employee performance evaluation, employee training, hr best practices, hr policies, Human Resources Training, Training & Development, workplace safety

Disagreeing with your boss

This is a situation an employee would have faced at some or another point of time in her career. In non-industrial societies, especially in India and China, it is sacrilegious to disagree with the boss. Generally, the outlook in these societies is that the boss knows everything and that you are there to carry out his bidding. Most employees decline to disagree with the boss for fear of reprisal.

The west, on the other hand, considers the boss primus inter pares, a sort of first among equals. He is like everyone else, except that he takes decisions that affect others in the organization. He is not the venerated or patronizing figure or an arbitrary judge of employees’ actions. Thus, in the industrialized world, it is a lot easier to talk to the boss and disagree with him if the need arises than it is in most of the rest of the world.

Agree on what to disagree

This should perhaps set the tone for disagreement. Most disagreements end up becoming a matter of personal vendetta. When you want to disagree with your boss, make it clear that there is a focal point or points on which you think differently from your boss. Be clear about what that point is. When taking major decisions, it is perfectly normal, in fact, even good to have healthy differences. Rather than making an issue out of a point, sit down and calmly address the point of difference. Instead of reacting, learn to respond, because when you present your viewpoint, the boss is likely to present a counter point. Be prepared for it.

Give suggestions

It is always a bad idea to approach someone with “I think you’ve got this wrong”. This is sure to be a big put off and will hurt egos. Instead, if you think there is a point of disapproval, share ideas about what you think should have been the correct way of going about it. Your ideas should reflect your insights and thoughts of the topic, and should be meaningful and constructive. In the absence of this, it will be all about butting in for the sake of it.

Be prepared

It is also important that when you disagree with your boss, you should be ready to face the fact that your suggestions may not be accepted. It is all a matter of how you gel with your boss. If you feel that the boss is approachable and you can point to disagreements straightaway, so be it. Or if you feel all of the above needs to be put in place, think about it and then act.




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