When we hear the word “boss”, the most widely recognized first image that strikes our mind is that of someone who has power coming from his designation. At one time or another, all of us engage in disagreement or conflict at work. Sometimes, however, a heated conflict arises with your boss, and it is worthwhile to explore an alternative solution to resolve the challenge. For this situation, the director or manager definitely has power purely by virtue of his or her position within the organization, or he or she is in a position to control the behavior of others.
Here are some worst critiques to receive from a boss:
· “Nobody trusts you!”
· “Look, I am your boss, just do what I say and you will be fine!”
· “You only care about yourself. You are completely self-absorbed!”
· “It’s obvious from your question that you don’t understand anything about this issue”
· “I can’t imagine what possessed you to suggest such a stupid idea”
Any criticism similar to those above can trigger much botheration for many people. When a similar criticism occurs with a good stage of frequency and is not dealt with, the numerous criticism is likely to grow and finally sour the relationship and become an established component of future interactions. Unfortunately for some, criticism and personal attacks can occur apace and unanticipatedly.
When dealing with conflicts with your boss, it is important to stay composed, feel confident to stand up for yourself and, eventually, ensure that you are feeling good about it afterward.
The special instance of conflict between a direct report and a boss presents unique challenges. As a manager with responsibilities up and down the organizational chain, managing conflicts with your boss may well define to what degree you can effectively contribute to your organization. A conflict with your boss can emerge from several different kinds of circumstances or opposing perspectives. Here are a few examples that illustrate potential roots of a conflict:
· There is no role clarity or alignment. You are not sure about how your work supports your boss’s work and how it meets the mission of the organization. You may think you’re doing tasks that should be on your boss’s list. Your boss may think that she or he is doing too much of your work.
· You and the boss sit at different vantage points. Depending on the structure of your organization, each of you is accountable to a different measure of performance and to different stakeholders. You and your boss may not pay attention to or respond to the same things because you don’t hold the same position in the organization.
· You lack confidence in your boss’s ability. Several different situations could lead you to this perspective. Perhaps you held the interim position prior to your boss’s appointment and then the organization asked you to orient your new boss to the job. Perhaps the skills your boss employs aren’t as apparent to you as the skills you have to use to get results in your position.
· Your boss lacks confidence in you. Your boss may be looking to you for information, advice, and options, but perceives you to be faltering on all fronts.
· You and your boss are mismatched in ethics, values, and integrity. Managing conflict that threatens the organizational good because of mismatched ethics, values, or integrity may require you to seek advice and support from reliable internal HR resources or even external support sources (ranging from coaching to legal advice).
One of the common things we all hear as employees is, there are two rules of working under a boss
· Rule no. 1 Boss is always right.
· Rule no. 2 In case the boss is wrong see rule no. 1.
However, this does not mean that one has to be yes man constantly. Whenever you confront a conflict situation with your boss consider the following approaches.
(i) Appreciate wider perspective: The boss has wider perspective than you, therefore please consider whether there is something you are not able to visualize that your boss has visualized.
(ii) Do not offend his authority: Every boss is sensitive to maintaining his authority. If you have a better idea, put it in a manner of suggestion, avoid offending his authority.
(iii) Evaluate the impact: Very carefully evaluate the impact of the wrong decision of the boss on your position in particular and on organization in general. Do not challenge his decision unless you have to.
(iv) Avoid bitterness: If you have to differ with your boss, just register your point of view without making it bitter.
It’s essential to comprehend the circumstances under which conflicts between you and your boss can emerge. If you understand the context, you can make a full examination of the conflict then work toward a resolution. However, before you can effectively resolve a conflict with your boss, it is necessary to examine your own definition of conflict, your view about conflict, and your behavior during a conflict situation.
Once you understand more clearly how different situations can cause conflict, and how you can work with your boss when conflict arises, you will have a clearer horizon of your own contribution to a conflict situation. Resolving conflicts is a difficult problem, especially when it involves your supervisor. By taking the high road and considering thoughtful ways to address it shows maturity and professionalism that will prove helpful in your career whether you decide to continue to work for a critical boss or not.