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Strategies for managing conflict within a team

Lynne Kerrigan First published: Last updated:

Conflict is often regarded as an inevitable part of any work environment. Team members will have different perspectives, values, beliefs and goals and, in certain circumstances, these differences may escalate into conflict. While conflict cannot be avoided, it can be minimised and resolved.

Key points:

Conflict amongst healthcare professionals has been recognised as a significant issue
Early signs of conflict can be subtle
Conflict is a complex process with both negative and positive effects
The thought of confronting interpersonal conflict within a team can be frightening
Unresolved conflict can be very damaging to a team
Leaders have the ability to set the tone for others and encourage staff to act in a positive way

Table 1. Three common approaches to conflict (Acas, 2014).

Fight You react in a challenging way. At work this may mean shouting or losing your temper.
Flight You turn your

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Lynne Kerrigan

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