How to Handle An Issue with Your Boss
To start, let’s acknowledge that work is a very big part of most people’s lives. No one wants to go to work and have an encounter with their boss that makes you feel less than comfortable. There are ways to handle an uncomfortable situation with your boss while remaining professional and protecting yourself.
1. Do not talk to other people at work about the situation.
This may be tough if you are close to your coworkers, but when it comes to an issue with your superior, the less blown up it gets, the better. Vent to friends and family outside of work. You don’t want your comments about your boss to weave their way through the grapevine and get back to your boss in an even worse state. This would put you in a situation where you have to clean up one mess before you get a chance to address the real issue. This is also true for after the issue is resolved. Once it is fixed, it should die then, as well.
2. Attempt to confront your supervisor about the issue.
It is always best to communicate with the person who offended you. If you feel comfortable, try to pull your boss aside or schedule a time to meet with them. This is the easiest way to try and solve an issue. Confront it in a calm and collected manner and explain what behavior they exhibited and exactly how it made you feel. Explain the impact that they have on your workday. Our bosses are human too and sometimes, they can do something that just is not okay. This is your time to tell them that and figure out a way to move forward together.
3. Follow your hierarchy.
This is where you go if you do not feel comfortable talking to your supervisor, which in some circumstances is completely valid. It is hard to confront the person in charge of you about something they did. Every organization has a chain of command. Typically, it would be best to go to the person directly in charge of your boss. If you're working at a store, for example, your supervisor may be the shift manager, so you would go to the store manager, not the CEO of the company, right? Sometimes you run into the situation where your boss is the big kahuna. That is what HR is for. You can address the issue with them and ask them to speak on your behalf. There is nothing shameful or petty about going to HR and it is against the law for you to be retaliated against for going to HR.
4. Stand strong and firm.
Having work issues is tough. But remember that your feelings are valid. No one should make you feel uncomfortable at work. Be rational with yourself and the situation. Someone not liking you or not being the nicest to you is not an issue for HR or even another supervisor. That is life and not everyone will be buddies. However, when the behavior takes on a disrespectful and unprofessional tone, that is when it is fair to take action. Remember that you are a person who comes to do a job and that you have the right to do that job without dealing with unnecessary conflict like that.
There is always a way to deal with issues in the workplace. They may not be the way you would handle them in your private life, but they will, hopefully, get you the results you need. You can protect yourself and make sure that others understand your boundaries. Work should be as pleasant an experience as you can make it and you do not have to stand for any kind of treatment just because you are at work.
Have you ever dealt with an issue with your boss? How did you handle it? Share with us in the comments.