Emotional Wellbeing


Mandy Kloppers

How to Navigate a Conflict with Your Boss

Workers and bosses have had conflicts and disagreements for as long as workplaces have existed. If you find yourself in the middle of one of these disputes, it’s essential to resolve the situation wherever possible. You may find yourself of the position that you feel you are unfairly exploited. The situation may be unredeemable; however, there are some avenues you should explore when trying to navigate this delicate situation.

Try to Talk it Out 

Sometimes things are not as bad as they seem, and we’ve projected the issue to be much more severe than it is. Request a sit-down talk to clear the air and go over what has caused the rift. If you have a union presence in your workplace, then you are entitled to have a union rep present in the meeting, this can give an independent witness to the proceedings. 

Read Your Contract 

It may be wise to check your contract to see if there has been a breach. If so, it will put your manager on the back foot. An example of this kind of thing will be if a manager is asking you to change your job role, move to another office, or take on extra responsibilities. Some contracts stipulate you must display this kind of flexibility, and others do not.

Consider Formal Action 

If you are still struggling to resolve the situation, it is essential to assess the potential need for formal action. In the first instance, this could involve utilizing the company’s internal complaints or appeal procedures. If you fear you may be unfairly dismissed it’s vital to get your ducks in a row and research what to do, keep evidence and look at legal representation, the Lamber Goodnow Website has some useful info on what to do in these circumstances.

Talk to Other Employees 

You need to be aware if this is a problem that is unique to yourself or if it is indicative of a broader issue with how a manager or management, in general, is treating the workforce. If you find out that it is a systematic problem, then you will have more of a case to back up any unfair treatment claim. Take notes and note where there are standard practices and overlaps where management’s problem behavior occurs. This can be particularly reassuring as it shows it’s not just yourself over-reacting to something, 

Go Above Their Head 

Unless it’s the CEO that you have an issue with, or it’s a small business, there will always be a hierarchy where you can go above the problem manager’s head. If you do decide to, ‘go upstairs’ then it’s imperative to have your arguments and complaints very explicitly laid out and organized. If you have concerns from other employees, then it’s essential to bring those as well to show the gravity of the situation. Be prepared for any response as you could find a sympathetic ear or a manager that will get behind their managerial colleague.