5 Strategies for Workplace Arguments Big and Small

2. Pick your battles.

Know and fight only for what is important. Let little things go. An employee who complains about every small issue is labeled as uncooperative by management. And someone who complains about management directives and is unwilling to accept them may be considered insubordinate and possibly be fired. If you find yourself unhappy about most details of your job, perhaps it is better to look for another job rather than try to change or complain about every little thing that bothers you.

3. Some battles can never be won.

Understand that in the workplace, some battles can never be won and never should be fought. Here are two examples:

• Your boss's assessment of your work performance at your evaluation. Your boss may be a real jerk and extremely incompetent. You may be star performer in your eyes and the eyes of clients. But work performance is usually exclusively evaluated by your supervisor. You may stand little chance of changing your boss's mind and almost no chance of getting any other manager to intervene to change your boss's evaluation of you. If you and your boss disagree on your performance, it may be better for you to find another boss to work for.

• Trying to change corporate policies when you have not been assigned a job that would allow you to do so. You may think that the company's policies stink and that you know how to manage better than present management. But unless you are in a policy-making job, save your energy. You may be not only ignored but also perceived as an uppity, unhappy employee.

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