Disagree without being disagreeable

While voicing your disagreement in an informal setting could lead to healthy debate doing the same in a professional environment specially with your boss could be tricky.

Barack Obama stated Yes, we can disagree without being disagreeable. This simple statement would be a lot simpler if we simply practiced it! ‘Easier said than done’. Disagreements among colleagues are common at a work place however a disagreement with your boss could put in a sticky situation.

At work you meet people from diverse backgrounds and varied temperaments. Thus, when you work as a team, there is bound to be friction. However, it’s important to respect each individual especially your boss and work towards the growth of the company. Your boss is where s/he is due to his /her experience and expertise. Thus, if you disagree with your boss, it’s best to disagree without being disagreeable. That way, you can maintain your relation ship which is critical. A boss can be a good mentor and do wonders for your career thus you would not want to offend him /her without due reason.

Listed below are a few pointers on how to tide through the situation:

To begin with, before putting forth your disagreement it is important to build a powerful case. Be a solution provider rather than a problem maker. Do your homework well before you voice your disagreement. After all you don’t want to look foolish and juvenile if asked to justify your idea. Also be open to the idea that you may be wrong.

Never voice a disagreement with your boss in public.

Avoid misunderstandings and communication gaps: When voicing your disagreement with your boss, you could use a phrase like if we look at the situation in this way, it could benefit us in this way. What do you think? It helps to show your boss the advantages of looking at the situation from your perspective rather than focusing on the disagreement. Having said this, leave the final decision to your boss it is best not to push it too far. S /he take the call at the end of the day.

If you choose to disagree never use phrases like It has never worked in the past or This idea did fail in the past. Plan your words well. You would not want to lead into a heated argument. Keep your ego aside. Such situations are not about individuals they are about the bigger picture. Also known is the fact that you cannot always win.

During the course of the conversation, refrain from using ‘I’ too often. Using we would sound more from a team perspective rather than individualistic.

Today, bosses are more open to ideas as long as it’s in the best interest of the product. Leadership today has become more participative than authoritative. A good team lead will always listen to counter arguments. However, agreeing or disagreeing depends on a number of factors including higher authorities

Big ideas are born out of brainstorms and disagreements so do not shy away from expressing your disagreement if your feel strongly about it. Your boss will appreciate that you have an opinion however, make sure you not come on too strongly.

At the end of the day a boss is a boss. It is important to respect his/her authority and experience. Probably s/he could have a perspective that cannot be shared. Else, s/he put some pressure you and your boss are working towards the growth of the company. It is important to maintain a healthy relationship for peaceful co-existence and work well together. Thus, handle a disagreement with professionalism and do not take it personally. Do not let it become a clash of egos.