Competency 6: Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
Negotiation is a cooperative process where 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 resolving or managing a dispute by sharing each party’s points
of view and 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.
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
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
- The strategies and techniques
useful for successful
negotiation with various
- The potentially positive/catalyst
role of conflict in the change
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
(2) Adapted from Harvard’s School of Public Health Program on Health Care Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. Available at www.hsph.harvard.edu/hcncr
« Previous: 5. Communication | Next: 7. Cultural Competency »