As a manager, sometimes you have to enforce rules that you don’t agree with.
Try your best to empathize with the rules, and if you can’t, you have no choice to accept the rules and implement them.
No manager wants to be the bearer of bad news, particularly when it’s about something the manager disagrees with. To avoid conflict with your employees, be concise, straightforward, and empathetic. Pass on the underlying principle communicated down to you. Then assert, “I’m afraid we have to live with this rule.”
Allow for venting, but discourage debate.
To maintain respect for those who have made the decisions, you may add, “Our executives have considered other options. They’ve made the choices based on what’s best for the organization. Decisions made at the top are often the final word on a subject. Rules are the rules. It’s okay to question them and not like them, but they still need to be followed.”
Emphasize that some disputes and disagreements are worth fighting, and others just aren’t. “I certainly don’t like it any more than you do. This isn’t the choice I would have made. But, let’s live with this rule, implement the change to the best of our abilities, and focus on our work and our team.”
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