Practitioner: Zona Boyum, Succession Planning Coach
BayCare Health Systems
The impact of culture in reducing conflict is also stressed at BayCare Health System in Clearwater, Florida. Zona Boyum, Succession Planning Coach, heads up the education services department and developed three mandatory classes for all managers to take within two years of being hired. Boyum says the company requires this training so that there is a “common thread” throughout the organization, and the conflict management process will have a wider scope of influence on the overall culture.
After completing a prerequisite course on understanding the impact of change, managers then take a day and a half program called Responding to Conflict Effectively. Before participating in the program, managers are not only required to complete the CDP-360 themselves, but they also must have a boss, and at least three direct reports and three peers complete the survey as well because Boyum wants the feedback to be as meaningful as possible.
Day One of the program starts with an overview of the CDP in the morning. In the afternoon, participants go through three different rounds: watching a video by photojournalist Dewitt Jones which addresses the issue of perspective taking and framing problems in a different way, engaging in a 50-minute one-on-one feedback session with a CDP-certified coach (coaches are internal employees from myriad areas of the organization), and, finally, developing an action plan for the future. On the second day, participants work in triads and are videotaped in conflict role plays that are specific to BayCare. This exercise gives managers an opportunity to apply new insights to real-world situations.
The third required class is Mediating Workplace Conflict, a program adapted from Dan Dana. “This class is especially effective for Nurse Managers who deal with huge staffs and aren’t able to supervise every single conflict that might arise on any given day. It’s important for employees to learn how to manage common disagreements without having them in front of patients or their families,” says Boyum.
After completing these three courses, BayCare managers then go through a two-day course (Leadership Profile) which pulls everything together from the previous classes. In addition to reviewing the CDP, facilitators also highlight feedback from the Kirton Adaption-Innovation (KAI) Inventory. Many of the activities are videotaped and debriefed, and participants are able to concentrate on strengths and development needs, apply elements of their action plans, and actually practice new skills. If it’s determined that a manager still needs extra help in any one area, additional coaching is available. Again, Boyum stresses the goal of everyone having a common vocabulary for resolving conflicts and being proficient in constructive behaviors so that unproductive conflicts can be diffused or prevented right from the start.