DISCLAIMER: the assignment instructions vary from year to year so please pay careful attention to the current instructions. Also, the student responses to the reflective questions are not included in this sample.

Conflict Resolution: Unsupportive Helping Professional
The Scenario
Patient Navigator Katie is working in the Ottawa Hospital, where they have recently switched from maintaining paper records to now using an electronic system. Katie has heard many of the nurses, residents, and other multidisciplinary health professionals complaining about the system, saying that it is not user friendly and there are too many issues with the system. One of Katie’s clients is a 35-year-old female outpatient in the cardiology clinic at the hospital and has expressed concerns about not getting their routine test results back and wants to discuss it with their doctor (Dr. Anderson) at their upcoming appointment. Katie the Navigator knows that in the past, Dr. Anderson has not welcomed feedback from patients about the hospital’s filing system because he has helped create it. Katie has a good working relationship with Dr. Anderson and is hopeful that at the meeting he will be receptive and supportive of the patient’s concerns.
Katie the Navigator joins her client at their appointment with Dr. Anderson. The doctor begins the appointment by asking the client how they have been doing since their last meeting. The client brings up the issue of not having access to their test results and how it causes them anxiety because they do not know if their heart condition is improving, getting worse, or remaining the same. Dr. Anderson dismisses the patient’s concerns, he remains stoic throughout this part of the conversation and plows ahead in the appointment, moving onto performing the required tests for the patient. He leaves the examination room to get a medical instrument that is required for a test. Katie the Navigator asks her client if it is okay if when Dr. Anderson returns, they use the conflict resolution strategies that they prepared at their last meeting. The client agrees.
This scenario was inspired by an exert from Mosser & Begun, 2014.
Strategies & Resources
Katie: Hi Dr. Anderson, do you mind if we have a quick discussion before we continue the appointment?
Dr. Anderson: Sure.
Katie: We have prepared to have this difficult conversation because not receiving test results causes anxiety for the patient. I will act as a support for the patient, but they will lead the conversation if that’s okay with you?
Dr. Anderson: I thought that we had already finished this conversation, but okay.
Patient: Katie and I prepared a checklist (see appendix A which outlines the conflict resolution strategy) so that I address all the points I have and to make sure that I am not wasting your time.
Dr. Anderson: Okay.
~~ Patient goes through the checklist ~~
Dr. Anderson: Thank you for sharing that with me, but unfortunately there is not much I can do, this is a multidisciplinary health team that works in the cardiology clinic, it is not my responsibility to make sure that every patient gets every result sent to them in a timely manner.
Katie: Do you mind if I step in?
Patient and Dr. Anderson: Not at all.
Katie: First of all, thank you Dr. Anderson for explaining your point of view. I want to reiterate that in no way are we blaming you for this situation. We completely understand that this is a new filing system that is being implemented. I hope that you can understand the patient’s point of view that not receiving their test results in a timely manner can create some anxiety?
Dr. Anderson: Of course, I do, and I hope that we can come to a solution together.
Katie: (addressing the patient) We discussed what you want to get out of this conversation previously. Can you please share them with Dr. Anderson?
Patient: Yes. I want to understand the system better and hopefully have a plan to receive my next test results in a timely fashion.
Katie: We are prepared to work together to create a solution that makes all parties happy.
Patient: Yes, we prepared a worksheet that we can go through together to come up with some possible solutions.
~~ Patient and Dr. Anderson go through the brainstorm worksheet (see appendix B which outlines the conflict resolution strategy) ~~
Katie: All these ideas seem like great options; I think that we did some great collaboration!
Dr. Anderson: I agree, and I can now understand how the system can be complicated, I will make sure to explain the instructions better to my future patients.
Katie: Can we use one more of my conflict resolution strategies? Do you both mind if we debrief?
Patient and Dr. Anderson: That would be great!
Katie: Okay, so do either of you think that something could have been done differently (conflict resolution strategy from class – Lefebvre, 2021a)?
Dr. Anderson: I think that I could have listened to the patient at the beginning of the appointment because I never want to be a source of anxiety.
Patient: Thank you for acknowledging that. I think that I could have advocated for myself better by insisting that we have this conversation instead of letting the doctor carry on with the appointment.
Katie: Great. I think that self-reflection is a great tool and really helps with personal and professional growth! The last question that I have is, is there anything about this problem that either of you feel is unfinished (conflict resolution strategy from class – Lefebvre, 2021a)?
Patient: I feel that we have a good plan moving forward, so no!
Dr. Anderson: I agree! Let’s get started with those tests now.

Appendix A
United Nations HR Portal, n.d.
I decided to use this template from the United Nations because the client is an adult who can lead the conversation. The navigator acted as a partner to the patient and brought the necessary resources to support the patient and to help solve the conflict (Lefebvre, 2021b). Additionally, I wanted to follow person-centered care by allowing the patient to direct their care (Lefebvre, 2021b).
Difficult Conversation Checklist
Step 1: Get the Facts
Question Answer
What are the facts? I did not receive my test results from the cardiology outpatient clinic before my appointment.
What assumptions are you making? The doctor did not appropriately enter my tests in the new filing system.
What feelings is the problem making for you? I am very anxious as I need to change how I am exercising if my test results are negative.
How might the other person see the problem? As a problem with the system.
What might their intentions have been? That they did properly put the tests into the system and there is just a system error.
How have each of you contributed to the problem? We did not communicate with each other.

Step 2: Think About Your Objective
Question Answer
What is the key problem to be addressed? Not receiving my test results through the new online portal.
What impact is this having on you? Anxiety.
What other action could you take instead of this conversation? I could contact tech support through the hospital.
What do you want to achieve by the end of this conversation? I want to have a plan in place so that I know what to do when/if this happens again. I also want to understand the doctor’s role in getting me my test results.
What responsibility are you going to take for your part? I could have been more proactive and communicative with the outpatient cardiology clinic team.
If you didn’t say anything, what would happen and how would you feel? The problem would persist and I would feel more and more anxiety.

Step 3: Check the Policies and Procedures
Note from navigator: TBD … may need to ask Dr. Anderson about the policy and procedures as this is a new filing system.
Prep List
Prompt Answer
How will you set the tone? Courteous
Where will you conduct the meeting? Next appointment at the outpatient clinic (Wednesday, May 16).
When will you conduct it? Right at the beginning of my appointment with Dr. Anderson
What will I say?
Explain your perspective and why it is important. Not getting my test results affects my quality of life and my anxiety surrounding my heart condition. I understand that this is a new system, but I want to understand the doctor’s role as Dr. Anderson helped to create the system.
State what you hope to achieve by having this conversation. I want to understand the system better and hopefully have a plan to receive my next test results in a timely fashion.
How will I listen?
Ask questions to understand. Use open-ended questions. Katie the Navigator will ensure open-ended questions are asked.
Explore Tell me more about your role in the system as my doctor.
Show empathy and understanding

Appendix B
I thought that the brainstorm was a good way to utilize interest based collaborative problem solving because at first Dr. Anderson was reluctant to address the issue. This brainstorm is a good way for both parties to understand both perspectives and to solve a challenge together (Lefebvre, 2021a).

Lefebvre, 2021a. Conflict resolution. [Powerpoint]. Retrieved from Cambrian Moodle.
Lefebvre, 2021b. Person-centered care & strengths-based language. [Powerpoint]. Retrieved from Cambrian Moodle.
Mosser G, & Begun J.W.(Eds.), (2014). Chapter 11. Managing conflict in healthcare teams in Understanding Teamwork in Health Care. McGraw Hill.§ionid=45427894
United Nations HR Portal. (n.d.). Tip sheet: how to prepare for a difficult conversation.

COM 1003 Conflict Resolution Instructions

IMPORTANT: Plagiarism is an academic offense with serious consequences.
November 10 Update: Nov 10 update is added in brackets

November 9 Updates: Additions added (Nov 9 update is added in brackets for these most recent updates)

Nov 1: Additions added (Nov 1 update is added in brackets for these most recent updates)

October 30 Update: Additions to try to make things even clearer are outlined in yellow highlights.


You will choose 1 of 2 options depending on your personal learning goals: responding to conflict in a group setting in real-time or helping to plan for and guide a difficult conversation.

Sign-up List

Sign up for Option 1 by clicking here


25% of final grade (graded based on the Grading Rubric listed at the bottom)

Due Date

● Option 1: Sign-up during class time during Week 11 by clicking here
● Option 2: Tuesday, November 15, 2022 by 11:59 pm

NEW: Added Nov 9, 2022
Assignmen Support
● Click here for a sample assignment for Option 1
● Click here for a sample video of Option 1 (added Nov 10, 2022)
● Click here for a sample assignment for Option 2

Option 1 Instructions

1. In preparation for your scheduled time, research practical strategies for managing conflict/difficult behaviours as a facilitator in a group setting.
2. Choose a minimum of 5 strategies (make sure to cite your sources) and paraphrase them in your own words. Organize this into a “cheat sheet” which you’ll share during your synchronous debrief. 3 strategies can be what you’ve learned already in class and 2 must be new strategies you’ve researched (Nov 1 update)
3. Prepare a brief group introduction, ground rules, and a warm-up activity as if you are facilitating a group which you’ll share during your role-play. Be prepared that some sort of difficult behaviour will occur throughout any or all of these areas. Therefore, don’t put too much time into these documents – I just need you to have some material to be able to refer to.
4. You will utilize your learning from your research which you’ll have summarized in your cheat sheet to respond to the conflict. You can ask that we “pause” if you are stuck and/or I will ask you to pause if I want you to try a different approach. This will take between 10 and 15 minutes.
5. You will verbally self-assess during and/or after role-plays. You will comment on:
a. a specific area you did well and why
b. a specific area where you could improve and why
c. A comparison of your experience to your planned research

Option 1 Rubric

Criteria Needs Work Developing Competent Exemplary

Application of Conflict Resolution Strategies 1-2

Student has obvious struggle with implementing recommended strategies 3-4

Student requires some prompting from professor and has difficulty implementing some of the recommended strategies 5-6

Student is able to effectively apply conflict resolution strategies with a small degree of assistance from professor. 7

Student is able to seamlessly incorporate conflict resolution strategies throughout the role-play without any prompts.
Your synchronous reflection, which will include:
1) What you did well and why
2) Where you could improve and why
3) A comparison of your experience to your planned research 1-3

Student has obvious struggle, requires a lot of prompting from professor, has difficult adjusting their reflection accordingly, showing minimal insight and self-awareness 4-5

Student requires some prompting from professor and has difficulty adjusting their reflection accordingly, showing insight and self-awareness in some areas 6-7

Student demonstrates strong insight and self-awareness, covering most areas without any prompts. 8

Student demonstrates outstanding insight and self-awareness, covering all required areas without any prompts.
TOTAL: /15

Option 2 Instructions

1. Select a scenario where a difficult conversation has to occur in the context of a helping environment (CHSN students) or in the context of a learning environment (LDGC students). Below are some examples. If you are choosing a type of conflict that is not within this list, please email me first for approval.

● Disagreements between parents, teachers and/or students
● Retroactive accommodation dispute
● Unsupportive helping professional such as a doctor or psychiatrist
● Disagreements among helping professionals

2. Create a plausible scenario based on your chosen conflict from the suggested topics (or from a topic that I have approved). Make sure the scenario has enough information and details to be realistic
3. If you are a CHSN student, you will play the role of the navigator in the scenario. If you are an LDGC student, you will play the role of a teacher/learning advisor/etc.
4. Your scenario might be inspired partially from research such as a case study (if you choose this route, please personalize it and do not just use what you find online) or it can be made-up based on common conflicts within your chosen field (you may choose to learn more about conflicts in creative ways such as reaching out to a professional and sharing details about this assignment)
5. Your strategies will be accompanied by written scripts or recorded audio that demonstrates how you would use 3-5 (Nov 1 update) conflict resolution strategies based on your scenario. 1-3 strategies can be what you’ve learned already in class and 1-2 must be a new strategy you’ve researched. Make sure to cite your sources.
6. You will conclude by reflecting on the experience, making sure to be both specific and thoughtful, responding to the following questions:
a. What would your contingency plan be if your proposed strategy was rejected by those involved? Be specific and back up our response with evidence.
b. Explain whether or not it is possible in your role to be responsible for resolving the conflict. Be specific and back up our response with evidence.
c. What did you learn about yourself and conflict in general as a result of this assignment? Be specific and back up our response with evidence.

Option 2 Rubric

Criteria Developing Competent Exemplary
Relevance of Conflict Resolution Strategies

(e.g. all strategies are relevant to the topic and population) 1-3 4 5
Delivery of Information

(e.g. written or audio scripts are thoughtful, effective, etc.) 1-3 4 5
(e.g. Critical insights have been provided with specific, individualized supporting examples) (Nov 1 update) 1-3 4 5
TOTAL: /15

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