Despite many years in schools, most physicians lack basic skills necessary for resolving conflicts.

Some of the skills that must be developed for effective conflict management in the clinical setting include, being present in the moment, listening for understanding, mutuality, openness, and reflection. Due to the chaos and complexity that exists in most health care environments, many physicians are busy thinking about the next patient, how to get the next resource, when to fit in a test or procedure, when to eat or sleep, and responding to multiple distractions and interruptions. It is difficult to truly be present in the environment and listen to what others are saying at a deeper level. Listening is typically restricted to information needed to move through the day and is rarely done at a level that enables understanding of a situation where there may be collaboration barriers resulting from fear, need for control, fatigue, a need to be right, or shame. Creating the ability to listen at a deeper level within a chaotic clinical environment is an  essential skill for developing conflict resolution abilities in clinicians.