Isn’t it ironic? Boss’s Day is observed on October 16th, and Conflict Resolution Day is observed on October 17th! There is definitely a correlation between bosses and conflicts! Workplace conflicts often start and end with the boss. Workplaces suffer when there are omissions by a good boss and errors by a difficult boss.
Whether the “boss” is your immediate supervisor or someone in upper-level management, conflict can easily occur. Your performance is often impacted by how you interact with them as well as how you react to their decisions. And the boss is frequently impacted by your performance or lack of performance. This is called performance-based conflict.
With everyone depending on each other to make things work, stress is common. Stress is an element that causes people to misunderstand, overreact to, dismiss, or disrespect others. Stress may also lead to competency-based conflict, which is described as disagreements on how to accomplish job responsibilities.
As individuals, most people have opinions on how to complete their duties. Sometimes, those opinions are in direct contrast to how the boss wants things completed. American cartoonist Carl Barks said, “Work smarter, not harder.” If a “boss” is a mere manager, he/she simply wants things done effectively. There is little regard for employees’ ideas, emotions, etc.
Leaders, on the other hand, focus on getting things done efficiently without a disregard for employees’ wants and needs. When a boss disregards employees’ concerns, it can lead to the third type of workplace conflict. Interpersonal relationship-based conflicts often occur when there is a lack of communication, advancement, ethics, and/or diversity.
After identifying the types of workplace conflict, what can you do to get rid of them? Here are some tips to help get rid of workplace conflicts. Attempt to communicate with the person you are having a conflict with rather than others. Seek help from a mediator when communication does not work. Finally, work together to change the workplace culture.
If you (or someone you know has) have ever had a workplace conflict, what was the leading cause? Please comment.