By Ashley Stahl, Originally Published in Forbes

Being a career coach, I’ve heard a lot of stories about workplace interactions, mainly between an employer and employee. In fact, one global study found that 79% of people who quit their jobs cite “lack of appreciation” as their reason for leaving. If you feel like you’re being driven to the edge every time you get an email from your boss, maybe it’s time to take a step back and ask yourself, “why?”

We’ve all been there…what starts as one small critique to or from a boss can eventually escalate into an uncomfortable situation for everyone. While blame for employer/employee rifts is often subjective, the most important thing to remember is to learn and grow from every scenario faced in the workplace. Hopefully, these tips can help you improve your relationships at the office, so you can get back to your personal career growth and enjoy furthering your career.

  1. Practice mindfulness. Incorporating mindfulness at work can really help improve a stressful situation. It not only lowers stress levels, but it also help you stay grounded in the present. Instead of dwelling on the past or wondering how an interaction may impact your future, staying clear-headed and focused on the present will help you clearly navigate what is happening today.
  2. Be empathetic. True empathy is hard to practice, but it is a very important skill to develop if you want to see real change happen in your workplace interactions. Remember, everyone is going through something that you’re unable to see, so keep that in mind next time you feel like something is being taken out on you.
  3. Take responsibility. If you’re noticing a particular pattern of being singled out by your boss, take a step back and analyze why that might be. Is there a specific way you are doing things that may be getting lost in translation? Be proactive and try to let your boss know your best methods of work, feedback, and communication so you both can improve your relationship.
  4. Vent outside of the office. It is completely normal to need to vent every now and again, but the office is not the place to do it. Take a walk around the building, talk to yourself or a friend in the car, or wait until you get home. No matter where you choose to let off some steam, just make sure it is not in the workplace. Workplace confrontations rarely end well and there’s no need to get an extra person involved in a communication mishap.
  5. See what you can learn. It may be cliché to some, but every interaction yields a learning experience. If your boss consistently criticizes your job performance, see how you can improve by being vocal and asking what you should fix. If you get some positive feedback, keep in mind how that felt and focus on how you can improve your work further.
  6. Don’t take it personally. Nobody is ever out to hurt anyone at work on purpose. Oftentimes, what we see in another person is a reflection of something that we are afraid to see in ourselves, so keep that in mind if you’re accused of something that seems uncharacteristic of yourself. Also, be cognizant of what is setting you off at work and try to get to the root of what is making you upset.
  7. Say thank you. Whether you get some tough love or just flat out criticism, surprise your boss with your positive attitude! Maintaining an even keel balance and incorporating mindfulness at workcan help you deal with difficult situations, and your powerful, positive presence can infectiously spread throughout the office.

These best practices can help both in work — and life! Take ownership of your relationships and use these tips to be proactive and make your workplace better. While it can seem daunting to bring up gripes to your boss, there are plenty of methods you can use to encourage your boss to improve your company culture. You can’t always expect people to change, but you can utilize these skills to either improve your current situation or carry you onto your next venture!

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  • I'm a career coach, keynote speaker, podcast host (You Turn Podcast) and author, here to help you step into a career you're excited about and aligned with. This may look like coaching you 1:1, hosting you in one of my courses, or meeting you at one of workshops or keynote speaking engagements! I also own CAKE Media, a house of ghostwriters, copywriters, publicists and SEO whizzes that help companies and influencers expand their voice online. Before being an entrepreneur, I was an award-winning counterterrorism professional who helped the Pentagon in Washington, DC with preparing civilians to prepare for the frontlines of the war on terror.