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Conflict to Mutual Goals: Foundational Mindset and Skills

S Kim1*, (1) University of Washington, Seattle, WA


(Tuesday, 7/14/2020) 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM [Eastern Time (GMT-4)]

Room: Track 6

Interpersonal conflict can arise from disagreement or miscommunication that occurs in the clinical environment. When left unaddressed or unrecognized, conflict can result in reduced productivity and diminished team cohesion. At the same time, workplace conflict presents an opportunity to generate learning towards improving workflows and team communication and to strengthen relationship among team members. Effective conflict engagement requires self-reflection and communication skills for medical physicists to apply to team-based care that they deliver in collaboration with other physicists, physicians, staff, trainees, and patients. Medical physicists are most often not trained in effective conflict engagement techniques. Furthermore, they may frequently negotiate workplace conflict in the context of a power hierarchy in healthcare delivery. The need to engage with conflict in a timely and collegial manner for promoting quality care and positive workplace culture is recognized in the Joint Commission’s sentinel report, “Behavior That Undermines a Culture of Safety.” In this interactive symposium session, participants will learn from a content expert from the field of healthcare conflict engagement and communication, build self-awareness of their conflict style, and apply how conflict engagement skills can be used to improve communication for advancing patient safety and teamwork, in alignment with the AAPM Strategic Plan draft (v.08.02.2018) Leadership Strategic Goal: Promote leadership role of the organization and its members.

Learning Objectives:
After this course attendees will be better able to:
1. Describe types of conflict including task-based and relationship conflict
2. Explain factors that may escalate a routine disagreement to emotionally charged conflicts
3. Identify mechanisms through which power hierarchy functions in workplace conflict
4. Apply conflict dialogue techniques to real-life scenarios



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