WORKPLACE / JUL. 30, 2014
version 5, draft 5

How to Avoid Disagreements with Your Boss

Disagreements in the workplace are inevitable. When you work closely with others, you may have different opinions and feel that your way of doing things is the right way. But although conflicts are common, they can create a hostile work environment. And when disagreements frequently occur between you and your boss, your job could be on the line. There are, however, ways to maintain a good relationship with your boss and avoid disagreements. 

#1. Pick your battles

You’re not always going to agree with your boss’s decisions. However, this doesn’t mean that you should argue every point or persuade him in another direction. It’s okay to offer input, but if he’s adamant on doing things a certain way, you need to let it go and go along with the decision. 

#2. Discuss issues before they become a problem

Sometimes, disagreements occur when smaller issues are constantly swept under the rug. Tensions rise to the point of both parties becoming upset and exploding. If you have a long-standing issue with your boss, it’s smart to discuss this issue in private. Maybe you feel that your boss doesn’t respect your opinions, or maybe he makes you feel incompetent. If you bring these concerns to his attention, he can modify his behavior, which might alleviate problems in the future.

#3. Put aside your personal feelings

Perhaps you don’t like your boss as an individual. Even so, these personal feelings should not shape the way you respond to his criticism or instructions. If you question his instructions, this behavior can put him on the defense and trigger an argument between the two of you. However, if you put aside your personal hang-ups and recognize your role, it’ll make for smoother work days. Remember, your job is to complete tasks according to your boss’s instructions, nor your own. 

#4. Look at things from his angle

Your boss has a lot of responsibilities on his plate. And if the team fails, he fails. Therefore, the decisions and instructions he give must benefit the entire organization. If he’s partial or shortsighted, this can result in a bad decision, which can negatively impact productivity and revenue. Therefore, if you feel that your boss is making a decision that’s too safe or too risky, consider things from his perspective and yield to his decision. 

#5. Communicate

Disagreements can arise from misunderstandings, and these misunderstanding are often the result of poor communication. You and your boss need to be on the same page with regard to anything work-related from deadlines to management style. If you feel that your boss has unrealistic expectations, or if you can’t handle tight deadlines, speak up. Additionally, employees should understand what’s expected of them, as well as what their boss won’t tolerate. Employees should also keep their boss informed about potential problems so that he isn’t blindsided.

#6. Don’t become an easy target

Disagreements are less likely to occur if you stay on your boss’s good side. This doesn’t mean "kissing up" to your boss, but rather doing your job well. If you’re habitually late, don’t participate in meetings or spend the greater part of the day hanging out in the break room, there’s a chance that your boss will call you out. And since it’s a natural urge to defend ourselves, you’ll probably disagree with his assessment which can lead to trouble in the workplace.

Final Word

Regardless of whether you work 25 hours a week or 50 hours, you and your boss spend a lot of time together. Because of your different personalities, conflicts may arise. However, if you learn how to communicate with each other, and if you don’t take things personally, you can avoid disagreements.

Image: Flickr

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