may begin the process of answering the questions asked above. Conflict is defined by Hibberd and Smith (2006) “... as a process which begins when a person perceives that someone has negatively affected or is about to negatively affect something he or she cares about” (p. 650). Hibberd and Smith (2006) defines conflict resolution “... [as] ways in which people, groups, or institutions deal with social conflict” (p. 650). People frequently have preconceived notions in regards to confronting and dealing with conflict, thinking that nothing constructive or good will come from it, however according to Vivar (2006) “ behavioral scientists have studied and concluded that not all conflict is destructive and that a certain degree of conflict is essential [in life]” (p. 201).

As human beings no two individuals were raised with the same values, morals and upbringing, making conflict unavoidable. As nurses, we follow our practice with the most up to date evidence based information. Making it necessary to uphold our professional competencies continually. The nature of the health care system and the technology nurses use is continually changing and evolving. The result is vital and we as nurses must become adaptive to these changes. Generational conflicts may arise as a result of the constant changes. Workplace issues between nursing staff of different generation can often be unpleasant and unproductive, which may cause work conflicts, interpersonal tension, decreased productivity and employee dissatisfaction (Jaie, H 2004, p. 334). Proper nursing management is required in order to maintain proper conflict resolution skills and strategies in dealing with generational difference among nursing staff in a acute care setting. This paper will further discuss roles of nursing leadership in identifying, confronting and managing the issue of generational conflicts among nursing staff, through the use of the process model. Differences of Generations

There are four main generations. The silent generation, born between 1922 and 1942; the baby boomers, born from 1943 to 1960; generation X born from 1961 to 1980 and millennial generation, born after 1981 (Jaie, H 2004, p. 334). All four generations are fundamentally different.

The silent generation is typically loyal to authoritative figures and to their employment organization (Wiek, 2004 p. 10). Baby boomers are generally known to be workaholics perpetually concerned about their work performance, promotions and titles. Baby boomers tend to stay at one job until retirement, due to their sense of loyalty to their employer and chances of future advancement in the company (Wiek, 2004 p. 10). Generation X seeks challenges, they enjoy working independently, using technology, and often resists authority. Generation X prefer to be treated as equals to their managers and would be more partial to think of managers as...

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