Handling Conflict with Coworkers as an LPN
Conflict among coworkers is a common problem for LPNs today, and it is one of the main causes of work-related stress. However, while disagreements on the job can lead to an unproductive work environment, when conflicts are handled properly, they can lead to positive gains for both persons involved. But just what are the best ways to handle conflict with coworkers as an LPN? Read on to find out.
Always Keep an Open Mind
Although you may think you are right when confronted with a conflict in the workplace, keep in mind that your coworker probably thinks that he or she is right as well! With that said, rather than getting angry and exploding, take a moment to breathe. Try to understand that different people have different views on situations. When you can accomplish this, you can move on to the next step: accepting your coworker’s viewpoint.
Accept Your Coworker’s Viewpoint
The next step is to try to understand and accept your coworker’s viewpoint. Or in other words, put yourself in your coworker's shoes. Instead of arguing and blowing off steam, take some time to listen carefully to what your teammate has to say. You just may be surprised what you will learn! Of course, you very well might still disagree. Nevertheless, by listening rather than arguing, you have taken a step towards solving the problem.
Never Become Involved in Name-Calling
Above all else, never allow arguments to get personal. Do not become involved in name-calling or bringing up issues that are not related to your job. Focus on the problem at hand. Additionally, even if you think that the problem was caused by your colleague, never verbally place blame on him or her. Stay calm, maintain your professionalism, and discuss the matter as two educated adults.
Work Together to Find a Solution
Just as both you and your coworker likely have different views pertaining to your disagreement, you both probably have your own ideas as to how to solve the problem. As such, discuss the matter intelligently as members of the medical team. Other than making suggestions of how to solve your conflict, ask your teammate one or more of the questions listed below.
- What can we do together to solve this issue?
- What can I do to help with this situation?
- What do you think needs to change to help our conflict?
- How can we distribute our work load more effectively?
- Do you need more help during the day?
- Can you possibly help me a bit more during our shift?
Realize that You Cannot Solve Everything
Finally, it is important that you realize you are only human, and you will not be able to solve everything. If you are faced with a conflict that you just cannot seem to solve, make an appointment to speak with your supervisor. Supervisors are experienced in handling even the most difficult work-related issues and will most likely know exactly what to do!