10 Ways To Deal With Work Conflict Like A True Boss

Being in charge is tough, but so are you.


In season 1 episode 7 of The Bold Type, 'Three Girls In A Tub,' we saw Kat go through some intense workplace drama. After hiring her first employee, Natalie, Kat had to repeatedly deal with her making mistakes -- mistakes which were potentially damaging to the company. Watch the episode here to see how Kat dealt with this tricky situation, and then read our guide on how best to handle workplace conflicts below.

1. Know the tone you want to set as a boss.

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When a conflict, or something which could become a conflict, arises at work there is a real temptation to freak out. But you should remember that if you go in all guns blazing and stressed, that will set the tone for the entire situation and it may also bleed into your professional relationship after the issue has been resolved. Take a deep breath and keep it cool.

2. Be direct.

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If something has happened which needs to be addressed, address it. If you spend time worrying about it, or discussing it with others, it will only become a bigger issue in your mind. Take the people involved aside and talk the problem through as soon as possible.

3. Explain the issue as clearly as you can.

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Most misunderstandings will arise out of a miscommunication -- which is actually a good thing. It means that if you can take some time to explain exactly what you think and what you need then you should be able to resolve the issue with minimal stress.

4. Be understanding, but firm.

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If you've got to the point where you need to discuss a situation with an employee, then the chances are they are cringing as much as you. Be sensitive to this, and try to understand where they are coming from as much as possible. But you should also hold your ground and remember that you are having this conversation for a reason.

5. Let them know that you are invested in their success.

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If you just had to tell someone at work they weren't meeting your standards, now is a good time to remind them that you care about this issue being resolved because you want them to succeed. Tell them that you're on the same team and that you're rooting for them.

6. Try to understand their frustrations.

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Being involved in a problem at work can be really hard, especially when you have caused it. Try and remember the last time you felt this way so you can deal sensitively with your employees.

7. Handhold someone through an issue if you think it will help in the long term.

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There are certain issues that can be fixed if you just tell someone exactly what you need, and if you support them throughout the whole process. However, if you're going to do this, you need to be sure that this is a one-off deal and that they don't need to be under constant supervision.

8. Don't let your issues spread to your superiors.

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If there is an issue, you should try and contain it as much as possible. A complication spreading up the chain and making you look bad is the last thing you want. If your boss does discover that something is up, talk to them right away and reassure them that you have it under control. And then get it under control.

9. Talk to a mentor.

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Alternatively, if you see your boss as a mentor then you might want to ask them for advice. They've most likely been through similar things in the past, and be able to give you guidance on how best to approach the situation.

10. Know when it's right to let someone go.

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If you've given someone chance after chance, and if you have helped them as much as you can but things still aren't improving, then it might be time to face up to the fact that they are just not a good fit for your workplace. Letting someone go who isn't right for the job will make everyone happier in the long run. They can find somewhere which is better suited to them and you can concentrate more on your job rather than trying to fix someone else's mistakes.

Watch the latest episode of The Bold Type right here on Freeform.

And let us know how you handle tricky work situations in the comments.

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