• LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

How to disagree tactfully

Beg to differ without causing a fuss

by on
in Workplace Communication

When you hear an incorrect statement, do you blurt out “that’s wrong” without skipping a beat? That’s not always a wise move.

Smart managers choose when and how to express gentle yet forceful disagreement, especially when they’re talking with their bosses. They quickly calculate what’s to gain or lose by contradicting what’s said. Then they respond accordingly.

Here are three strategies to disagree gracefully, along with the situations where each tactic makes sense:

The invitation to redirect. If you’re certain that a higher-up just said something wrong—and you figure that by speaking out you can enhance your stature or avoid costly hassles or misunderstandings— then you can preface your remarks by saying “If I’m not mistaken...” or “Correct me if I’m wrong...” or “Tell me if I’m off-base here, but...”

Insert a supportive statement first, such as “You’re onto something there” or “I see your point.” That way, you lower defenses and pave the way for what you’re about to say.

The clarifying question. Through polite, non-accusatory questioning, you can help others realize for themselves that they’re wrong. This is a useful technique whether you’re talking with a subordinate or a head honcho. You’ll radiate intelligence without arrogance.

Examples of questions to ask: “Are you factoring in other considerations such as...?” or “Could you define what you mean by ____, because I may be defining it differently?” Or you might ask, “Just to clarify, you said _____. Is that right?”

The blunt contradiction. If you want to showcase your bold, blustery side, then it’s fine to take the plunge and tell a speaker “I believe that’s incorrect.” Just make sure that the other person is thick-skinned and willing to learn from you. If pride or ego interfere, then your risky move may backfire and you may alienate a potential ally.

Above all, disagree without sounding disagreeable. Don’t sigh or grimace as you address others. Speak in a pleasant, conversational tone. Beware of adopting an overly serious or professorial demeanor as you prepare to contradict someone. Your goal is to establish trust by reinforcing the fact that you’re both in the same boat, searching for answers together without trying to tally who’s right or wrong.

Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!

Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...

We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.

The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.

" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/26237/how-to-disagree-tactfully "

Related Articles...

    No matches

Leave a Comment