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Do you want to tell your manager that they are wrong or they have made a mistake? But you are too afraid to say it loud. What if he/she doesn’t like it? What if they get pissed off? Not to worry. There is a way to present your point of view without annoying anybody. After posting this video, I found much better advice than my post lol. Check out Adam Galinsky talking about how to persuade someone who has more power than you in his TedX talks.

Video Transcript

Hey, hi everyone. How are you doing? Today I’m going to talk about how to disagree with your manager. I know it’s a tough topic. There are two approaches to disagree with your manager? The ones that I use are first to understand where he’s coming from, because sometimes your managers may come with some organizational goals or what his manager may have said. Or there could be n number of reasons why he is proposing something. There are those times also where your manager could be like- no just do because I am saying it. But they will never put it in that way. The point is, it doesn’t really matter whether it’s their way or the highway. The point is doing something that makes sense for the organization. Something that will not only benefit the org, but also your team, you, or your manager.

Sometimes your manager might be in an autopilot mode or they might not have the ground-level details that you may have. So it’s imperative that you give him that perspective. Understanding where they are coming from is a good way to start. You can ask them questions. Telling them the expectations that can you tell me more why you think this is the right way to do it?

What are the reasons you are thinking why we should do this? I just want to understand where you are coming from so that I can help you with whatever knowledge or experience I have. I usually put this preamble. Sometimes it may sound formal, but that’s fine.

It’s okay. It’s always good to set your expectations and intentions clearly than leave it to assumption. Because when you start asking questions to people, they get nervous and they think that you are challenging them. When it’s not really true. So that’s why it’s always good to explain why you are asking questions. Because your objective is to understand.

The second way of disagreeing is once you have completely understood where your manager is coming from then you ask for some time to get back. Unless you can already think on your feet and you can evaluate the pros and cons of doing things his way versus doing things your way. Sometimes his way may be the best way. Sometimes your way may be the best way.

And that is debatable, right? That’s the reason why it’s best to have both the pros and cons very clear and in an objective fashion written down somewhere. Or at least stated in a very clear and concise way to our manager. So that it leaves an opportunity for both of you to discuss and negotiate and figure out what’s the best course of action.

So when you are approaching a disagreement with an approach of understanding, things will turn out well. Because you are not there to go and simply impose your views. You are there to help him make good decisions for the organization, with the granular knowledge that you do in your specific role. And that kind of empowers you to make good decisions.

Some because your manager, he, or she may not have the visibility to the granular things that you do. And that’s where your inputs become important. So just don’t say yes to anything and everything your manager says. That may make you a very obedient employee. But that may not help you in your growth.

And that may not make your manager go back to you and trust your inputs. The reason my manager trusts me is because I give him some perspective that he wouldn’t have otherwise. Without being competitive, without threatening or challenging his position. So if you keep an approach of explaining and understanding things instead of being aggressive and combative, disagreement would really not be a disagreement. It would be a very good conversation. So I hope you have enjoyed this session. Please like and subscribe below.

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