Home' Australian Pharmacist : January 2011 Contents Vol. 30 -- January #01
Continuing Professional Development
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• Assess each past conflict and
decide whether the conflict
management strategy used was
appropriate. Which strategy would
be best to use?
• Set some goals surrounding areas
in which improvements could
In addition to engaging in appropriate
conflict management strategies,
it is imperative to keep in mind
communication basics. Supportive
communication and active listening
are important to consider.2,7,11 These
and other skills in communication
have been discussed in earlier issues
of Australian Pharmacist (see A Case
of 'Fawlty' Communication, January
2010, and Hurdles with Health
Professionals -- Communicating and
Negotiating in a Health Care Setting,
February 2010). Revisiting these
issues will provide a complementary
skill set to assist in implementing
conflict management strategies.
1. As a strategy of conflict
a) may be appropriate where time
pressures are present.
b) involves a medium level of
assertion and a high level of
c) creates a 'win--lose' situation.
d) should be used in conjunction with
2. Sources of conflict
management may include:
a) internal perceptions.
b) personality traits.
c) not having enough to do.
d) all of the above.
3. In relation to conflict, which
one of the following is
a) Conflict is a process that begins
when one party perceives that
another party has positively
affected something that the first
party cares about.
b) Is present in our everyday lives
and is always destructive.
c) It may trigger inappropriate
behaviours and lower morale,
however it doesn't impact
d) All of the above.
A score of 3 out of 4 attracts 0.75 CPD credits.
4. As a strategy of conflict
management, which one
of the following is not true
a) It is the most effective of the five
strategies, however takes time
b) It involves a strong desire to
satisfy both parties' needs.
c) It is useful where an integrative
solution must be found as one
party's concerns are too important
d) It involves creating a solution
which satisfies both parties.
Finally, it should be remembered
that developing skills in conflict
management, like any management
skill, takes time, commitment
and practice. However, when
studies show us that managers
are spending 25% of their time
managing conflict,1 the relevance
and importance of developing such
skills is unquestionable.
1. Guttman HM. Conflict management as a core
competency for HR professionals. People and Strategy.
2. Robbins SP, Millett B, Cacioppe R, et al. Organisational
Behaviour. 3rd ed. Sydney: Prentice Hall; 2001.
3. Cloke K, Goldsmith J. Conflict resolution that reaps
great rewards. Journal for Quality and Participation.
4. McNamara C. Basics of Conflict Management.
Free Management Library. [Online. Updated 2010].
5. Tjosvold D. The conflict-positive organisation: it
depends on us. Journal of Organizational Behavior.
6. Braiker HB. The power of self talk. Psychology Today.
7. Carlopio J, Andrewartha G, Armstrong H. Developing
Management Skills: A Comprehensive Guide for
Leaders. Sydney: Pearson Education Australia; 2005.
8. Eunson B. Conflict Management. Milton QLD: John
9. Williams S. Conflict Management -- Style and Strategy.
Dayton Ohio: Wright State University; 2010. At: www.
10. The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Questionnaire.
2010. At: www.shropshirevts.com/docs/
11. Flanagan N, Finger J. The Management Bible. Toowong
QLD: Plum Press; 2003.
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