Speaking up for what we believe is a good thing, but when it amounts to disagreeing with your boss, you need to be tactfully. ET's Rica Bhattacharyya brings you expert advice on how to constructively disagree with the boss.
While your boss would want to know the reason for your disagreement, he would also be keen to know the alternative solution.
"The more confidently you disagree by stating the alternative, higher is the probability of your boss agreeing to your perspective," said Sudhir Dhar, director, human resources and administration at Motilal Oswal Financial Services.
"To begin with, you must say that you agree with him in principle, however, there are a few disagreements and you can proceed with explaining them in brief," said Abhishek Kumar, assistant professor at BIM Trichy.
"You can disagree with any person, however, to gain acceptance of your views, expressing it in the right way is vital. Hence, begin your discussion stating the mutual purpose and interest you hold," said Dhar.
"You need to express that the desired results may not be achieved as expected by your boss and state in a subtle way the outcome of your viewpoint," he said.
"You may first try to relate one or two incidents that support his points and then relate a few more incidents that support a contrary view," Kumar suggested.
While disagreeing, it is best to put forward the facts, figures, experience, scenarios supporting your viewpoint. "This would help your boss analyse your view and consider it," said Dhar.
"Raise the argument to the level of the issue or the concept and then discuss pros and cons, as concepts do not remain any one person's domain and, therefore, an objective discussion becomes possible," said Kumar.
31 May, 2016
It is best to state your point clearly and directly. However, when it comes to disagreeing with your boss, you may have to adopt some alternatives. Dhar said one of the alternatives is asking relevant questions. "Seek to understand your boss' perspective by asking questions.
Direct your questions towards the expected results, which is where you can put forward your reason for disagreement and state alternatives," he said.
Without Burden of Agreement Let your boss know that you're your view point should be heard without the burden of agreeing to it. This will get you're your boss' attention.
Grab this opportunity to put forward your perspective using the above ways, said Dhar. "Remember, alternative views help in improvement and innovativeness in the organisation. Leaders who understand this welcome people with CANDOR," he said.
When your approach is not right, leaders who prefer candor may also unwelcome your disagreement; they may perceive your intentions as wrong.
Thus, disagreeing calmly and constructively will help you maintain your professional credibility. Never hesitate to put forward your views, however, state it the right way, said Dhar.