Conflict resolution

Not all conflict is bad: How to jump into the good kind and create a win-win

  • Kurt A. Oster Bay State Veterinary Emergency Services, Swansee, MA
Keywords: conflict resolution, trust, communication, listening, humor, leadership


Just mentioning conflict is enough to make some people cringe. However, when thinking of conflict resolution, it is important to remember a few key concepts. First, not all conflict is bad. Second, most conflict does not go away on its own, so it is better to address it sooner than later.

I have always heard that veterinarians avoid conflict. While not every veterinarian is the same, I will say that I have found that the majority of veterinarians I have known certainly do prefer to avoid conflict. On the flip side, a small percentage choose to confront conflict head-on and aggressively, which only serves to push the conflict underground.

What we know is that employees want someone to step up and resolve the conflict so everyone can move on. The realty is you don’t have to always get it right, but you do have to try. Ignoring the conflict and hoping it will resolve itself only makes valuable team members disengage and eventually leave.

In this session we will introduce you to some styles of conflict resolution, but more importantly, to some conflict resolution skills that are universally applicable to all types of conflict at work and at home.

Practice Management Sessions