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Communication, Healthcare Experience Matters, PRC

Conflict Management Through Communication in Healthcare

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Today we dive into one of the most frequently requested topics that we get here at the Healthcare Experience Foundation (HXF) and that is conflict. 

This week’s episode of the Healthcare Experience Matters Podcast covers:

  • Interpersonal conflict in our day-to-day interactions
  • Conflict between leaders and team members
  • Peer-to-peer conflict
  • Conflict between individuals and their reporting supervisor
  • This broadcast is a repurposed webinar from the HXF team. It has been condensed for a more friendly podcast listening experience. 

    This episode is hosted by the HXF’s Katie Owens. Katie is a frequent contributor to our podcast, and she currently serves as HXF President with a background in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors of health care.

    “[In this podcast] we will look at some strategies to own the conversation in a way that builds trust and creates solutions so that we're not on that repetitive hamster wheel, revisiting the same issues over and over again,” Katie said at the start of today’s recording.

    Many of us try to avoid conflict and run from it as much as possible, yet on the other end of that spectrum we all know colleagues and peers that enjoy conflict. Over-engaging in conflict can be just as problematic as avoiding it all together, as we learn from Katie in today’s broadcast. 

    “The reality is that we are predisposed to want to have healthy relationships,” she said. “When we have to address conflict, it can create natural uneasiness, especially when we have learned about how to deal with conflict by trial and error.”

    We all understand that teamwork is at the heart of how we work together to provide the very best care to our patients across the continuum of our care environments. Katie does a terrific job of weaving in the importance of teamwork to this overall conversation. 

    “I can't tell you how many times we will go in and do employee engagement sessions, especially following a survey, and we'll hear, ‘Hey, our team is great, we're cohesive … where it breaks down is how we interact with other departments,” Katie told us.

    The need to break down silos in our work environments is a major variable when it comes to healthy conflict resolution through productive communication. 

    “The people that we spend the majority of our time with every single day are our coworkers,” Katie reminds us. 

    All of us know the terrible risks of poor conflict management and bad teamwork. You do not have to look far to find a myriad of patient safety experts in uniform agreement that communication and teamwork skills are essential for providing high-quality care.

    “Put yourself in the other person's shoes before that conversation even begins. We want to speak to the challenge, but we want to listen to the person,” Katie said. 

    Listen Now

    You can listen to today’s podcast here:

    More HX Matters Podcasts

    The five latest episodes of the Healthcare Experience Matters Podcast are available here: 

  • Providing Great Patient Experiences to Move Your Culture Forward
  • How to Fix Incivility in the Workplace with Jeff Robbins
  • Defining Excellent Patient Experience Leadership with Hope Brown
  • What Music Therapy Can Teach Us with Jenna Bollard-Marcovitz, MA, MT-BC, CCLS
  • Compassionate Leadership and the Art of Being Kinder to Ourselves
  • This podcast is dedicated to transforming the health care experience so that every person can receive and deliver the best care.

    You can subscribe to our podcast for free on all major podcast platforms and for video of our interviews, you can always check out the Healthcare Experience Foundation (HXF) on YouTube. Catch up on all  episodes of our podcast by subscribing and following us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music and more.

    Communication, Healthcare Experience Matters, PRC