The Western workplace may see confrontation as a regular occurence, but in the local setting, it's practically unheard of. Filipinos value pakikisama or smooth interpersonal relationships a lot, and this is why you may find it difficult to say no and instead say that you will try. Another manifestation of pakikisama is the fear or reluctance to express views contrary to that of the boss or the majority.

Because it is common to keep feelings bottled up rather than risk an awkward conversation, tension can build up. The key is to find a way to ease the tension without disrupting harmony at the workplace. Learn how you can do that by checking out the five tips in the slideshow below.


For more tips on dealing with sensitive workplace issues, check out these FN articles:

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(First published in Marie Claire Magazine, Careers section as "Dealing with Workplace Tension" in July 2008; screencaps from One Tree Hill courtesy of The CW; adapted for use in Female Network)

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