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Teamwork and change: what could we do differently?

Conflict resolution can be aided by clarifying perceptions of the conflict and conflicting parties, building shared positive power, and developing 'do-ables', writes Caroline Forrest

This article looks at what we could do differently when faced with workplace and team conflicts. Two models will be discussed: one that aims to help prevent the development of conflicts and the other that uses a partnership approach to resolving them.1,2

In both models, the aim is to strengthen the relationship between the parties involved so that they can work together to provide better care. This is in contrast to a common perception that conflict resolution is about negotiating hard to get the most we can.

The latter approach is based on a power/coercion model, which results in either a winner and a loser or both parties feeling that they have lost. By aiming instead to build the relationship between interdependent colleagues, we can promote more harmonious working.

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