Workplace Conflict Resolution (And Saying “No” To The Boss!) It can be the most difficult part of keeping a job, but many don’t know when we should say no to the boss. Some people make their lives miserable because they can’t or won’t tell the boss that simple word.
Sure, you want to be a good employee and not get a reputation as difficult or uncooperative, so you don’t say no. Yet, there are times when you have to say no to the boss.
Most conflicts between a boss and an employee occur because of a lack of communication. Either the boss or the employee fails to communicate effectively, and one or both individuals don’t know what’s really going on.
Keep the boss informed of what’s going on in your life and your work. If something changes and you won’t do as much work or keep the same schedule, tell the boss.
Times You Should Say No to the Boss
When It’s Immoral or Illegal
The first and most obvious time to say no to the boss is when he asks you to do something illegal, immoral, or against company policy.
If this comes up, try to explain to the boss why you’re saying no. He or she might not realize that what their asking is wrong. If the boss still tries to make you do it, either go over their head or quit.
Personal Saftey Risk
If the boss asks that you endanger your personal safety or the safety of others, say no and mean it. No job is worth your life or health. As always, explain why you’re saying no.
When You Are On Vacay
When you are on vacation or off work, despite what some people think, it’s perfectly fine to say no to the boss if you’re at home spending time with the family or on vacation.
Many people burn themselves out because they turn all their free time over to the company. A good policy is to tell the boss, “I’ll be gone this weekend. Don’t call me because I won’t be able to do anything until I get back.”
When You Are Away Sick
When you are sick or off for health reasons and cannot work, tell the boss no. After all, your health is more important than the job.
If you exhaust yourself and physically cannot work, you’ll be in worse shape. Make sure you explain to the boss that you will not be able to work and why.
It’s Not Your Responsibility
When the boss asks you to do somebody else’s job, it’s okay to say no. We’ve all been in this situation—somebody else doesn’t do his or her job.
Then the boss asks you to do his work and yours.
Occasionally doing this in an emergency is fine, but constantly covering for another employee isn’t. If a co-worker isn’t doing their job, that’s the boss’s problem, not yours.
Tell the boss you will not be able to do that person’s work and yours.
Conflict Resolution In The Workplace
Conflict resolution in the workplace isn’t a subject any of us like to discuss.
In fact, most of us would rather have a soul-crushing Board Meeting than deal with this issue. But, it is inevitable that there will be conflict in the workplace.
All of the policy papers in the world can’t stop it entirely.
Team building exercises can only go so far. So, since we’ve established that conflict will take place, how can we limit its potential for destruction. In other words, how do we make it a squall rather than Hurricane Harvey?
HostingRadar.co looked at some companies who have been successful. Five ideas stood out.
1. Define What Constitutes Acceptable Behavior
Clearly and publicly make it known what will and won’t be tolerated.
The exact parameters may vary from company to company. Some companies allow loud and public disputes. They call it “honest exchange.”
Other outfits specifically state that conflict must be kept behind closed doors. They call it “decorum.”
How your company decides to handle this question isn’t as important as the fact that everyone knows how to behave in a time of conflict.
2. Tackle Conflict Head-on
We established from the top that you can’t always prevent conflicts. That does not, however, stop you from anticipating where it might flare-up.
By seeking out pressure points and proactively intervening, you can prevent some conflicts from arising. If a conflict between two or more people does come up, minimize its severity by handling it quickly.
A swift resolution to the problem will shorten the post-conflict discussion, as well. (Oh, you thought this would remain a private matter? Sorry to disappoint.)
3. Learning Your WIIFMs
Beneath the surface of disputes in a professional environment is the WIIFM. It stands for What’s In It For Me, and understanding its ramifications is critical. Those five letters can make your job easier.
It would help if you found out what each party needs to feel successful. Who feels threatened? Who sees their job security at stake? Find the WIIFMs, and few obstacles will remain to impede you about conflict resolution.
4. How Important is the Issue?
You have heard that you should “pick your battles.” That way, you can avoid conflict that is unimportant or trivial.
However, that isn’t the entire answer. If this issue is so important to someone that conflict is created, then a resolution must be found.
If enough is at stake, people will do what’s necessary to communicate fairly. When that happens, a solution may magically appear!
5. View These Conflicts as Opportunity
Hidden within almost every conflict is a potential for tremendous teaching and learning. New ideas for a business’ growth can come from different points of view.
Divergent positions, properly addressed, will stimulate business innovation in ways that an echo chamber cannot. Smart leaders seek the gold nuggets that different voices unearth.
Workplace Conflict Resolution And Saying “No” To The Boss – Conclusion
Conflict resolution can always be found if there is sincerity in the opposing positions.
Sometimes a compassionate ear is needed. Occasionally, a cheek needs turning. Forgiveness, compassion, and empathy are the avenues for finding common ground most of us seek.
This is true from a Mom and Pop bakery to a Fortune 500 mega-corporation.
However, there is one more point, and it’s the most important one of all. When every idea fails, and the sides remain far apart, a difficult choice remains.
Resolve the issue by doing the right thing, rather than playing personal favorites. We at HostingRadar.co wish you luck when that time comes.