Managing Conflict with Your Boss

One of the most stressful times for an employee is when they are having a conflict with their boss. Conflict with your boss can be difficult to resolve, so it may be best to look into taking a conflict management training program that can teach you the basics of workplace conflict resolution. In the meantime, you want to be careful not to get on his bad side simply by stating your opinion. You want to be heard, not fired. Fortunately, if you handle the situation delicately enough, you can keep your job and get your boss’s respect at the same time.

It is important to keep this quote in mind:



“Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflict –alternatives to passive or aggressive responses, alternatives to violence.”

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Dorothy Thompson (1893 – 1961), American Journalist

This is perhaps the first thing you will learn in conflict management training program. One sort of “creative alternative” is to take a step back and give yourself a chance to cool off. When you let your temper get the best of you, you run the risk of spouting off and saying something that you may regret later. At a time like this, it is important to think before you react, which is hard to do when your emotions are elevated. If you take a conflict management training class, they may be able to teach you some relaxation techniques for this type of situation.

Second, you may want to go home and think about what you want to say. If you write it down and go over it, you can make sure you have included everything that you want to say and that you haven’t included anything that your boss may take offense to. Plus, you will have a chance to practice it. Remember the saying that "it’s not what you say, but how you say it".

Lastly, when you go in to talk your boss, make sure you stay calm and stick to your script. This is important to ensuring that you don’t go overboard and that you get a chance to say everything that you need to say.
Talking to your boss can be scary and tough, but a good conflict management training program can show you how to do it right. You can likely find listings for local programs in the yellow pages or online.

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