Dealing with Conflict

Conflict in the Workplace

Healthy conflict can be an opportunity to improve relationships, team dynamics, collaboration and patient care. Yet, unhealthy conflict does the opposite. Assertive communication (v.s. aggressive, passive, or passive aggressive) skills are important to foster collaborative (vs. avoidant, competitive, accommodating, or cooperative) behaviour (Lamoureux, H., & Seifert, E. Copy right 2015)


Communication Resources

Understanding personality preferences

What is your temperament?

Manage difficult/crucial conversations

Lamoureux, H., & Seifert, E., "Resolving Conflict and Improving Communication: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals". Canada. Kingsley Publishing Services. 2009.

Patterson - Grenny - McMillan - Switzler. " Crucial Conversations - Tools for Talking When Stakes are High". McGraw Hill. 2012

Stone, Douglas et al. "Difficult Conversations - How to Discuss what Matters Most". Penguin Books Ltd.1999.

Bill Eddy, LCSW, ESQ - Many books on communication with the "High Conflict Personality". (

Stone, Douglas and al. "Thanks for the Feedback - the Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well - even when it is off base, unfair, poorly delivered, and,frankly, you're not in the mood." Penguin. 2014.

Keirsey, David. “Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence” Prometheus Nemesis Book Comopany 1999.

CMPA - "Disarming statements can lessen conflict in the healthcare workplace"

Assertive communication


Dealing with Inappropriate Behaviour

It is strongly recommended that the complainant or respondent get support from PFSP (I need Help Now) and a trusted peer. Do not isolate yourself. It is also highly recommended that resources on communication, as above, be accessed.


Other Resources

Navigating Conflict: An introduction to Conflict Conversations Model

CPSA - Managing Disruptive Behavior in the Healthcare Workplace

AHS Managing Disruptive Behaviour Handbook for Medical Leaders

Alberta Health Services: 

Policy #1115: Respectful Workplaces and the Prevention of Harassment and Violence (Alberta Health Services) 

Policy #1115-03: Respectful Workplaces and the Prevention of Harassment and Violence: TYPE III (WORKER-TO-WORKER) (Alberta Health Services)

AHS Policy Suite - Respectful Workplaces and the Prevention of Harrassment and Violence

The Behaviour Continuum

The Behaviour Continuum Booklet 

Practitioner Advocacy Assistance Line - The Practitioner Advocacy Assistance Line (PAAL) is a central point of contact for practitioners to share concerns or advise the Zone Medical Staff Association(ZMSA) presidents of challenges in advocating for patients and reporting intimidation. Confidential reporting is assured through a secure third party organization. The PAAL toll free number is1-866-225-7112.

CPSA -Physician Health Monitoring Program: Disruptive Behaviour

University of Alberta - Office of Safe Disclosure

FoMD, University of Alberta - The Professionalism Button

FoMD, University of Alberta - Office of the Assistant Dean of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA)