How to Handle a Disagreement With a Manager

Disagreements at work happen more often than we’d like to admit. But what happens when your disagreement is with your manager? You may be insistent on your position but more likely to back down when your manager is the opposing party. There are better ways of dealing with a disagreement with your manager on the job. Let’s take a closer look.

Don’t Be Disagreeable

You can disagree, but don’t be disagreeable. In fact, in many cases, disagreeing is a great tool to have. You can challenge your boss with new ideas that might help make things run more efficiently. But the trick is to avoid being disagreeable. That is to say, don’t make your disagreement a personal attack.

Consider your tone of voice, and body language, and avoid using “you” statements. And don’t be hesitant with your thoughts. When you use filler words, it makes your statement seem filled with doubt. Don’t get argumentative, but at the same time be committed to your ideas.

Clearly Communicate

When you disagree, communication is essential. Know that everything you say will be picked apart by the person on the other side of your argument. Some people don’t care what your argument is, they just want to win and be right. If your boss has that kind of personality, be sure to communicate clearly.

If you need to communicate your new idea via email, be sure to think carefully about your words. Reinforce the reasons why you believe your idea is valid.

Provide an Alternative

Never disagree with your boss if you don’t have an alternative solution in mind. If you tell them you don’t like their processes or idea, you better have something else to suggest that you feel would be better and more efficient.

Your manager wants you to be solutions-oriented. If you’re not willing to do as they’ve instructed, it’s imperative you can provide an alternative and a reason why.

Try to Understand

Don’t argue or disagree with your boss for the sole reason of being contrary. Try to understand their reasons for the suggestion in the first place. If you can, look at the ways you can make their suggestion work.

If you cannot or you feel strongly that your suggestion will be better overall, let them know you understand their position first.

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