HUMAN RESOURCES / MAY. 17, 2015
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10 Strategies That Will Help You Avoid Having Conflicts with Your Manager

Conflict is inevitable in our daily lives, especially as it pertains to our time at work. However, when you are handling conflicts with your manager, those situations can quickly become tricky issues to deal with. If you handle the situation in the wrong way, the mishandled conflict can negatively affect your job security and career advancement. That is why it is imperative to find ways to avoid having conflicts in the first place. There are various strategies that you can implement into your work day in order to more effectively deal with avoiding conflicts with your manager. This article will discuss ten of those steps.

See also: How to Avoid Conflicts at Work

1. Get Real and Face the Facts

The first way to avoid having conflicts with your manager is to get real and face the facts that conflicts are inevitable and that you will experience some issues with your manager. However, getting real also involves understanding that there are ways to minimize as well as avoid conflicts altogether. When you face these facts, view the situation with realistic vision and understand that you are not the only employee who has ever had to deal with such situations.

2. Focus Your Energy on the Positive

Once you have acknowledged the situation that conflicts are both inevitable as well as avoidable, focus your energy on the positive factors in these circumstances. For example, one positive factor is that you actually realize the negative potential for damage from experiencing conflicts with your manager—and you are trying to do something to avoid them.

3. Your Manager Is Not Your Enemy

As you focus on the positive factors, realize that your manager is not your enemy. Generally speaking, your manager does not want conflicts to thrive in the workplace. This is another positive factor in helping you to avoid conflicts with your manager. When you realize that your manager is seeking the same result of productivity in the workplace as you are, this process of avoiding conflict becomes much easier.

4. Understand Your Manager's Perspective

The next step in this process involves understanding your manager’s perspective as it pertains to the best way to achieve productivity in the workplace. For example, your manager most likely has a specific method for supervising and a general idea for how he or she expects work to be accomplished. You can avoid conflicts with your manager by simply ascertaining how he or she wants you to complete daily tasks and perform in the workplace.

5. Refrain From Participating in Office Gossip

Your manager will appreciate your decision to refrain from participating in office gossip, especially as it pertains to employees who are gossiping about the manager. If you make a decision to complete your work tasks and stay out of instigating rumors and spreading gossip, your manager will see you as a mature and professional individual. This will bring you one step closer toward avoiding conflicts with your manager.

6. Discuss Issues Privately with Your Manager

You can avoid having conflicts with your manager by cultivating an open professional relationship with him or her. For example, do not allow irritations and frustrations to fester inside your mind and emotions. If you have a concern, speak to your manager privately before the situation becomes an actual conflict. Prevention is always the best medicine, especially when it pertains to interpersonal relationships in the office.

7. Assess the Risk Factor Involved

During this process, it is important to efficiently assess the risk factors involved in handling confrontational issues with your manager. For example, if your manager is easily angered or does not accept any type of constructive criticism, it is time to measure the risks with the rewards. You may need to simply accept the fact that your manager is disagreeable and conflicts can easily arise with this individual. However, if this is the case, you need to make a decision to complete your work and steer clear from personal contact with your manager as much as is possible.

8. Identify with Your Manager's Point of View

In addition to Step 4 where you need to understand your manager’s perspective with regard to workplace performance and productivity, you also need to identify with his or her point of view. For example, place yourself in your manager’s shoes and assess every situation from his or her point of view. Think like your manager thinks. Ascertain whether or not any criticisms given to you have actual merit. When you can commiserate with your manager’s point of view regarding all workplace issues, you will be better able to avoid having a conflict with this person.

9. Maintain Strong Self-Discipline

Throughout this process of trying to avoid having conflicts with your manager, you will need to maintain a strong sense of self-discipline. For example, you must follow the steps discussed in this article as they pertain to your specific situation. Additionally, you should be disciplined to control your own emotional outbursts and respond (rather than react) to actions from your manager. When you can maintain strong self-discipline and act in a mature and professional manner in the workplace, you will avoid major conflicts with your manager.

10. Cultivate a Partnership with Your Manager

Obviously, you will not be on equal professional footing with your manager who is in a supervisory position over you. However, in order to avoid conflicts with your manager, it is vital that you cultivate a partnership with him or her. For example, learn how to focus on the specific goals that your manager has for the workplace and do your part to collaborate in order to achieve those objectives. Additionally, when you need to speak to your manager, remember that you are in a partnership together. That means continually maintaining a mature and professional tone while working to enact positive productivity at all times in the workplace.

See also: How to Handle Conflict With Your Boss

Have you had to deal with conflicts with your manager? What steps did you take to try to avoid having any conflicts at all?

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