Learning to resolve conflicts with your boss is an important skill you must master. Disagreements are natural in any relationship, but if it’s with your boss, it can make your work more difficult and may affect your career. Learning to resolve conflicts and managing differences can help you communicate better and therefore help make you more productive.
Here’s how to resolve conflicts with your boss.
- Calm down. If you feel that you boss has made a bad decision or has said something to you that you felt was rude or disrespectful, take a breather before you start ranting and raving. You may end up saying something offensive. Also, you may not be able to get your point across when your emotions are so high strung and you are in the heat of the moment. After you wait it out a bit and you have calmed down, you can request to speak to your superior.
- Talk to your boss. Stick to the actions of the other person when you make a complaint. Be specific about what it is exactly that is bothering you, or what you feel is the source of the conflict. Rather than complain to your coworkers, take it straight to the source and work it out with him.
- Don’t make it personal. Don’t make your issue about personality. Instead, be specific about what concrete actions you feel are in conflict with your point of view. Don’t blame things on your boss’ PMS or say he is crazy. Passing judgment ends lines of communication and therefore ends the possibility of coming to a resolution.
- Open your mind to the other perspective. Hear your boss out. Some decisions are made based on things you may not have knowledge about. Your boss may have the bigger picture that you don’t see. Be patient and give him a chance to explain or air his side.
- Offer suggestions. Propose ways you can go about something differently. Don’t just complain. It’s more constructive if you think of something to do to help the situation. Offer alternatives and propose things you can do on your end to help the situation.
- Take it to a higher level. If your conflict has escalated, it’s time to bring someone else in. Talk to the boss of your boss. Make sure there is someone who can document the discussion. If you write a letter or make a formal complaint, know that this may go on your record at work.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to work out your differences and deal with the issue at hand. Learn to work with your boss’ management style so you can be more effective in working together. If your personalities are simply not compatible or you always seem to have a run in with your superior, consider moving to another department or finding a job elsewhere. If you find that you always do not get along with your boss and seem to always have conflict wherever you work, you need to work on yourself.