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Communication in the Workplace


Good communication among colleagues is very important for accomplishment of tasks. This is more so for health care workers since they provide a very vital service that directly influences life. For this reason it is imperative to maintain good communication among colleagues working in a given health unit. One way this can be done is through use of team building exercises. For the scenario provided for this assignment, the most suitable team building exercise that can be used to improve communication between nurses and unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP) is putting together pieces of playing cards to make complete cards. The reason for choosing this particular exercise to address the miscommunication issue is this exercise is a useful way of showing team members each other’s viewpoints. Thus, it is a way of building good communication, negotiation skills, and assists in the process of developing empathy among the employees. Therefore, this paper analyzes the chosen team building exercise and how it can help to develop good communication between the nurses and UAP.

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Team Building Exercise

This exercise can be performed in a team of between 4 to 6 members. It is suitable for it to be done indoors. Therefore, for the exercise to be performed the essentials needed are the participants, playing cards, and a silent room. Fink confirms that it is a fairly cheap team building exercise as the only thing that requires money to be spent are the playing cards which cost little under $10. The time taken to perform the exercise is 15 minutes.

The instructions the facilitator of the team building exercise should follow in order to guide the participants are as follows. Firstly, the facilitator should diagonally cut the playing cards into half two times. This will result into four triangular pieces. Secondly, the resulting pieces should be mixed together and an equal number of the cards should be placed into as many envelopes as the number of teams created. According to Fink, the participants should then be divided into teams of 4 to 5 people and given an envelope of playing card pieces. Thereafter, each team will be given three minutes to sort through the pieces of playing cards in their envelopes so as to determine which ones they need to make complete cards. This will also require the teams to develop a bargaining strategy that will use to ask the other teams for pieces of playing cards they lack. The facilitator will then allow the participants to start bartering for pieces of the playing cards they do not have. This should take a maximum of eight minutes. When this time elapses the facilitator should count each teams completed playing cards. The team with most completed playing cards is declared victorious.

After carrying out the above exercise, it is imperative for its facilitator to perform a debriefing in order to assess the feedback received from participants. For this task to be done successfully, Fink explains that a number of debriefing questions must be prepared. However, before the facilitator conducts the debriefing he/she should first request the participants of the exercise to think about the strategies they used throughout the entire exercise. This should then be followed by debriefing questions. For the above team building exercise an example of some of the debriefing questions are as follows.

Debriefing Questions

Firstly, the facilitator can ask the participants which negotiations strategies worked best for them? Which did not work? The second question that can be asked is what communication skills did they need to use the most during the exercise? How did these skills help them? This can be followed by a third question which is; what could they have done differently?

In conclusion, when communication between workers is poor or needs to be improved team building exercises will provide an efficient platform for overcoming this. Thus, it is imperative that organizations be well informed in sufficient communication team building exercises.

Conflict Management

Conflict management is not an easy task as it requires sorting out issues among people who are disagreeing with each other. This is especially difficult for leaders whether managers or supervisors who have to intervene in conflicts their teams are having. The same can therefore be said about nurse leaders. This paper thus seeks to discuss the relevant steps that nurse leaders can apply in a variety of settings both professional and personal to resolve a conflict situation using the STABEN process. This will be explained using an illustration from the scenario provided for this assignment.

STABEN process is an acronym that spells out steps that can be used to resolve a conflict in an organization. The first letter stands for source and it represents who is involved in the conflict.  From the scenario provided, the people involved in the conflict are two nurses working in the same unit. The source of the conflict is therefore poor relations between them as indicated by the tone of response the nurse being called about a clarification on a patient’s medication is using.  

The next letter is T and its stands for time and place. It specifies when to resolve the conflict and where. With regards to the scenario the best time to approach the conflict will be when the two nurses have calm down after the upsetting phone call they had with each other. This will be essential as it will allow the nurse to be in a good position to deal with their conflict in a rational manner. The place to resolve this conflict is in an environment that is calm and away from third parties who may interfere in the process of conflict resolution.

The A in the STABEN process is amicable approach. This approach suggests solving the conflict starting with a positive statement about the people involved. Thus, there is need to assess the two conflicting parties, that is the nurses to try to identify the positive facts about each of them. This will then be solved to each nurse in an attempt to make them learn about each other’s positive characteristics as an approach towards resolving their conflict. The next letter is B and it is means behavior. It calls for identification of the problem in a detailed way. When the problem causing the conflict is identified it will be much easier to resolve it.

E is the next letter in the STABEN process of conflict resolution and it is about what the conflicting parties feel. As the nurse involved in the conflict I feel I have been disrespected by a colleague who perceives me with such low standards with regards to my competencies as a nurse. The other nurse may just be feeling the frustrations of the job or may be too stressed and is thus projecting this stress onto their colleague.

N is the final letter and its stands for what needs to be done to bring the conflict to an end. This part is very crucial for reaching a resolution to the ongoing conflict. It is therefore imperative for the individual guiding the process whether in the capacity of an arbitrator, negotiator, or mediator to remember this. With regards to the scenario what needs to be done is bring the two conflicting nurses together to discuss the actual issues they are having with each other and thus giving root to the current conflict. The next thing that needs to be done is to tackle the identified issues one by one. The third thing that needs to be done is working out a way for the two to start building a peaceful working relationship.

In conclusion, the STABEN model is a useful method of resolving conflict among people when it is shaped to meet the situation at hand. One important thing to remember when resolving a conflict especially as a person placed in a position to handle such kind of issues, conflict management is not easy as it is a skill that takes practice.

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