5 Ways to Respectfully Disagree with Your Boss
It’s easier than you think
Disagreeing with someone in authority can be difficult. Whether it’s your club president or your supervisor at work, there are a few ways you can get your point across respectfully. Here are 5 tips from the experts:
Pick the right time and place
The middle of a club meeting probably isn’t the best time to address your concern. Neither is during an important presentation. Colette D. Ellis, Principal at InStep Consulting, LLC suggests that “you pick a time you think will work best for him/her.” Additionally, she suggests looking for nonverbal cues, such as if he/she is frustrated or overwhelmed, in which case, they probably won’t be receptive to your feedback.
Establish a good relationship
“If you built a respectful working relationship with your boss, your input is going to be seen as more credible,” says Gayle Abbott, CEO of the consulting firm Strategic Alignment Partners, Inc. That means you should have an ongoing dialogue with your boss on a regular basis, using a combination of small talk and professional interactions.
Know your boss’s personality
Is your club president an introvert or extrovert? Do they respond to hard data or do they prefer personal, relatable anecdotes? Communicate with him/her in a way that best relates to them. For example, if they are a numbers person, come prepared with data, charts and graphs. Put yourself in your club president’s shoes and visualize your approach.
Be passionate but not emotional
Although arguments are more convincing when they’re delivered with passion, that doesn’t mean you need to show a lot of excess emotion. This can make you look unprofessional and make your boss feel pressured. Be clear, confident and calm for the best impact.
Back down when you’ve lost
Sometimes you just can’t win. Gracefully accept your boss’s decision and let him/her know that you respect it. Hopefully these experiences will give you a better gauge on how to successfully bring up issues in the future.
Don’t be afraid to disagree with your boss. Alternative ways of thinking and fresh ideas will help you and your club or organization grow.
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