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Managing Conflict & Negotiation Skills Drs. Ramesh Mehay & Nick Price Programme Directors (Bradford VTS)

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Presentation on theme: "Managing Conflict & Negotiation Skills Drs. Ramesh Mehay & Nick Price Programme Directors (Bradford VTS)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Managing Conflict & Negotiation Skills Drs. Ramesh Mehay & Nick Price Programme Directors (Bradford VTS)

2 Aims 1.the causal factors leading to conflict and strategies that may prevent it 3.skills in managing conflict positively

3 Scenario John is a 54 y old man you have been seeing for low back pain and has been getting repeat sick notes from you. One day, on a home visit to someone else, you see him working in his garden. Youve asked him to come in. Call him in…….

4 What's all the Fuss? "An exhausting consultation between a doctor and a patient which often triggers off some powerful emotions either in the doctor dealing with them, in the patient or both!

5 And it can affect the next consultation


7 You might carry those feelings back home stress, fear, anger, low morale, helplessness The patient might feel and take them home too ……and thats not fair nor good for either of you

8 Can you relate to any of this Are you hooked?

9 So, What are we after? A (patient) lose – lose (doctor) aproach ? A (patient) win – lose (doctor) aproach ? A (patient) lose – win (doctor) aproach ? A (patient) win – win (doctor) aproach ?

10 The Session Plan from here 1.Causation 2.Strategies & Skills to Prevent It 3.Strategies & Skills to Halt Escalation 4.Recovery strategies when things go really belly up

11 Causation Individually: take the next 5 minutes to reflect on a emotionally dysfunctional consultation and the factors you think led to it In trios, pool together your thoughts and discuss new items (flip chart) Team up with another trio and pool together your thoughts and discuss new items (flipchart)

12 Buckets of Shit: Causation patient doctor Unidirectional Consultations Failing to ICE illness vs disease Missing cues empathise Personalities Language Egotism Patient behaviour that annoys the doctor – Christie & Hofmaster (1986) Pull Yourself Together report (2000), Mental Health Foundation) Certain Medical Illnessses - Christie & Hofmaster (1986 ORGANISATION Before the consultation: accessibility conflict with others (other patients, reception) Doctor running late

13 Doesnt all this remind you of JoHaris Window? Unknown Things the patient knows Things the patient dont know Things I know about the patient Things I dont know about the patient Arena Facade Blind spot

14 In trios, think about……. 1.Things you can do to prevent consultations from going bad 2.How you can recognise things are going bad 3.What can you now do to try and stop things getting worse (15 minutes)


16 The Calgary Cambridge model You cant go wrong! Look…….

17 INITIATION Read the patients notes Acknowledge and apologise –for running late etc –you told me to come in –Any others? Establish Rapport – and attend to patients comfort (physical, emotional) Figure out their agenda Neutralise YOUR feelings Be aware of your own negative verbal/non verbal cues

18 GATHERING INFORMATION 1.Explore ICE properly 2.Figure out the ILLNESS vs disease 3.Really show EMPATHY 4.Figure out the patients agenda, Identify your agenda, and BLEND the two….(SHARED AGENDA SETTING)

19 EXPLANATION & PLANNING AVOID PREMATURE REASSURANCE PITCHING explanation SHARED planning WITH the patient CHECK understanding and acceptability (seeking agreement before moving on)

20 Paying attention to your language Prefacing your remarks Sounds like…", "So,…", "In other Words…", "Youre saying…" Avoiding absolute words such as "always" and "never" Replacing "loaded" words with neutral words. "wastes time" "takes time to…" Using words/phrases that have positive connotations "She always wastes time" "You want to work more efficiently. Reflecting the emotional tone of the message as well as the words eg sound like you feel xxx because of yyyy

21 Responding to Cues Verbal/Non-verbal Suchman 1997: patients seldom verbalise their emotions directly and spontaneously, but tend to offer cues instead Skills to Consider: Encouragement, Silence, Repetition (echoing), Paraphrasing

22 Following the helical model ie what I say influences what you say in a spiral fashion (ie what you then say influences whay I say next) reiteration and repetition coming back around the spiral of communication at a little different level each time are essential


24 Read the patient continuously Verbal (HEAR) – tone, pitch, rate, content I sense that you're not quite happy with the explanations you've been given in the past. Is that right?' Non-Verbal (SEE) – facial expressions, posture, agitation 'Am I right in thinking you're quite upset about your daughter's illness? Check how you are feeling


26 Principles Take a deep breath, stay calm. Neutralise YOUR feelings Be aware of you own negative verbal/non verbal cues Dont fight anger with anger, Dont be defensive Look for the reason for the reaction, remember, its often not personal Recognise and accept the feelings as natural and reasonable Remember that the irrational component of anger may have it origins from previous experiences and you may need to explore this (with care)

27 Specific Communication Skills Get down physically to the patients level Feedback what you see or hear Go back and revisit the patients framework + other contributory reasons for the anger (INFO GATHERING) Listen to the patients distress Express empathy, concern and support Apologise that they feel upset (and mean it!) Reformulate the main problems for the patient (INFO GATHERING) Move on with the patient re: possible solutions, ways forward (JOINTLY) = PLANNING Offer realistic and achievable help (PLANNING)

28 Try it again……… John is a 54 y old man you have been seeing for low back pain and has been getting repeat sick notes from you. One day, on a home visit to someone else, you see him working in his garden. Youve asked him to come in. Call him in…….

29 Confrontation with a little C Sometimes, a little bit of confrontation can be good eg challenging an attitude, belief or behaviour, to bring something to someones attention, an uncomfortable truth Your aims in this case would be to Allow the pt to hear and acknowledge you without destroying to Dr-Pt relationship To address behaviour whilst affirming the patients worth as a person BUT: our own anxiety gets in the way: our past experiences of confrontation (personal and professional) and the present situation lead us to either to sledgehammer or pussyfoot or avoid

30 How DO You Do IT Then? Be honest, be supportive Feedback what you have seen or heard directly from the patient – its hard to argue with the evidence BUT Do this sympathetically…. Heron shows you how…..

31 Heron (1975) says… Signpost your intent State what the problem is & the effect it has effect on U and patient, use I statements State what you would like to happen and why (eg the benefits for both of you) Make a valueing statement about the person separate the pts behaviour from them as a person Overtly demonstrate your care/empathy Then give plenty of time, ask about feelings, explain difficulty fo u too, negotiate how to move on (planning)


33 Why recover? Let it go??? It is cost saving Avoids polarization of parties It is educative thru understanding Probes wider issues It promotes fairness Gives disputants more control over the dispute process

34 Principles You may need a cooling off period before engaging Both parties (Dr and Pt) must be willing to participate Establish ground rules Ensure both you and patient understand win =win aim; own volition into engaging, not enforced No interrruptions whilst other is talking


36 How to Do IT An agreement to talk about a set agenda One party speaks without other interrupting healthy venting of emotions, what the problem is for them Other party paraphrases what they heard First party corrects any miscommunication Process repeats the other way round What does each party need or want to happen… light of whats been said Boulle, L (2005) Mediation: Principles Processes Practice, Australia, LexisNexis Butterworths

37 Key Message if you resolve conflict positively you can really build upon a foundation of loyalty and trust in the relationship

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