In a discussion, one often finds it easier to agree than disagree. At some point, you have a feeling that your manager’s plan will not work out well due to particular reasons. But is it okay to hold differing opinions against a supervisor? Some might say it is foolish to disagree with your boss, because such disagreement could put their job in danger.
The truth is, most bosses and managers are open to receiving different perspectives and ideas from their team members. Instead of a bunch of yes-men, managers want their staff to voice out their opinions and concerns. In the end, truly collaborative teams are those who work together to find solutions. If you disagree with the decisions your supervisor has made, then have the courage to express your thoughts. Presenting alternate solutions can provide an opportunity for your entire team to grow.
See also: 7 Things to Never Say to Your Boss
Here are some tips to voicing disagreement positively and respectfully:
1- Clear understanding
Have a clear understanding of the issue that you disagree with. Do not speak to your boss about your disagreement until you can put it into words. You should also make sure to speak up your ideas clearly and carefully.
2- Right place, right time
Don’t discourage ideas, especially from a supervisor, in front of other teams. It might sound unpleasant and the person you disagree with could lose face. You should talk to your boss in private so there will be no interruptions and you can accentuate your ideas better. Don’t go to him when he looks frustrated or interfere with his schedule by hitting him up just before a major meeting. Find the perfect time, like a lunch break or watercooler chat.
3- Keep emotions out of the equation
Learn to control your emotions when there is something that you violently object to, even if your boss is obstinate. Keep in mind that you are addressing the issue and not your boss.
4- Start on a positive note
You should not bluntly tell your boss that his idea sucks or that you disagree with them. First, you should discuss what is working well before you move on to your recommendations on how to improve the situation. Try to stay positive and respectful and lead off with a negative comment, then point out the reasons why it will not work.
5- Provide solutions
Disagree, if you must. But you have got to provide alternative solutions. If you have nothing better to offer, you have to go along with what you have now. Don’t be discouraged when your ideas are not accepted. At the end of the day, it is your boss that makes the decision.
6- Know when to move on
As mentioned, it is your boss who has the final decision. Once you present your argument, understand that your supervisor will ultimately decide whether to implement the approach or not. Do not force him to accept your ideas, but give him some time to think about it. Repeatedly reminding the same issue will only add tension to your relationship with the manager and team. Let go of your ego and move on once your boss makes a decision.