Woes and Wars at Work

When there is conflict and tension at work, do you fight, take flight or let it fester?

A Harvard Business Review survey on communication during conflicts says most people (28 percent) always speak up when they feel they have been misunderstood. Only 10 percent fester, saying they never ask colleagues to either stop or change behavior that bothers them. About a quarter of people rarely let the other person know if they’re upset. Another 26 percent say that when they disagree with someone, they often hint at it, rather than objecting outright. We are far from direct.

While the survey wasn’t healthcare specific, do these woes and wars bog down patient care? Of course. In healthcare, we know that communication effects teamwork, patient satisfaction, patient safety, patient management, compliance with treatment, level of anxiety, morale and job satisfaction and efficiency. Effective communication among staff encourages effective teamwork and promotes continuity and clarity within the patient care team. At its best, good communication encourages collaboration, fosters teamwork and helps prevent errors.

Bad communication cannot be a part of good healthcare. How can you improve communication in your world? Start today, don’t let it fester.