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How to resolve conflicts at work

How to resolve conflicts with boss?

Conflicts at work are one of the major causes of stress and anxiety in today’s world. Conflict arises when different thoughts, ambitions, power positions, and beliefs collide. However, conflict doesn’t necessarily need to be detrimental. When managed well, it can lead to possibilities of effective results and relationships. One of the most common conflicts arises while dealing with an authority figure at work. Here are some of the common examples and powerful tools to resolve them. 

Projections and Expectations

Have you had disagreements with your boss or has your boss called you out in front of others? Have you felt unfairly treated or under-appreciated for the work you do? Your projections and expectations of your boss is the key to avoiding and resolving the conflict. Here is why. Our projections and expectations on authority figures at work is a reflection  of how we deal with authoritative figures in our family system. As the law of energy magnetism, we tend to attract similar situations and people in our lives who will reinforce our beliefs about authority. 

For instance, if either of your parents or grandparents were not very keen on listening to you or understanding you, you will attract a boss who will be less understanding and accommodating towards you. If you were rebellious towards your elders at home, you will tend to attract situations to rebel against at work. 

Acknowledgement and Questions

Acknowledging how and why you attracted a certain situation or boss is the first step towards conflict resolution. It will allow you to separate the two systems you operate within – family and work. Once you see them different from each other, you will be able to deal with conflicts more professionally and less emotionally. Work conflicts, in fact, are never personal!

When a conflict arises with your boss, ask questions around different possibilities rather than going into the blame-game of unfairness and mistreatment. How can I change this situation? What would it take me to bring more ease into this relationship? What can I be or do to be heard and understood? When we are in a question, our body starts to pick up responses from our environment and guides us towards a solution. However, we tend to either go into conclusion about a situation or get emotionally charged to block any possibility or opportunity that may arise. 

For example, if there is a disagreement over a creative project with your boss. You may feel frustrated as he pulls rank on you for pushing his idea forward and discarding yours. Take a step back, breathe deeply to release any projections and expectations you may be carrying from your family system. Once the ‘frustration’ is out of your body and system, ask yourself questions around what else can I do here that will generate the best possible idea for this project. Invite the energy of the project itself to deliver the best solution. 

Broaden your perspective

We tend to ignore the project while battling amongst ourselves to prove who is better or best. Once you broaden your perspective beyond just you and your boss; or your team and your boss, by treating the ‘project’ as the most important member of the team, you will be able to find the third option with ease. Understand that a system is always stronger than the sum of the individuals combined. A project is a system. Allow the energy of the system to override any other authority figure that may be involved to find the most optimum result. As your body and mind, no longer carry frustration or an sense of competitive and rebellious energy, your boss will also feel less threatened (if that was the case) and respond with more openness with you. 


Never feel stuck in a situation or stress over a conflict. There are a multitude of tools and techniques available to get you through any situation at work or in life.

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Sonali Mittra 

(Sonali Mittra is a certified Inner Child Therapist, Family Constellation facilitator, Access bars and body process practitioner, and leadership coach)

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