Leadership in a health environment requires knowledge and skills in negotiation and conflict resolution to address differences among: stakeholders over community health issues; health care providers about appropriateness and quality of care; managers in regard to financial and administrative issues; providers and families related to access and services; and larger systems over policy, funding, and quality of care.2
MCH professionals approach negotiations and conflict with objectivity and are open to new information but aware of long-term desired outcomes that include relationship-building and development of trust. They recognize when compromise is appropriate to overcome an impasse and when persistence toward a different solution is warranted.1
MCH leaders will demonstrate a working knowledge of:
- Characteristics of conflict and how conflict is manifested in organizational contexts.
- Sources of potential conflict in an interdisciplinary setting. These could include the differences in terminology and norms among disciplines and the relationships between mentors and students.
- The theories pertaining to conflict management and negotiation among groups with differing interests.
- The strategies and techniques useful in successful negotiations with various groups.
- The potentially positive/catalyst role of conflict in the change process.
Foundational. At a foundational level, MCH leaders will:
- Understand their own points of view and negotiation/ conflict-handling styles, and possess emotional self-awareness and self-regulation.
- Understand others’ points of view, how various styles can influence negotiation and conflict resolution, and how to adapt to others’ styles to resolve differences.
- Apply strategies and techniques of effective negotiation and evaluate the impact of personal communication and negotiation style on outcomes.
Advanced. Building on the foundational skills, MCH leaders will:
- Demonstrate the ability to manage conflict in a constructive manner.
- Navigate and address the ways culture, power, socioeconomic status, and inequities shape conflict and the ability to come to resolution.
- Use consensus building to achieve common understanding, goals, and activities to solve problems.