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8 Tips to Fix Your Relationship
With the Boss

Print this tips list and use it the next time you find yourself in the position of needing to coach an employee struggling to improve his or her relationship problem with the boss.

Absenteeism, conflict, low morale, attitude problems, and violence in the workplace can flow from bad relationships with a boss.

Frequently employees suffer for years with these problems, when early intervention could have played a role in heading them off at the pass.

Consider these tips (and consider adding to them).

  1. Prior to meeting with your boss, define the real issue that is creating problems in your relationship. Consider whether you played a role. Did communication issues play a role?
  2. Write down your concerns. Forget the small and petty stuff for now.
  3. Meet with your supervisor and explain in plain, unemotional language your observations and concerns about the relationship.
  4. Be positive in your energy and demeanorónot cocky, passive aggressive, or acting as if you are cornering your boss.
  5. Wait for your supervisor's response. He or she may agree or may have another opinion. Hang on every word. Do not be defensive.
  6. Own your "half" of the relationship problem. It is unlikely you will get very far if you donít accept the universal principle that each party in conflict plays a role in contributing to relationship problems.
  7. Your goal is an improved relationship, not to find fault.
  8. Ask for constructive feedback on your performance. Let your boss have the last word in this conversation.

Related resources:

Employee and Management Reproducible Tip Sheets
Resolving Coworker Conflicts
Company Wellness Newsletters

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