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5-Minute MCH: Module 6.1

5-Minute MCH: Module 6.1

Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

Module 6.1: 5-Minute Introduction

In this module we provide some background on the competency as well as context and information about our learning activities via a video podcast (see below). We also provide a context for you to Learn more about the competency and to start a conversation, so please Comment on what you have learned and Interact with others who have commented as well.

Download a PDF of the Presentation Slides.


Negotiation is a cooperative process whereby participants try to find a solution that meets the legitimate interests of involved parties; it is a discussion intended to produce an agreement.

Conflict resolution is the process of (1) resolving or managing a dispute by sharing each side’s needs and (2) adequately addressing their interests so that they are satisfied with the outcome.

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

Knowledge Areas

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:

  1. Understand their own points of view and negotiation/ conflict-handling styles, and possess emotional self-awareness and self-regulation.
  2. Understand others’ points of view, how various styles can influence negotiation and conflict resolution, and how to adapt to others’ styles to resolve differences.
  3. 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:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to manage conflict in a constructive manner.
  2. Navigate and address the ways culture, power, socioeconomic status, and inequities shape conflict and the ability to come to resolution.
  3. Use consensus building to achieve common understanding, goals, and activities to solve problems.


Comment on the Presentation...

You can share your perspective on this competency with others in the field by entering your comments here. Tell us how you have personally applied this competency in your daily work, ask questions about the competency, or suggest additional trainings that can be used by others to support learning in this competency.

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See What Others are Saying...

  • "Looking forward to learning more about this topic. I seem to shy away from any form of conflict, so I'm sure I will learn a lot."
  • "Thanks for reminding us that sometimes conflict is a beneficial -- and necessary -- way to improve ourselves and our work. Negotiation skills are one of the most important things you can learn as a professional."


2 Adapted from Harvard’s School of Public Health Program on Health Care Negotiation and Conflict Resolution.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UE8MC25742; MCH Navigator for $225,000/year. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.