- Don’t retreat. Resist the urge to avoid your boss or sweep the conflict under the rug. That will only build up tension. When you’re feeling calm and rational, go see your boss to clear the air.
- Get input. Instead of gossiping, talk the situation over with a trusted friend or colleague to get perspective. Rehearse what you want to say, and have your friend point out where you sound defensive or insincere.
- Own the mistake and offer a solution. Even if it’s not entirely your fault, your boss will appreciate you taking responsibility for your part in it, and trying to resolve it.
- Remember your boss has more going on. Your boss may be reacting disproportionately for reasons you can’t see in the moment. Try to understand her perspective.
Adapted from “Don’t Hide When Your Boss Is Mad at You” by Karen Dillon.