When people are cooped up in offices, working long hours the day in and day out, there is likely to be at least some conflict between employees and supervisors. If you have a good manager, then these conflicts are often resolved very quickly and easily. However, bad managers can make these situations more complicated.

Here are some great tips to resolve conflicts with your supervisors.


Work on your communication skills

Believe it or not, even if you are the employee and not the supervisor in the situation, your communication skills can be extremely relevant for resolving the conflict. For example, if you don’t like something your supervisor did, and you start swearing at him or her, then this is likely to escalate the situation and make it worse.

However, if you can communicate your concerns in a respectful and professional way, then your supervisor is likely to respond in a much better manner. This can help to resolve the workplace conflict much more easily. So, work on improving your communication skills to help you resolve conflicts.


Use the help of HR

Many companies have human resources professionals who are specifically trained for how to resolve conflict at work. So if you find yourself dealing with difficult people in supervisor positions, then you can go to the HR department at your company and ask them for help.

After you do this, they will most likely assess the situation and then try to find a way to create a solution. This could involve them meeting with you and your supervisor to talk about the issue and try to solve the problem. It could also involve other strategies. Either way, an HR professional is a good person to have as an ally while you try to resolve the conflict.

Employee is taking help from human resource manager

Try to find compromises

A lot of conflicts are created by an employee not doing something as a supervisor requested. However, a lot of the time, employees don’t do what the supervisor requested because it is too difficult, or there was an unforeseen problem.

In such situations, it can be helpful to see if you can generate a compromise that both satisfies your needs and also appeases your supervisor. If you can find a compromise, then it can be a quick one-way ticket out of that stressful situation!


Get support from your co-workers

If you know that several other employees are also having trouble with a manager, then it may be helpful to approach the manager as a team, rather than by yourself. This way, the entire burden is not on you. Also, the manager is more likely to make a positive change if multiple employees are involved, because that means the problem is more significant.

Two colleauges are walking and talking about a conflict

Hopefully, you will not have to face too many conflicts at your job. However, these tips can help you when you do have do have to deal with them. They can also help you to create more peace at your workplace!

  • Cameron Atkinson

    I do not like to be overcritical, but this article omits the most important thing that you can do to resolve conflict between you and your supervisor. Let us consider the main premise of the article: a conflict exists between a supervisor and a subordinate. When conflict exists between a supervisor and a subordinate, it usually stems from implicit interactions that one or more parties in the conflict misinterprets and takes personal offense to. Due to this misinterpretation, disagreements become more than a simple disagreement between professionals. They become personal disagreements, disintegrating in intense battles of wills. Unfortunately, no one involved is conducting themselves in a manner becoming a professional when the situation deteriorates this far. Consequently, operating from the assumption that your supervisor will conduct himself/herself as a professional, the easiest thing to do when a disagreement intensifies to this degree is to address it on a personal level.

    Simply walk into your supervisor’s office and apologize for any and all offense that you might have given them in stating your professional opinion. Be perfectly clear that you are not apologizing for expressing your professional opinion, but for offending your supervisor personally by accident. By taking this approach, you show your supervisor that you value the personal working relationship that you have with him/her and that you respect him/her as a professional. This approach does take a courageous and humble individual who truly commits himself/herself to acting in a manner becoming a professional, but it rarely fails to generate positive results including an attitude on the part of your supervisor to pay great attention to your opinions.

    If your supervisor rejects your attempt at applying this approach, it may be time to pursue the options above or even to find a new opportunity with an organization whose members value professionalism as much as you do.

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