A Model for Managing Difficult Conversations

As the near-peer leaders of their programs, chief residents frequently face navigating difficult conversations and managing conflict. Conflict resolution is recognized nationally as an essential physician leadership competency, yet chief residents may receive little formal training in this essential skill.

In this interactive workshop, we will teach a conflict resolution framework which chief residents can use to identify and manage conflict. We adapted the framework from the book Crucial Conversations for situations encountered by physicians, emphasizing common medical communication skills. The session will be conducted in three parts: an introduction of the framework using an interactive, case-based approach, large group discussion of participant initial perceptions and perceived challenges to using this framework in their roles as middle managers, and small group skills application of the framework to workplace-based cases derived from commonly-encountered scenarios within the life of a CMR. The workshop will conclude with a brief overview of the implementation of this framework at a residency program, resident skill attainment, take home points, and questions.

The workshop will be interactive, incorporating live role-plays, group brainstorming, and incorporation of participant-led examples. Participants will leave the session with a conflict resolution toolkit, including case-based strategies for application across a variety of scenarios.