Disagreeing With Your Boss - Part 1

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • Can I disagree with my boss?
  • What should I say when I disagree with my boss?
  • Can I share my disagreements with my team?

This cast describes when it's okay to disagree with your boss, and how to do it.

It really is OKAY to disagree with your boss. Until, of course, it's NOT okay. Clear enough, right? Okay, here's a quiz.

a) Your boss has just come from a meeting and wants to discuss ways to implement his boss's decision. HIS boss thinks it should be done "x" way, HE wants to do it "Y". You think X is better. Would you tell him? Or agree with him? Or be politically correct and offer no opinion?

b) Your boss wants you to change a process. You think it's fine as is. Would you make your case? Isn't it just easier to agree? Or would you agree and then act slowly?

c) Your boss is on a committee who is implementing a process change, and they have reworked it start to finish. Now you have to change what your team does, and it's going to be hard work, some of which you don't agree with. What do you tell your team?

Most newer professionals would probably answer the same to each of these scenarios, based on their own personalities and temperaments. But there are general guidelines we need to know if we're going to be effective and avoid looking either naive or unprofessional.

  1. Never Disagree With Your Boss In Public
  2. Never Say, "I disagree." There Are Better Ways
  3. Brainstorming and Having Different Ideas Are Not Disagreeing
  4. Disagree Early and Not Late
  5. Disagree When Planning, but NOT When Acting
  6. It is Unprofessional To Disagree With Your Boss While In Private With Others

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Good one!

Hi everyone,

This is another good podcast that makes a lot of sense. For me, expressing opinions when "being right" was synonymous with doing the best for my organization. Now, I am always evaluating if the suggestions I give would achieve the goals I need with that particular person or group. It is a habit before I say it to decide if it will get what I want or just confrontation.