If you never disagree you’re irrelevant. Here’s how to disagree successfully:
- Ask what to do if you disagree before disagreements emerge.
- Watch and learn when others disagree.
- Avoid win-lose situations, it’s likely you’ll lose.
- Know and embrace the boss’ goals. If you don’t align with the big picture, find another job.
- Come with solutions and options or don’t come at all.
- Defend your option don’t make them defend theirs.
- Don’t prove the boss wrong unless you have the facts. (See #9!)
- Come with the facts. Your opinion isn’t more valuable than others unless you’re an expert.
- Private is better than public.
- Listen, listen, listen. Listening is respecting. Respect opens the heart.
- Fill your relationship with agreements before expressing disagreements. Every agreement is a deposit in your relationship-account. Express agreements frequently and publically.
- Approach from the side not the front. Lateral approaches sound like, “Could I make a suggestion?”
- Offer alternatives rather than critiques. “What if” is better than “But” and “Why.”
- Don’t waste your relationship collateral nitpicking.
- Publicly and privately align with organizational mission and vision. If you aren’t clearly entrenched in making positive impact, keep your mouth shut.
- Understand that sandwiching disagreements between two agreements never works like you expect. Effective bosses cut to the chase and ignore peripherals. (Refer to #11)
- Express agreements even though they don’t work. It’s respectful.
- Stay focused on the present. Bringing up past issues is picking scabs off old sores.
- Ask if you can test your option to see how it works.
- Drop it. After the decision is made, if you can’t grab an oar and row like heck, grab a life vest and jump overboard.
How do you express disagreements with the boss?
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