The Gibbs reflective cycle is effective in helping the health practitioners in particular to think systematically about different phases of an experience or activity (Oxford Brookes University, 2017). This is also known as learning by doing since the learner is actively involved in a particular activity that ought to be solved. This reflective cycle is comprised of six components that are explained in detail with reference to the case scenario involving staff conflict which I experienced as a student nurse.
As a student nurse in the ward where I was attached as part of my training, I once encountered a case of insubordination that later developed into sour relations between me and other two senior nurses. The ward sister would assign duties to everyone but the problem was that these nurses who were senior to me would also assign tasks they were supposed to do to me. These senior nurses did that to me simply because they were qualified and senior but that was not supposed to be the case since I believed that I also deserved equal treatment. This case also involved the ward sister since I had to approach her to solve the conflict.
My feelings were characterised by fear of many things. I had a feeling that if this kind of conflict continued unsolved, it was going to affect my performance which could lead to attainment of a poor grade. I also felt that I should approach the ward sister for resolution of this kind of conflict but I was also afraid of being victimised by these senior nurses. Since I was a student, I felt cornered because I thought I should take instructions from my seniors without questioning but I also had a feeling ha this was not the way things should operate.
After experiencing this treatment for quite a long time, one day I gathered my courage and politely approached the ward sister to register my complaint and fortunately, the response was positive. I was so much relieved that the conflict was resolved in a professional way and from that day, I enjoyed a cordial working relationship with everyone in the ward. Thus, I concur with the assertion that effective problem solving does not necessarily need to be confrontational in order to achieve the desired results (Schultz, 2007). This conflict was solved amicably without any issues or exchange of harsh words. However, at first I had a negative feeling that I will be victimised by these two nurses for reporting hem to the ward sister.
This case mainly occurred simply because the two nurses mentioned above believed that since they were senior, they had a right to do what they wanted with me simply because I was a junior. Indeed, conflicts are inevitable in any organization and one good thing about them is that at times they are constructive (Werner, 2007). From my own experience, I have realised that this conflict helped to create a good working environment characterised by mutual understanding and respect. The case has also taught me that conflicts are not solved through confrontation since this can worsen the situation.
I have learnt one big lesson that when solving a conflict, you should not only focus on its effects on the parties involved but try to address the causes. According to Hewitt-Taylor (2016), after identifying a problem, it is very important to try to establish its real causes before attempting to find a solution. Actions such as trying to engage in general talk with other workmates can help to improve the outcome this case scenario since they will also be in a better position to understand your feelings which can help them to respect you.
From the lessons above, I think effective communication is very important when solving conflicts (Werner, 2007). In future, I plan to engage the person with whom I may be experiencing a problem with in dialogue to try to find common understanding before escalating the issue to the superiors. As human beings, I believe that dialogue is very effective as long as it is done in a proper way that is characterised by respect. I also intend to listen carefully to other people in future should I notice that a conflict is slowly developing so as to be able to solve it amicably without fear or favour. This helps to show respect for other people’s feelings which in turn can avoid conflicts since they are not good for human relations.
Gibbs G (1988) Learning by Doing: A guide to teaching and learning methods. Further Education Unit. Oxford
Hewitt-Taylor, J. (2016). “Identifying, analysing and solving problems in practice.” Nursing Standard 26:40, 35-41.
Retrieved from: https://journals.rcni.com/doi/abs/10.7748/ns2012.06.26.40.35.c9139
Oxford Brookes University (2017). “Reflective Writing: About Gibbs reflective cycle.” Retrieved from
Schultz, R. (2007). Human resources management. JB: Prentice Hall.
Werner, J. (2007). Organizational Behavior. Cape Town: JUTA.
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