Effective ways for resolving misunderstandings between a boss and an employee

To clear misunderstandings between boss and employee, deep and mutual communication should take place to resolve problems such as non-accomplishment of output, commissions of serious flaws and dignity issues. The employee should always be given the freedom to raise his or her problem.

In an organization, most commonly misunderstandings take place between a boss and an employee. Such misunderstandings may lead to failure of fulfilling accomplishments of the firm. The misunderstandings between employees of the same hierarchy can be resolved at the earliest by the way to simple form of communication. Between usually direct communication does not take place between boss and an employee and most of the employees fear to communicate with boss for several reasons. As every human being is egoistic to some extent, they hesitate to directly communicate with their seniors. So, due to these reasons, many types of misunderstandings take place between a boss and an employee. Usually in a collective society, the boss is always considered as a respectable figure and hence the gap between a boss and a subordinate is always wide. But, if both of them use certain strategies, then the differences can be resolved. To solve the problems with each other, they should first understand the reason for difference.

Ways to resolve different types of misunderstandings between boss and subordinate

Resolving the problem of subordinates not achieving output

The employees are not able to achieve output due to several reasons. So, the bosses instead of understanding their employees, undertake severe action. An employee may not achieve the output or complete the target assigned to him due to his practical difficulties. But the boss may keep an employee harassing constantly and hence the employee may leave the job due to constant discomfort in the organization. For eg. an auditor may not complete his assignment on time, because the accountants may submit them late. The accountants may perform many mistakes and hence the auditor has to consume much time to correct the mistakes of the accountants. The boss may not understand the reason and he may only pressurize the employee. In this case, the flow of communication between the boss and the employee must be smooth. Usually, the boss assesses the performance of the subordinates only once in a week or month and do not take any initiative to understand problems. So, he must suggest the employee or subordinate to submit a report daily. He should first instruct the subordinate to prepare a report about workflow in the office for the day. So, he can understand whether the other associates are co-operating with the subordinates. He should ensure that the surrounding and work environment is conducive to your subordinates. If the boss is not able to understand, then the subordinate should not hesitate to communicate orally with the boss because the problem cannot be resolved otherwise. He should personally meet the boss in the cabin and tell him beforehand that he wants to discuss something important and intensive and needs to discuss for a long time.

When misunderstanding takes place due to serious flaws committed

Sometimes, an employee may commit a serious flaw unintentionally and hence the boss is sometimes questioned by the associates about the flaw committed. Then such problems should be solved by mutual understanding and lively communication between the employee and the boss. When I was working as an auditor for an accounts payable process, my team was given several bills for verification in a day and within a short period, we were asked to verify several bills. Almost every entry made by the accountant was incorrect. So, one of my member was very tired at the end of the day and hence he could not properly verify the last bill. So, based upon verification the party received extra payment and the auditor from my team was questioned. The boss should interact with the subordinates in a very understandable manner and this mistake was committed for the first time. The boss should first understand the root cause of the mistake and also understand normal human capacity instead of imposing extra pressure on the employee. He should also interact with the associates and let them know that due to their negligence mistake is being caused. Constant interaction should take place between the boss and the employee. If employees are imposed with extra pressure, they should constantly notify their bosses as soon as possible, so that the boss can clearly understand the problems. An employee should immediately notify the reason for such errors by e-mail.

Dignity issues

The boss often develops an ego if the employee over questions or curtly replies due to any reason. The boss should understand that even a subordinate is a human being. Usually, if an employee is not being clearly understood, then that employee may curtly reply under any circumstance. So, the employee should always have the space to communicate with any level of organization. An employee should be given the freedom for speech but the language flow and tone also should be checked.


Author: Kailash Kumar23 Feb 2016 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 3

Such situations are more challenging where there is almost total job security e.g. in Government organizations. Therefore it is important for the boss to first evaluate the actual capability of each subordinate and then allocate the work to them matching with their individual capability. Two employees at same level may have quite different potential. Expectation of same level of performance from both the employees is bound to lead to stressful situations between the boss and the employees. The success of a boss lies in preventing occurrence of all kinds of misunderstandings. Prevention is always better than cure.

Author: Sheo Shankar Jha24 Feb 2016 Member Level: Gold   Points : 3

The topic under discussion raises an important issue for the excellent health of the company. In any organisation, the Boss and Subordinate are the integral parts and any derailment of this link would paralyse the smooth functioning of the work. Both should work in tandem to achieve the target set by the company. A free flow of communication is desirable to achieve any task and the Boss should be intelligent enough to recognise the true potential of the employees. Mistakes are sometimes are the inescapable parts and the same can be sorted out with mutual understanding. Ego of the Boss should not come in the way of fulfilling targets. We must be guided by the parameters which would facilitate the production of the company with the existence of harmonically relationships between the Boss and the Employees.
The authoress has dealt with all the points needed to work in a congenial atmosphere and has suggested ways and means that would go a long way in normalisation of the relationships between the Bosses and the Employees.

Author: Ramachandran Pattabiraman26 Feb 2016 Member Level: Gold   Points : 2

There is a saying,'Boss is always right'. As the boss is busy normally all the time with his tight schedules (some bosses are posing themselves so busy all the time), they will give instructions to subordinates in hurry or haste. But as a subordinate, he or she should hear clearly and on no situation the subordinate should think otherwise when the boss is giving instruction.

Author: Venkiteswaran10 Feb 2017 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 5

A boss is probably most misunderstood person. This becomes all the more in a workplace where the communication lines between boss and subordinates is absent or not direct.

A boss should understand well that labour or employee is the main input for a business, or organisation. Subordinates are not just inputs, but they are assets. Business can be affected if this input asset is not handled properly.

If not properly handled and dealt, the input will affect the output and assets will turn into liability.

So, an effective boss is one who communicates properly with the subordinates and conveys what is the expected of them and what can they expect also. A boss should be transparent to maximum possible extent, develop trust in them and should be disciplined as well as benign human.

Distortion of communication and thereby misunderstanding occurs when communication is not simple and clear, actions not transparent.
This can be caused by systemic failure and even on individual errors.
Though the above article is not exhaustive on the subject, to the extent it is dealt, the article is worth reading and practised to the possible extent in real life.

  • Do not include your name, "with regards" etc in the comment. Write detailed comment, relevant to the topic.
  • No HTML formatting and links to other web sites are allowed.
  • This is a strictly moderated site. Absolutely no spam allowed.
  • Name: