Having workplace conflict with a senior colleague or even boss? That is not a good position to be in. However, if you still have your job then it could mean one of the things below (or neither):
- He or she cannot fire you
- He or she can fire you but the origin/fault of the conflict lies more on him or her
- He or she cannot fire you but they can recommend the termination of your service and did but it was not approved
- He or she is not really mad at you, did not report you but after he or she had the clash with you, he/ she became occupied with other stuff that had nothing to do with you
The point is, the fact that you are still on the job shows that there is hope. Now the source and fault of the conflict may be the reason why you are on the job. There are a couple of reasons why this could be so:
- It is your fault but you apologized and he or she is compelled to accept your apology although you could still sense and see the cold front. There is still conflict, which is of the worst kind because he/she has accepted your apologies
- Its his/her fault and has apologized but still (naturally) harbors resentment against you
Whatever the case, you have to move on. You may want to do that literally. That is, tender your resignation and leave. However, economic constraints and other considerations have kept you tied down. By the way, this could also be another reason why there is still conflict. Therefore, you still have to stick around.
Weathering The Storm
Moving on to take another job may not be what you are looking for as such. You may be looking to move away from this situation and start another level of renewed relationship with him/her. The issue is if you want to stay on the job and there is undisclosed or real of conflict between both of you, you have to weather the storm.
The way you decide to weather the storm may determine how quickly it will pass. You may adopt measures that may do anyone of the three things below:
- You may cause the workplace conflict to escalate
- You may cause the conflict to remain in a static position perpetually
- You may cause the conflict to de-escalate
Causing The Workplace Conflict With The Senior/Boss To Escalate
Since really talking to each other is out of the window, you body language will be transmitting live and uninterrupted signals that your boss would be reading quite clearly. Your body language could escalate the situation.
You can also cause the issue to escalate by expanding it beyond the box that sort of contains it. this can happen if you involve a third party in a secretive way by giving your side of the story. Bosses do not like people talking about them or making them look bad.
If you really want to move it to an extinction level event, you can call your boss out on the matter. That will go a long way in relieving you of your duties in the organization but if he or she does not have the power to fire you, then you should be ready for a very long siege.
Causing The Workplace Conflict With Your Boss To Remain In A Static Position Perpetually
This will not be good because prolonged conflict has a way of compounding issues and can affect the health of the individuals involved. However, you can make the conflict continue longer than necessary if you stick up your nose in the air at him/her and stop doing the polite things you were still doing even after the conflict (things like your customary good morning).
You can also prolong the issue if you take offense and decide to turn the quite/silent antagonism towards him. Your resolve could be stronger than his/hers and help sustain the strife and conflict for a longer period.
Causing The Workplace Conflict With Your Boss To De-Escalate
This is where we were going when we started this piece. I am going to give you my suggested solutions in form of bullet points.
- Concentrate on productivity
- Focus on achieving set organizational/department goals
- Build goodwill (others and not your boss) through dedication to work
Since you cannot apparently do anything about the issue at this point in time, face what you can do something about. If he or she is somebody you are reporting to and you become productive, a gradual thawing if the ice on the official front may start. The personal aggro might still be in place. As you do the three things above, you will be influencing positivity about you and people will payback. A smile on your part can give birth to laughter from the other party.