Listen. Analyze. Decide whether to accept the feedback. Whatever you decide, the other person still has a problem with you, so work through the five-step process to resolve the conflict. Then ask yourself: Going forward, what can I do differently to avoid this from happening again? When you do that, you'll gain respect as a person who genuinely cares about how you treat others.
When someone's come to you about something you said or did, it's important to define the problem from both perspectives: “Here's how you view it…and here's how I view it.” By defining both sides of the issue, you put yourself on a level playing field. You can then work through the issue to a satisfactory agreement.
Like Kate, passive bosses want to be everyone's friend. They're likeable people, but being likeable doesn't necessarily translate into being a good boss. Actually, this is one of the worst management styles you'll encounter. These bosses allow others to make all decisions, avoid conflict at all costs, don't set high expectations, make excuses for failures, and provide ineffective feedback. As a result, disagreements and problems fester and grow.