How to resolve a conflict?
Last week, I attended a mandatory seminar in the hospital called “Conflict Resolution”. This was facilitated by Richard Evans, the head of the Facilities department of Kingston Hospital. It’s a seminar that aims to provide information to all staffs on what a conflict is, who are the most common to experience conflict and how to resolve it. Everyone working in the hospital may experience a conflict. However it’s the employees who have direct contact with the patients that are most likely to experience this like the nurses, doctors, physiotherapist and receptionist. I find my job to be a stressful one as we are dealing with the most vulnerable people, those who are sick, under the treatment of a medical condition and the unwell adults. It is also possible that we may experience aggression and frustration from patients and their relatives.
Admittedly, it adds to the pressure of our job whenever we speak to the patients and relatives about their concerns and questions. I learned in the seminar that to be able to respond effectively to the other person, it is advisable to do the following:
- Give the brain 2-3 seconds before replying
- Remain cool, not rising to the bait
- Speak calmly, firmly and softly
- Keep listening (the longer the other person speaks the more difficult it is to remain focused and to retain all the information)
The trainer also mentioned about Transactional Analysis and how it can help us to be aware and improve our capability to resolve a conflict. According to Google, Transactional Analysis is a system of popular psychology based on the idea that one’s behaviour and social relationships reflect an interchange between parental (critical and nurturing), adult (rational), and childlike (intuitive and dependent) aspects of personality established early in life.
In Transactional Analysis, I found out that we have 3 ego states:
Each person has the Parent ego state, Adult ego state and the Child ego state. In the Parent ego state, we can either be Critical or Nurturing. Critical is being direct, explicit and exact while Nurturing is being caring and permissive. The Adult ego state is the present state which can be described as rational and questioning. The Child ego state can either be Adapted or Free. In the Adapted category, we can be defiant and complaining while being Free is described as being curious and fun loving. The trainer gave an activity to us where we found out our most dominant ego state. The result of the activity showed that the most dominant in me is the Nurturing Parent ego state where I identified myself as caring, empathetic, comforting, helpful, sympathetic, loving, warm, etc. Usually, this is the most dominant ego state of the nurses. My second highest score is the free-child state with the words that accompany myself like being happy, excited, hugging, laughing, emotional, inspired and fun loving. So, my two dominant ego states are Nurturing Parent and Free-child. We were told that no answers are correct. Every answer is personal depending on each person. It’s a personality test. The main aim of this activity is for us, participants, to be aware of our current ego state because that is how we usually resolve a conflict.
According to the trainer, for the conflict to be resolved effectively, we should be on our Adult ego state because only in this state is where we are rational, questioning, at present, neutral and balance. The Adult ego state has the most ability to resolve conflicts. The traits of the Adult ego are analytical, unemotional, negotiating, observant, interested and calm. We, the participants became aware of our dominant ego states and we were encouraged to make more conscious effort to be in our Adult ego whenever we are resolving conflicts.
I wrote this post to remind myself and not to forget about this because this is a good takeaway from a training. I learned a lot and I can use this in my everyday life.
Guys, what are your thoughts about this?
*** Featured image was from google.com